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Ancient technology in Stargate

The Ancients—also known as the "Alterans" and Lanteans—are an advanced race discovered by the SGC. Among their many achievements, their transportation methods deserve highest praise; being comprised of extremely advanced spacecraft, flying cities, and the entire Stargate Network. Much of the Ancients' weapons technology was used, or designed for use, in the centuries-long war with the Wraith in the Pegasus Galaxy. They were also extremely advanced in the areas of healing, power generation, and biology. All known Ancient technology was created prior to ascension, with the exception of the Velona weapon assisted by Orlin, and the weapon created by Merlin to destroy ascended beings. The superiority of Ancient technology is challenged only by Ori technology, which was possibly created with ascended knowledge provided by the Ori themselves, and by Asgard technology as seen in the series finale, Unending. Ori technology is also similar to that of the Ancients, as both races lived together once as a single race. However, not all the artifacts they built were a complete success. Ancient technology may or may not be susceptible to electromagnetic fields which disable Tau'ri technology; in the season one episode "Childhood's End", an EM field causes a Puddle Jumper to crash, but in the season one episode "Hot Zone", Dr. Rodney McKay states that Ancient technology is immune to EM effects.

Ancient Control Chair

The Ancient Control Chair is a device for controlling various systems within an Ancient City Ship or smaller Ancient outposts such as the one in Antarctica. The Control Chair, like much Ancient technology, works on a neural interface system and requires the Ancient Technology Activation gene. Two control chairs have been encountered in the Milky Way – Proclarush Taonas and inside the Ancient outpost in Antarctica on Earth. In the Pegasus Galaxy, chairs are located in the tower of Atlantis and its sister cities. Control chairs are also present in Ancient Aurora class Starships as well.

While the primary use for the Control Chair is accessing Drone Weapons, it has shown the ability to control secondary systems, such as holographic projectors, power systems, and piloting a city-ship's stardrive. The Chair is normally powered by a Zero Point Module, although the members of the Atlantis Expedition have been successful in powering the device with a Mark II Naqahdah reactor in "controlled overload", which provides just enough energy to activate the chair although the reactor's power can only activate the chair about three times before permanent power depletion.

Ancient Technology Activation (ATA)

The ATA Gene is present in all Ancients, and is one of the factors that differentiates them from humans. Its main use is assumed to be so that only Ancients can access their technology; if the user does not possess the gene, the technology will either not activate or will be useless.

According to Dr. Beckett, who discovered the existence of this gene, the ATA gene is always active, instructing various cells in the body to produce a series of proteins and enzymes that interact with the skin, the nervous system and the brain, allowing the gene carriers to operate Ancient technology . A small percentage of humans from Earth have this gene, as well as an infinitesimal percentage on at least two planets in the Pegasus Galaxy .

Some Ancient technology only needs to be "activated" by someone possessing this gene, and then remains usable by those without the gene afterward. Some other technology, however, can only be used by someone with the gene. Not all gene carriers can use the gene in the same way. For some, it requires training and practice, but a few can do it easily and intuitively.

Dr. Beckett eventually developed an in vivo retroviral gene therapy (using a deactivated mouse retrovirus) to transfer the Ancient gene expression to humans; however, only about 48% of those who undergo the procedure are rewarded with the ATA gene .

Natural gene carriers from Earth include:

Gene carriers by gene therapy include Dr. Rodney McKay as first human trial, Col. Dillon Everett, and some of Col. Everett's troops. Gene carriers of unknown source include Lt. Miller,, Dr. Abrams and Major Lorne.

The gene therapy did not work on Dr. Radek Zelenka. The status of Dr. Daniel Jackson as a carrier is uncertain. He utilized ancient technology after he encountered the Ancient Repository that Merlin used in his laboratory. This technology modified the genetic make up of Dr. Jackson so he could resist the effects of being transformed into an Ori Prior, as well as allowing him to house Merlin's consciousness. Whether it modified his genetics to include the Ancient gene, or whether he already possessed it, is unknown. However, it is important to note that the Goa'uld Anubis was able to use Ancient technology due to him being partly Ascended , suggesting that Daniel may also be able to use Ancient technology due to the time he spent among the Ascended in Season Six. Whether his Ascension or the repository were responsible for his ability to use Ancient technology at the time is unknown, as he has not used any ATA gene-based technology since. (The Shroud). Lt. Aiden Ford asked for the gene therapy during the nanovirus crisis, but it was never said if he got it after the crisis or not. After Ford used a Puddle Jumper to leave Atlantis in "The Siege, Part 3", series' writer Martin Gero explained in an online message that Ford does not have the gene, because "The Jumpers, while in near and inside Atlantis, are pretty much on autopilot when it comes to landing and taking off."

Ark of Truth

The titular object in Stargate: The Ark of Truth, a device invented by the Alteran Amelius capable of brainwashing someone into believing something, as long as it is true. The Alterans left the device behind in their home galaxy rather than use it against the followers of the Ori, because it contravened their belief in free will. SG-1 eventually travels to the Ori home galaxy to find the device, so as to convince the Ori army that the Ori are not gods. They find the Ark underground on the Ori homeworld with the guidance of Morgan Le Fay. Although Adria's soldiers capture the device, Daniel Jackson manages to activate it and convert the Doci, whose telepathic link in turn converts all the Priors in the Ori galaxy. SG-1 then brings the Ark to the Milky Way and converts all the Priors there as well. With the loss of the power provided by her worshippers, Adria becomes vulnerable and is engaged by Morgan. The Ark is eventually taken to Area 51 for study.

"Arthur's Mantle"

An Ancient computer device built by Merlin. The device was used to conceal his research on a weapon capable of destroying ascended beings, the so-called Sangraal, in another dimension. The console was hidden away, concealed in the Avalon cave under Glastonbury Tor in England. The device, capable of effectively rendering people invisible, was called Arthur's Mantle by Merlin's trusted aids, the Knights of the Round Table.

Using the "Mantle", the user could make himself 'out of phase', where he would be hidden from the ascended Ancients. On the 'other side', I.E. in the area left out of phase, the information stored in its database would be protected, including technical specifications regarding construction and location of the Sangraal. The keyboard was accessible from either dimension, allowing a person to enter and exit. The power source for the unit is not infinite, and reducing the energy which powers it makes it dangerously unstable. Although being out of phase hides the user from both the Ancients and conventional observers, someone wearing a Sodan personal cloaking device still can see the person in question.

The device was accidentally accessed by Colonel Samantha Carter and Cameron Mitchell, who were rendered out of phase by the device. With the eventual help of Daniel Jackson, some information in the database could be retrieved and the persons affected could be returned to normal; however, its power source was permanently depleted in the process.. The potential of the technology as a defensive weapon would later be utilized by Colonel Carter, who attempted to use the device in order to send a village out of phase in order for it to escape an Ori cleansing of the villagers. In an alternate reality, Carter was also able to supply it with enough power to take the Earth itself out of phase. Based on this information, it seems that the device, while compact and seemingly fragile, is virtually limitless in capacity for precisely how much matter it can shift out of phase.


The Asurans are a race of machines similar, and possibly even ancestral, to the Replicators encountered by SG-1 on several occasions.

The Asurans were the ultimate product of the extensive Ancient research into progressively smaller and potentially more effective weapons for use during their war against the Wraith, the result being microscopic nanites capable of attacking and destroying wraith cells. They were programed with an aggression that surpassed even that of the wraith, and the ability to replicate to far greater numbers to increase their effectiveness. They replicated at such a rate that they took even their creators, the Ancients, by surprise. As they became more advanced, the molecular machines began interlocking and assembling themselves into ever more complex constructs, and eventually they reached the point where they exactly emulated the Ancients in appearance. They desperately pleaded with the Ancients to have the aggression removed from their base code, but since the Ancients included a directive in the coding that prevented the Asurans from harming them, they continued the experiment. After the Ancients concluded that they would never become the weapon they desired to create, they launched a massive drone attack on their homeworld in an attempt to destroy them forever, then erased all traces of them in their database. Even after this, a few nanites survived and began replicating, bringing about a second-birth of their kind. When they were discovered by the Atlantis Expedition, the Asuran population had reached the millions, and they had created a society mirroring that of the Ancients, but with cities far grander than even they could have constructed.

The Asurans later became an enemy of the Atlantis Expedition when they realised that the humans were from Earth, and therefore descendants of the Ancients. It also appeared that they were able to modify their own programming due to Rodney McKay's tampering with their base code, eventually making them capable of harming the Ancients.

Attero Device

An extremely powerful weapon built by the Ancient scientist and inventor Janus to inhibit Wraith hyperspace travel. Once activated, it emits subspace interference that destabilizes the formation of Wraith hyperspace windows. As a result, any Wraith ship that enters hyperspace is instantly disintegrated upon entry. The technology was abandoned by Janus because it emits radiation which causes energy to quickly buildup within any active Stargate in the Pegasus galaxy, leading to the destruction of the active gate in a powerful thermonuclear explosion equivalent to twelve nuclear devices. The device is reactivated by a renegade Asgard faction (who care nothing of the lives it extinguishes), but is eventually shut down and destroyed by the Travelers' ship (headed by John Sheppard) so it can never be used again. The control key, however, is taken by the Asgard.

Brain Scan Device ("Ascendometer")

Ancient device used to measure a person's synaptic activity. Designed to work alongside an Ancient DNA Resequencer, the scanner analyzes a subject's current physiological status and feeds the information back into the resequencer. It was able to locate the areas of the brain that were used for advanced abilities such as telekinesis, and was apparently used by the Ancients during their pursuit of Ascension.

One of these scanners was discovered in the lab where Anubis created and experimented on Khalek, a genetic hybrid intended to be the prototype of an Ascended warrior with which Anubis had hoped to defeat the Ancients. After the SGC brought Khalek back to Earth for study, the scanner was brought with them and used to monitor his development. The device was nicknamed "ascendometer" by Colonel Mitchell. Apparently, the device was later sent to Atlantis and used on Rodney McKay after he accidentally manipulated his own DNA.

Clava Thessara Infinitas

The Clava Thessara Infinitas ("Key to Infinite Treasure") is a circular tablet that supposedly holds the location of a cache of Ancient weapons. Daniel Jackson believes it to be a hoax. In "Memento Mori", the Goa'uld Athena abducts Vala Mal Doran and probes her mind in an attempt to find the treasure. In the episode "Bad Guys," SG-1 goes to a planet in search of it, only to end up being mistaken for hostage takers in a museum. In "Dominion", the Clava Thessara Infinitas is used as a pretense in a plan by SG-1 to capture Adria.

Communication Device

A dome device with a blue crystal designed to communicate across galaxies. Daniel Jackson theorized that it could help find Ancients who would share knowledge with them freely. The device allows the exchange of minds between bodies when used in conjunction with communication stones. The receiving body has to be in close proximity of a similar stone to receive the mind. The device draws its power directly from subspace (the same way a ZPM does), and also uses it to allow communication over large distances. According to the number of slots on the device, it can link twelve individuals simultaneously. Placing the stone into a slot at the base of the unit initiates the device, and a blue crystal at the top lights when it is active.

One of these devices was discovered under Glastonbury Tor, and it was subsequently used by Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran. It transported their minds to the Ori galaxy into the bodies of a married couple, Harrid and Sallis. Their minds were sent back by another similar device, but the transfer was cut short by a Prior. Cameron Mitchell and Teal'c eventually destroyed it by throwing it into the Stargate's unstable vortex, bringing Daniel and Vala back. Several months later, Vala Mal Doran contacted the SGC from the Ori Galaxy using the device thanks to the Ori underground resistance, and warned SG-1 about the nearing Ori invasion of the Milky Way. However, the link was cut by her husband Tomin.

Communication Stone

A small stone-like device allowing two individuals with the ATA Gene to periodically see through the other's eyes. When interfaced with a long-range communication device, the stones allow the user to take direct control over the body of another being, but without giving access to the host's memories. The stones have to be activated by someone with the Ancient gene before being used on the long-range communication device, and also have to be in close proximity to the user.

SG-1 retrieved one of these stones from P3R-233, the same planet where the quantum mirror was discovered. The devices were eventually stored in Daniel Jackson's lab above the SGC's briefing room. One of the stones was activated by Jack O'Neill, which established a psychic link with Joe Spencer, a barber from Indiana who owned a similar stone retrieved from an archeological dig in Egypt. Joe was able to see O'Neills memories recalled during O'Neills briefings, and subsequently based several stories on these vision-like experiences. The two stones were later used by Jackson and Vala Mal Doran to access the Ancient long-range communication device. Another two stones were owned by Harrid and Sallis in the Ori Galaxy.

Containment vessel

Device that encapsulates its contents in a layer of subspace. One such device is found on Atlantis in . The Ancients had modified the device to attract and trap an energy creature as part of their research into Ascension.

Controlled Magnetic Harmonic Resonance

Janus invented the device to hide his secret labortary from the other Ancients. He would hit three lights, that would emit tones each time he hit one, and walk right through the wall. According to Rodney McKay, when the tones are emitted, they disrupt the atoms and they form a liquid like state. The magnetic properties keeps the particles together so they don't melt away when the tones are played. Rodney also said that Nikola Tesla was very close to something like this before Thomas Alva Edison trashed his lab.

Dakara superweapon

An extremely powerful device hidden inside a monument on Dakara, which was later turned into a Goa'uld temple. Anubis explains that it was once used by the Ancients to re-create life in the galaxy after a devastating plague.

In "Reckoning", Ba'al informs SG-1 that the Dakara superweapon is capable of destroying all life in the galaxy, and that Anubis intends to use it to repopulate the galaxy according to his own designs. However, Samantha Carter recognizes that it is also the galaxy's only hope against the Replicators. The weapon uses an energy wave that decomposes matter into its constituent parts. She, Selmak, and Ba'al reprogram the device to emit an energy wave matching that of the Replicator Disruptor, and send it through all the Stargates in the galaxy at once to wipe out the Replicators.

In "Threads", after the defeat of the Replicators, Anubis conquers Dakara and almost completes his plan to wipe the galaxy clean. He is stopped at the last moment by Oma Desala. Confronted by how close they came to annihilation, the Free Jaffa Nation agrees to dismantle the device.

However, in "Counterstrike", it is revealed that the weapon was not dismantled. Desperate in their fight against the Ori, the Jaffa High Council authorizes the use of the weapon to eliminate the crew of an Ori mothership, so that it can be captured. Their attack is successful, but the Orici Adria is protected from the weapon by her personal shield. She then takes the mothership to Dakara and destroys the weapon (and entire mountain) from orbit.

DNA Resequencer

The DNA Resequencer, also called the Genetic manipulation device, involves the artificial high-speed evolution of human characters. Characters that had been "resequenced" were described as arriving at an ultra-extreme state of human advancement, granting them what appeared to be superhuman powers. First appearing in the episode , it established a connection between evolution and spirituality in the show.

The device is used almost solely by the villains and the antagonists. The Goa'uld attempted to use the machine to create humans with superpowers to take as hosts. Humans in this advanced state are called "hok'taur", a Goa'uld slang combination of the words "hok" meaning advanced and "tau'ri" meaning human.

The device works by altering a subject's DNA and consequently increasing their brain activity from roughly 10% up to 90% (based on the popular but inaccurate myth that humans only use 10% of their brain at any given time). Depending on the length of time for which the machine was used, various characters were shown to have abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy, super-human senses and strength, supernatural health and self healing, perfect memory, and the power to heal by touch. The show's Ascended beings possessed similar supernatural abilities of the same order but in far more extreme magnitudes and proficiency. It was confirmed in Season 9 of SG-1, that through extreme evolution, such as that provided by the DNA Resequencer, a being would gradually acquire Ascended powers until genuinely Ascending themselves. This solidified the idea that Ascension was the evolutionary target of life in the Stargate universe.

The prop actuality consists of three components. Two of these components are physical but the third is computer generated. The first component is a pedestal that rests on the floor. The actor would stand on the pedestal. This would draw attention to the actor using the device and was also a way to show that they were using it. Above the user was the second component, an orange globe. This was what appeared to be the technological part of the device (at least the first time the device appeared). Later on in the editing process the third component was added, a computer generated energy field which appears to paralyze the user. Additionally, computer generated representations of DNA surround the user.

Drone weapon

Drone Weapons are a hybrid between projectile and energy weapons, and are shaped like a meter-long jellyfish, capable of autonomously targeting and destroying a small vessel, even if the vessel is moving extremely fast. These small projectiles were the Ancient's main type of weapon and were used on Atlantis, Aurora class battlecruisers, Puddle Jumpers and Ancients outposts such as the one in Antarctica. In the Pegasus Galaxy, drones are very rare in the aftermath of the loss of the Ancients' war against the Wraith. They have however been found in Atlantis where only a few dozen drones were left after the siege by the Wraith over 10,000 years ago. A larger supply was found in Atlantis' sister city, that was later used to replenish Atlantis' armory. They are also found on Puddle Jumpers and Aurora class battleships. It is known that the Asurans use drones, but may have a more sophisticated weapon. In the Milky Way, thousands of drones have been discovered in Ancient outposts such as the one in Antarctica on Earth but none were seen on Proclarush Taonas.

As per their name, drones are partially intelligent weapons that are capable of seeking, tracking, and engaging targets on their own accord. Drones are normally controlled by an Ancient Control Chair that reads the operator's mind and can send thousands of drones swarming to attack an entire fleet of targets at once. They appear to be a guided by a central control system using various available sensors and can be controlled either by continuous operator control, or in a fire-and-forget manner. In the episode "Travelers", Aurora-class Battleships are seen to have two separate control chairs, one for controlling the ship, and the other for the firing of drone weapons. It is also shown that drone weapons can be fired at the ship they are launched from, to surgically remove or disable certain sections.

An active drone is enveloped in a bright yellow glow. For normal operations, a ZPM is required, however, in emergency situations a control chair can also be powered using two advanced Mark II Naqahdah generators to allow the launch of Drone weapons (but this is very unreliable because the generators lose power after 3 uses). Drones also need an outside power source, and will even shut down and fall from the sky in mid-flight if this outside power source is disabled. It is unclear exactly what mechanism Drone Weapons use to cause damage to their targets. A drone was observed causing a relatively small explosion on impact, while a swarm of Drones enveloped a Kull warrior while on its way from Anubis' attacking fleet and appeared to disintegrate it entirely. Conversely, two Drone Weapons are enough to completely destroy a Goa'uld Ha'tak if it hits a critical spot and a single drone can seriously damage a Wraith cruiser. Drones have the ability to shield itself from impact with matter to a certain degree. Drones have also been observed passing through ships, with unused ones heading back to their launch site. They can also be used under water.

The episode Harmony reveals that there are a variant of drones called mini-drones. These are a smaller form of drone but share the characteristic yellow glow of the larger form as well as control by thought. It was theorized that these drones are used to guard certain areas against people without the ancient gene, as was the case on queen Harmony's planet where only the wearer of a special ancient "key" can control the mini-drones from the "test site" where the Ancient's developed mini-drone technology, which was perfected in Pegasus while the normal sized drones were invented in the Milky Way.

Electromagnetic field generator

A device located on planet M7G-677 in the Pegasus galaxy, featured in "Childhood's End". Powered by a ZPM, it generates an EM field that disables any technology that comes in range, thus protecting a number of villages on the surface from Wraith cullings.

Gate Overloader

Weapon believed to be constructed by the Ancients, able to target another Stargate and turn its naquadah into a deadly weapon. The enormous weapon would send massive amounts of energy through a Stargate to be stored in the receiving gate. Because the Stargate is a superconductor, it would keep absorbing energy until it can't hold anymore, eventually exploding with a devastating power. The resulting blast would be big enough to destroy Colorado, and the ensuing dust cloud would destroy human life on the planet in question. Due to the energy based nature of the weapon, it is also capable of maintaining an active wormhole between two Stargates indefinitely, or until the targeted gate is destroyed, by supplying a supposedly limitless source of power.

This weapon was used against the Tau'ri by Anubis although the SGC was able to dispose themselves of the gate, transporting it to space before it exploded. The weapon itself was later destroyed by Teal'c, Bra'tac and Rya'c.

Geothermal Drilling Station

The drilling station was a facility located on the planet Lantea and was a mobile structure that existed beneath the oceans of the world. The drilling platform's purpose was to find a weak region of the oceans depths where the crust could be easily penetrated in order to gain access to the geothermal energy present. This would allow the platform to tap this energy for use. It was abandoned by the Ancients after the war with the Wraith. It was discovered by the Atlantis Expedition who began the process of reactivating the station for its original purpose.

The platform was able to add the geothermal energy it gathered to aid Atlantis after the retaliatory strike by the Asurans. It powered the city ship in its escape from the Lantean system, though Dr. McKay anticipated that the station would suffer serious damage during Atlantis' takeoff. However, the stations definite status is unknown.

Healing Device

Device with the power to rejuvenate tissue, restore dead life, and even animate non-living tissue. The device was used by the Goa'uld Telchak to develop the sarcophagus technology thousands of years ago. The device is cube-shaped, covered with inscriptions. The device does cause the side effect of driving humans mad, much the same way a sarcophagus does, but much faster.

After Anubis defeated Telchak, the device remained hidden away beneath a waterfall in Honduras for many centuries, where its effects became the source of the Fountain of Youth mythology. Later, after he ascended, Anubis gained access to the Ancients' own version, technology and was able to construct his which he used to animate an army of Kull warriors. Daniel Jackson and Bill Lee eventually sought the device to develop a weapon that can counter-act the device's life-giving energy, and thus defeat a Kull warrior. When they found the device they were kidnapped by Honduran Guerillas, who then activated the device and soon went mad.

The device would later be mentioned in a proposed plot for Martin Lloyd's Wormhole X-Treme! television movie by Cameron Mitchell, where it transformed everyone present at the SGC into zombies.

Holographic sentry

A hologram used as a security measure by Merlin in his vault in Avalon and at his library in Camelot. The hologram was capable of interacting with people and certain other projected objects, particularly holographic swords, but bullets would pass straight through it when fired at it.

The cavern under Glastonbury Tor was protected by a hologram, designed to resemble a medieval knight, to test the worthiness of those who entered. If the program had determined the visitors to be "worthy", the treasures and hidden technology inside the cave would be revealed. When SG-1 gained access to the cavern, the sentry was eventually defeated by Cameron Mitchell.

Another holographic knight guarded Merlin's library on the planet Camelot, where his research on an anti-Ori weapon, the Sangraal, was kept. Instead of battling those who trespass within the library, the hologram, which was known to the locals as the Black Knight, emerged in the village to incite terror and discourage re-admittance.

When SG-1 visited Camelot in search for more information on the weapon, the hologram almost killed Cameron Mitchell, before Daniel Jackson was able to destroy the control crystals governing the program.

Interdimensional Visibility Device

A cylindrical device believed to be of Ancient origin. Although the complete purpose of the device remains unknown, the device is known to have the ability to allow humans to perceive alien creatures that exist in another dimension. These creatures do interact with our dimension is a limited way, as they appear to be resting on objects we perceive as solid. Anyone who touches the device receives the extra-sensory perception, and becomes able to detect the creatures. This ability is spread via physical contact. The device emits a type of radiation that appears to attract the creatures, and is controlled by reordering the crystals that power the mechanism in various positions.

Apparently, the Ancients constructed the device to study these extra-dimensional creatures millennia ago. In 2003, the device was brought back to Earth by SG-1, after which several SGC personnel began seeing the creatures. The effect was transmitted outside the base, although SG-1 was eventually able to contain the outbreak.

Lagrangian Point defense satellite

Enormous satellite floating in deep space, as large as a Goa'uld mothership, equipped with an energy beam weapon powerful enough to cut a Wraith Hive-Ship in half. Puddle Jumpers can dock with it. Curiously, the satellite does not require a ZPM to fire and can be powered by a Naqahdah generator, storing power in a capacitor from a relatively low charge until it has enough energy to fire.

During the Ancient's war with the Wraith, Atlantis was guarded by a network of these satellites placed at the Lagrangian points to help protect the City from the Wraith. However, during the long war, most satellites were destroyed until only one of them remained, damaged and without power. When the Wraith decided to attack Atlantis again after the Atlantis Expedition had taken up residence there, a team led by Rodney McKay attempted to repair the last satellite to use it to destroy the Wraith fleet. The repairs allowed the weapon to fire once, destroying one Hive-Ship, but the repairs did not hold and the weapon went offline. The satellite was then destroyed by a massive barrage of fire from the remaining ships, killing Grodin, who had stayed behind to operate it.

Life Signs Detector

A PDA-shaped device of Ancient design that can detect and locate life signs of humans, Wraiths, and some signs of radiation and power. It also seems to have other functions that only a person with the ATA gene can access. When used in combination with another, smaller, hand held device, it serves as a medical scanner. The name was introduced by the character Lieutenant Aiden Ford.

In "Rising", the life signs detector was capable of differentiating between human (blue) and Wraith (red) life signs. In "The Siege", Sheppard states that the detector does not differentiate between human life signs.

Molecular construction device

This device was used by Merlin in conjunction with the Repository of the Ancients. The device allowed someone to visualize and design something, using base molecules as a start, and could allow one to make modifications to it as well. The device requires a great degree of concentration by the person controlling it. Merlin used it to work on the Sangraal but his body had deteriorated too much to allow him to finish, so he transferred his memories to Daniel Jackson. Jackson was able to complete two phases of the device, but it took a great deal of his mental concentration, causing more of Merlin's memories to surface.

Observation satellite network

Geosynchronous satellites deployed in a grid pattern above many different planets in the Pegasus Galaxy, designed to monitor and guide human civilizations planted by the Ancients. Information from the satellites are relayed to Atlantis, from which instructions can be given to the planets' inhabitants via terminals on the planets' surfaces. The Ancients abandon the system when they retreat from Pegasus, leaving final instructions to inhibit technological development on those planets so as not to draw Wraith attention. It is discovered by John Sheppard and Rodney Mckay, who misinterpret it as an advanced simulation game and inadvertently almost manipulate the real nations of Geldar and Hallona into a war.

Pendant of Laros

The Pendant of Laros was worn by the young Harmony and other Queens in the royal family in a planet in the Pegasus galaxy. Though seemingly an ordinary pendant, it was actually part of the Ancients technology. Essentially, it was a key, allowing an Ancient gene user to control the mini-drones that were located on the planet with a mental interface device in the ruins. Every Queen that was chosen was required to make a pilgrimage to the Ruined Temple of Laros where the Pendant would glow allowing the Queen to control the mini-drones.

Personal cloaking device

The personal cloaking device consists of a triangular crystal worn around the arm, allowing a user to exist out of phase. Users collectively out of phase can still see and interact with each other. Apparently, the cloaking device works similar to the Ancient device known as Arthur's Mantle, as the cloak's user will be able to interact with someone rendered out of phase by the Mantle, though they would still pass right through them if touched. These devices were mostly used by the Sodan, although the SGC has acquired several of them after the Sodan were exterminated by the Ori.

Personal shield

An Ancient artifact about the size of an apple that sticks to a person when pressed onto them, and then projects a defensive force field around them that deflects all solid and liquid objects and dampens inertia almost to the point of nullifying most of its effects, making the wearer practically invulnerable.

The shield is activated by ATA, and, like most Ancient technology, the personal shield is controlled by the user's mind, although the user must be trained in the mind-control lest his subconscious override his conscious desires in the use of the device. For example, the user may believe he does not need the shield, but his subconscious mind may realize the shield is needed, and the shield will stay active until the danger has passed. In addition, if the subconscious mind realizes that wearing the device places the wearer in a situation that is disliked, the shield will go down. Once a person has activated a shield, only that person can use it in the future. However, on at least one occasion, a personal shield was worn by several users.

The shield can prove problematic to an untrained user. Due to its innate purpose of deflecting solid and liquid objects, the shield can prevent the user from eating or drinking while the device is active. However, experienced users have been known to eat and drink while wearing the shield. Also, as the user still required air to breathe, he would not be protected from drowning, or being buried alive.

Three personal shields have thus far been encountered. One of these devices was discovered in Atlantis and used by Rodney McKay. Its power source was eventually depleted by an energy-absorbing creature. Another personal shield was used by a Rodney "Rod" McKay from an alternate universe to cross over to our universe. A third personal shield was used by Lucius Lavin, although its power source was later also depleted.

Project Arcturus

An experimental project to extract vacuum energy from this universe, which could have potentially replaced Zero Point Modules. Based on the Dorandan homeworld, it failed and the Ancients involved gave their lives to shut it down. The Atlantis Expedition discovers the device but run into the same problem as the Ancients: the device constantly generates new and exotic particles that are fundamentally unpredictable, making it impossible to stabilize. Despite this Rodney McKay tries anyway, causing an overload that destroys 5/6 of the Dorandan star system. The Atlantis team later experiments with shunting the exotic particles to another universe. However, against odds the other universe is inhabited, and an alternate McKay travels to Atlantis to stem the damage being done to his universe.

Replicator Disruptor

The most effective weapon to combat Replicators. It disrupts communication between the individual cells, rendering each one inert. When fired any Replicator in its blast-radius has its individual cells blocked out from each other, causing the robot to fall apart. Whereas standard Replicators could be stopped or halted by the use of projectile weapons, only the Disruptor could stop and kill a human-form-Replicator.

The weapon was created by Jack O'Neill, who had had the entire Ancient Database downloaded into his mind at the time, in conjunction with an Asgard computer. However, after studying the weapon, the Replicators were able to become immune to the device, requiring the recalibration of the disruptor. They were defeated through use of the Ancient weapon on Dakara, modifying it to work on only the Replicators.

Eventually, Area 51 produced a version of the Repicator Disruptor specifically to combat the Asurans. It has been streamlined from the original bulky design to a smaller and more manageable pistol or carbine size, calling it an "Anti-Replicator Gun" or ARG. It has proved to be equally effective on the Asurans.

The actual prop was piston-driven and had a trigger device inside. Because the model shop knew that Richard Dean Anderson would play with it off-screen, they made it extra-robust.

Repository of the Ancients

The Stargate:Ancients' repository of knowledge is a device that stores the collective knowledge of the Ancients. The interface is a metallic circle, with a dark window in the middle, and is usually attached to a wall and has proven to be impossible to remove. The console is designed to allow a human to place his head into it, whereupon the device grabs them by the temples and downloads the entire database into their mind, thus expunging itself of energy. The transfer of knowledge from this device can cause serious problems for beings whose physiology is not prepared to take the mental strain. The device was used on two separate occasions by Jack O'Neill, both times threatening his life; during both of these times, he was able to build a powerful generator. He was also shown to be able to create a weapon capable of defeating any Replicatorsand use healing powers. Daniel was able to control the repository to create and finish the anti-Ori weapon Sangraal.

Ring Transporter

A Stargate:Ring transporter (or ring teleporter) is a transportation device originally developed and used by the Ancients but later manufactured and used almost exclusively by the Goa'uld and their enemy, the Tok'ra. All matter inside the rings is dematerialized and teleported via matter stream to another set of rings in a different location where it is then rematerialized. It consists of five rings (as seen in the TV show) or eight rings (as seen in the movie) that levitate slightly off the ground and stack on top of each other during operation. Most transport rings are identical (apart from the Ori Rings) and are thought to be mass-produced by the Goa'uld in staggering numbers. Each ring transporter platform weighs 12.9 tons, but it is not clear what components are included in the term "platform." The rings are roughly half the diameter of a Stargate and function under similar principles.

The rings move to surround an object or person being transported from a holding platform, which is a cylindrical chamber, contained in either a ceiling compartment or rising up from the floor. The matter within the first set of rings is swapped with the matter in the second set of rings. This seems to conflict with the concept of a unidirectional matter stream. A single set of rings can also be used to transfer matter over short distances, roughly tens of meters.

After a completed transport, the rings move back into their storage platform and deactivate. The rings themselves do not transport. Some ring platforms are portable, and can be moved when they are inactive. They contain sensors that detect other active transport rings in an area. Transport rings are also sometimes used to enter and exit from spacecraft, with one set of rings inside the craft and another set of rings mounted outside the hull. This is commonly seen with the Goa'uld Tel'tak cargo ships and Al'kesh , but the Earth ship Prometheus also uses them in this way. It is possible to intercept a matter stream that is in transport by interposing a set of mobile rings between the sending rings and the planned receiving rings. However, such an intercept requires that the entire matter stream be captured by the intercepting rings; otherwise, the transported people will not be able to fully reintegrate and will die.


The Sangraal, also known as the Holy Grail or the Blood Stone, is a device designed by the Ancient Merlin to neutralize ascended beings. The weapon was designed to combat the Ori. However, the weapon cannot target a specific group of ascendeds but rather wipes all of them out within the weapon's range.

The Holy Grail, as found by SG-1, consists of several devices working together, with a red stone as the "key to make it work". According to Daniel Jackson, the notion that the Grail was a cup or chalice was a late addition to the myth, a myth that according to some chroniclers originally described the Holy Grail as a stone that fell from the heavens.

Exactly how it works is unknown, but the Asgard have surmised its functions. According to Kvasir, it is an energy transfer device, similar to a Zero Point Module, except that the energy is channeled not from sub-space into ordinary space-time, but rather into the dimension occupied by Ascended beings. The energy is some sort of interference; the effect has been described as "two standing waves cancelling each other out".

The Sangraal was launched through the Supergate by Dr. Daniel Jackson and confirmed to have destroyed the Ori.


Shields were used by the Ancients aboard their warships and outposts.

Unlike shields used by other races, the shield of an Aurora class battleship was contoured around the ship, like an extra hull, instead of the ordinary bubble. These shields were incredibly powerful, and had a yellow gold-like color. The Orion's shields were able to withstand a supervolcano's eruption for 4.1 seconds (note that the Orion was not operating at full power and the shields were not receiving much power, so if the shields were at full strength the Orion would presumably have been able to withstand the explosion for considerably longer) while using the eruption to propel it out of its hangar.

A similar shield was used on Ancient City Ships, including Atlantis. This massive dome-like force field protected the City from enemy attacks, extreme weather (such as cyclones and tsunamis), and water pressure when submerged in an the ocean depths. The power required to operate the shield depends heavily on what the shield is doing at the time. When interfaced with a Puddle Jumper's cloak generator, it draws much less power than it normally would, though it offers absolutely no protection other than that of invisibility. During normal operation with no strain, the shield can be sustained by a single ZPM nearly indefinitely. The shield draws a substantial amount of power when under heavy strain. Under attack from several Wraith ships, a single fully charged ZPM was only able to maintain the shield for a short period of time (days). Under the pressure of thousands of feet of water, a single ZPM connected in series will sustain the city shield for a little over three thousand years however the 3 ZPMs are usually used in parallel.

Another important distinction with Ancient shielding technology on Atlantis is the fact that Ancients shields prove to be almost impenetrable as long as sufficient power is maintained to operate them, without the shield itself being weakened regardless of the amount of external forces applied to it. In contrast, the shields of other races, such as the Goa'uld and Asgard, are weakened directly by outside forces, like enemy fire and natural phenomena, causing them to fail or diminish in capacity rather quickly in cases of extreme stress.


The Stargates, called the Astria Porta in Ancient, were created and distributed by the Ancients across several galaxies, along with Dial-Home Devices to control them, forming the Stargate Network. A traveller may use any Stargate to travel almost instantaneously to any other Stargate in the system, so long as he knows that Stargate's 'address,' a combination of at least seven symbols (six for the 3D position and one for the point of origin) that must be entered on the DHD. The Stargate is often considered to be the Ancients most famous creation, and the Ancients are often called the "Gate Builders".

Because the Goa'uld are scavengers, they claimed that they were the builders of the Stargates to make the populations of the planets they enslaved worship them as gods.

Stargate Iris Shield

Much like the iris back at Stargate Command, the Atlantean Stargate is protected by an energy shield that can be activated at the touch of a button to prevent any matter from materializing beyond the event horizon. Installed by the Ancients, the Stargate in Atlantis is protected by a force field that fulfills the same role as the metal iris on Earth. While it was likened to the SGC's iris in "Rising", this force field has since only been referred to as the "shield" by Atlantis personnel, not the "iris". Unlike the iris, however, it is transparent and one can clearly see the suppressed kwoosh and the impact of objects prevented from rematerializing. The Atlantis Shield has yet to be breached by anything. However, in the season 3 episode "The Return, Part Two", a "back-door" that was previously coded into the shield's control system by Dr. McKay allowed him to deactivate it remotely from an off world location and prevented anyone else (including the inhabitants of Atlantis itself) from reactivating it. GDOs and IDCs are still used in Atlantis; they are used by both Atlantis offworld teams and Athosians. It is important to note that the GDOs used by the Atlantis expedition members have been modified from the original.


  • The Ancient City Ships of the Ancients are massive city-sized spacecraft and centers of Ancient civilization. These enormous spacecraft hold many secrets and technology far in advance of that mastered by the Tau'ri. One of these cities, Atlantis, is currently inhabited by a Tau'ri expedition. The city has a shield capable of withstanding most forms of attack, but did not obtain the energy resources necessary to power the shield for over a year, until the arrival of the Daedalus which brought with them a Zero Point Module. It also has the ability to travel through space via stardrive equipped with hyperspace capabilities, or submerge itself beneath an ocean. Although this is not possible without activating certain systems and having three ZPMs, it is, however, possible to disable certain fail-safes to submerge and fly the city with one ZPM.
  • The Aurora class battleships were Ancient battlecruisers used in their war with the Wraith. The ships out-mass the Daedalus class battlecruiser by at least four times, and are far superior to a Wraith Hive-Ship. They contain cryogenic suspension systems to keep their crew alive for an extended period of time, and are armed with Drone Weapons and protected from attacks by powerful shields. They also contain the fastest sublight engines ever seen, being able to travel at 0.999 times the speed of light. They also have the ability to project holograms onto other ships a fair distance away.
  • A Puddle jumper is a cylindrical-shaped spacecraft developed by the Ancients for quick transportation and reconnaissance missions through the Stargate. It has high maneuverability and hovering vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability. The vehicle is equipped with Ancient Drone weapons, inertial dampeners, artificial gravity generators" a cloaking device, and a DHD. Unlike the Goa'uld cargo ship or Wraith dart, it does not possess transporter technology, requiring it to land in order to allow its occupants to disembark. Two other Puddle Jumper were outfitted with a time travel device, one in the Pegasus Galaxy, and another one in the Milky Way, apparently developed by Janus.

Stasis Chamber

A cylindrical device designed to put whoever is in it in suspended animation. However, it can only prolong the aging process. In long periods of times like ten thousand years, the person inside gets so old that, if revived, they will eventually die within a short period of time.

One of these devices was located inside the Ancient outpost in Antarctica, and was used by Colonel Jack O'Neill who put himself in the stasis unit to slow the Ancient knowledge in his brain from killing him. Another stasis chamber was encountered on Atlantis where an alternate version of Elizabeth Weir had survived for 10000 years, reawakening every 3300 years to rotate Atlantis' ZPM. The third and last stasis chamber was encountered by SG-1, and contained Khalek, the prototype of a new type of ascended warrior to destroy the Ancients, created by Anubis.

Similar devices are used on Aurora class battleships, to be used as a last resort for the crew. These stasis chambers were egg-shaped, and required the user to lie down instead of standing up. These pods can be modified so that their occupants can participate in a virtual construct, allowing their minds to remain active during long voyages. The pods interface directly with the ship's computer so the crew may work on tasks while they are asleep, even allowing the alteration and deletion of files from the ships computers.

Another device, similar to the one used by General O'Neill, is found containing Merlin himself, having stayed in suspended animation for thousands of years. SG-1 enlist his help in the creation of the Sangraal.

In the episode The Kindred Carson Beckett entered a stasis pod to prevent death that was being caused by deteriorating cells caused from cloning.


There are several matter teleporters in Atlantis, housed in chambers resembling elevators (though originally confused with storage closets by the expedition). Judging from their function of transposing objects in two separate locations, the teleporters are probably an advancement of the ring platform. Since they are similar tech this means that the ring transporters and the Atlantis transporters can be compatible theoretically. In bases such as the one on Camelot, transporters have been seen that do not require either Obelisks or rings, indicating that the Ancients did possess transporter technology similar to that of the Asgard, in their later era.

"Eye of the Gods"

A large obelisk located not far from the Stargate. The obelisk, called the Eye of the Gods by the Sodan, transports people to another location where a similar transporter is located to get back.

One of these obelisks was located on the Sodan homeworld, and connected the Sodan village to the Stargate, across the Mountains of Dor Tanak. An energy signature was detected within the column of stone, although it remains unknown how the device functions. However, a control crystal is required to activate the obelisk. Without this crystal, the obelisk can be transported to, but cannot transport individuals back.

Morgan le Fay later used transporter obelisks to transport Merlin and those with him to various planets throughout the Milky Way, which also contained command overrides for the DHD and was able to distinguish between a regular human and an Orici.

Time Dilation Device

A device capable of altering the speed at which time passes in an area around itself. The first sighting of time dilation technology in the hands of the Ancients was in the Pegasus galaxy where the Lanteans had constructed a refuge on a planet known as the Cloister which had only one entrance. The entire 'valley' region was engulfed by the time dilation field that accelerated time within its position in order to allow the inhabitants to gain philosophical enlightenment to reach the ultimate goal of ascension. This same field was a potent defensive mechanism as it prevented objects from entering the bubble from orbit as any such object would be destroyed due to the stresses generated by the field. The device was powered by a ZPM.

A second form of the technology was later seen in the Milky way galaxy and was used by Morgan le Fay as one of her tests of a persons prudence in searching for the Sangraal. This model had a set field around the location of the mountain which nearly froze objects that entered its field and was the reason why many human villagers were lost on the quest as they had become trapped within the field. However, as part of the test, a set path was present within the field that allowed movement without being compromised by time dilation.

Time Travel Machine

Device designed by the Ancient scientist Janus. This time machine was shaped to fit in the rear compartment of a Puddle Jumper, and, if used correctly, can transport the entire ship through time. However, the experimental technology was banned by the Atlantean Council, on the grounds that the timeline would be abused by the use of the device.

In an alternate time line, when the Atlantis Expedition originally traveled to the City, the shield began to fail due to lack of power. John Sheppard, Elizabeth Weir and Radek Zelenka became trapped within a Puddle Jumper equipped with the time device. After the Jumper bay flooded, Sheppard tried to pilot the ship, and accidentally activated the time device. Weir traveled back through time to the last days of the Ancient's war with the Wraith, what prompted the Atlantean Council to destroy the prototype.

However, another time device, also presumably constructed by Janus, was discovered on a planet in the Milky Way, where the ship had been abandoned. This Puddle Jumper was eventually used to take SG-1 back to ancient Egypt to steal a Zero Point Module from Ra, accidentally changing history. Fortunately, alternate versions of the members of SG-1 were able to travel back through time and correct history.

A similar device was discovered a few years earlier on another planet in the Milky Way. This was a much larger time machine, which dialed several planets through the Stargate to form a subspace bubble. However, the machine was flawed, and instead of travelling back through time, it created a short-term time loop, which forced the planets that the device dialed to relive the same ten hours over and over again. It is powered by the ionizied atoms in the atomsphere caused by the sun's gigantic solar flares. Two large capacitors start to hum and emit static electricity that is channeled toward the Stargate. The Ancient originally created it to stop the plague that was wiping out their kind, although it eventually only forced them to keep doing the same thing over and over. In the end, they were forced to shut down the device and face their own doom.

Zero Point Module

The Zero-Point Module, abbreviated ZPM, is an Ancient power source used to power their cities and outposts. ZPMs extract vacuum energy from a small artificially-created region of subspace time, and are based on the concept of zero-point energy. ZPMs are more powerful and efficient than even Naqahdah generators or any energy source on Earth, and can last for thousands of years.

The first ZPM is found by Jack O'Neill in the SG-1 season 7 finale "Lost City" at an abandoned Ancient outpost, and is used to power Ancient weaponry left behind on Earth to repel Anubis' attack on Earth. The same ZPM allows Stargate Command to open a wormhole to the Pegasus Galaxy and the city of Atlantis, in the premiere episode of Stargate Atlantis, "Rising". Another ZPM that is on Earth in the SG-1 time travel episode "Moebius" allows Earth to send supplies and reinforcements to Atlantis in "The Siege". The finding and recapturing of ZPMs is a recurring theme on Stargate Atlantis afterwards, to protect the city from attacks and invasion, to power the city for e.g. space travel, and to accelerate Earth starships in-between galaxies. However, ZPMs also have destructive powers, which has been misused by Camulus in SG-1's "Zero Hour", by the Trust Atlantis's "Critical Mass" to destroy Atlantis, and by McKay aboard an Asuran City ship in "Lifeline".

Most of the Atlantis characters (being American) and most of the aliens encountered pronounce ZPM as Zee-P-M (the American way). The team's Canadian scientist, Rodney McKay, on the other hand, pronounces the abbreviation in the Commonwealth fashion, Zed-P-M. Actor David Hewlett stated in an interview that when he was cast as McKay for Atlantis, he talked with the producers how to set his character's Canadian origin apart. In his opinion, there is no such thing as a Canadian accent despite a few differences in pronunciation, which is mirrored in the show in the pronunction of ZPM as "Zed-P-M".


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