In ancient times numerous civilizations had unique examples of technology that would leave people of our day and age impressed by, with wisdom was held by our ancestors. Ancient Egypt is one of many of these ancient civilizations to show how incredible mankind can become when it comes to basic building blocks of how we construct buildings, take care of distant farmland, written literature, hygiene, and many more. However, many of these facts have been lost to the pages of time, only to be re-constructed centuries later, and recognized by scholars as time goes on due to the fact discoveries are made almost every year dealing with Egypt.
Consequentially, Egypt has developed many aspects within our world today, so from the massive list of findings, it’s tough to say where to begin. One of these great inventions of Egyptians happened later in history and that is they used what is called a solar calendar. A solar calendar splits the seasons and adds days to praise their deities. However, some may not know in this cycle Egyptians divided the months into three periods of ten days, in which translates into the daily regimen of seven days residing within a week, at the last two days of each ten days was counted as a holiday, and in which counts as our weekends. Therefore, five additional days were added by the conclusion of each calendar year to celebrate five Egyptian gods such as Horus, Isis, Nephthys, and finally Osiris. Throughout each of these gods’ birthdays, the people didn’t have to work. Plus, these days were suggestively added to make the adoption of this calendar more consecutively precise with the segments of the year for manageable purposes.
Another great advancement was creating the plow in 4000 B.C. A small but useful device to help tend to the fields for peasant farmers to raise various types of crops. This tool most likely was forged by various hand tools, which made them light, however, these scratch plows were deemed ineffective since they could barely scratch the surface of the ground. Therefore, they had to make countless variations until they perfected the tool for oxen to plow fields more effectively, thus, proves that the Egyptians were revolutionary when it came to be farming in the desert. Along with this technic of farming the people were smart to have farms, primarily around the Nile River, which made farming generally easier for peasants unlike any other society of its era.
The next Invention that ancient Egypt deals with the advancement or creation of numerous household goods. The first of these goods was the simple development of a handheld mirror that is found in many households today. These mirrors were decorated with many kinds of writings and sometimes found with different types of figures of Egyptian Pharaohs or gods. However, they also made more decorative wall mirrors that were mainly used by the middle to upper-class citizens. The Egyptians were very self-conscious about how they looked and their self-hygiene because they saw it was very important to look their best in public. Therefore, leads to their next invention of toothpaste and what we could only interpret as a toothbrush. The ancient people developed these important bits of hygiene because unwanted materials like sand and grit would sadly get in their daily meals between their baked bread and harvested vegetables. This would lead to many dental issues, thus, the ancient society had to develop dentistry to keep up with these pesky issues. The paste Egyptians used for their teeth cleaning was a mix of pepper, dried iris petals, mint, and rock salt. Consequentially, this mixture was terrible for the gums because they caused them to bleed, thus, later on, the recipe was changed to only be a mix of spices such as frankincense and cinnamon heated with honey, but this new mixture when cooled became something new and that is becoming the ancient world’s first signs of breath mints. However, that’s not all the household goods that this ancient civilization has created. In 3000 B.C, the ancient people discovered that mixing copper and tin ore they forge bronze, this new material would make its way into tools, armor, weapons, decorative pieces, and building materials. They forged detailed bronze statues of gods and Pharaohs to worship in small household shrines.
Though these new advances may have its perks, it still does not match up with Egyptians homes one thousand years earlier in 4000 B.C the ancient civilization developed the first known door locks, which was a basic pin tumbler style lock. This device was a hollowed-out bolt that resides in the door and it was linked together with multiple pins that may be interacting with the insert of a special key. When the specific key hit these pins upward, pushed away from the primary lock shaft system otherwise known as the bolt it would allow the door to be opened. However, as useful as these locks were, they had one major drawback and that was the sheer size of them. The largest ones in length were estimated to be two feet long, but being big was helpful to these doors because that made them much more secure with their semi-complicated design.
The Egyptian people also developed and made use of canals and irrigation systems to direct water from rivers to aid in distant farmland development. They did this by building massive gates into the canals to make it easier to control the waters flow, and in case of drought, they built great reservoirs to hold water. Plus, the ancient people also developed their version of the water wheel called shadoofs. These devices were built with a long pole that was connected to a bucket on one side and the other, a weight was placed. These pails went into the water of the Nile river, loaded up with fluid, and re-surfaced by using the developed water wheel, which was raised by mighty oxen to swing the pole of liquid into empty waterways to send its way to farmlands that needed to grow crops.
Egyptians for many years used obelisks as their unique form of sundials. During the day they would observe the shadows cast by these pillars moving across the ground, at night they would use something called a water clock. This device was constructed with a stone-like vase with a small hole on its bottom surface. It worked like this when the water slowly dripped through the bottom hole at a constant rate, thus, simulating the passing of time, which was configured by markings carved within this vase when it’s collecting water. The Water clock was used mainly to help keep time for ancient to perform numerous religious tasks.
They even invented papyrus sheets. Papyrus sheets are a unique form of Egyptian paper made from a local plant known as papyrus. The plant grew to be stiff and reddish within the marshland surrounding the Nile. It was tough and felt like a type of fiber that “proved ideal for making durable sheets of writing material, along with sails, sandals, mats and other necessities of ancient Egyptian life.” (Atteberry & Kiger, 10) Therefore, once these sheets were created, they would most of the time be merged with scrolls to have music, religion, literature, and everything else written within them. This long-drawn-out task of producing the paper substance was kept secret to allow trade throughout Egypt. This leads to the next enhancement in writing text created by the Egyptian people between 6000 to 3000 B.C pictograms or as commonly known as hieroglyphics. These Pictograms at first were made of simple representation through carving or painting in sacred places, scrolls, and in or on other items, however, later Egyptians inserted more art in their way of writing, and which were more like alphabet style characteristics. The previously mentioned characteristics were included to represent tole tails and other outside characters to allow the people to compose their names and thoughts.
However, the main subject in today’s society deals with how the Egyptians building their massive structures such as pyramids, obelisks, and their many other sacred monuments. Consequently, the ancient civilization was mainly known for building the pyramids since these great structures symbolize ancient Egypt. These structures that lie within the desserts of Giza remain impressive for thousands of years. These structures took plenty of ancient tools to ship the supplies and construct them. They developed large boats to move the limestone rocks from the riverbanks and developed large sledges to have workers push or pull the giant mudstones to pyramid work sites. Which was their version of primitive technology to move these materials to locations within a fast pace of time, in early Egyptian illustrations depict water being tossed in front of these sledges to probably help ease the burden of dragging these stones? Thus, after the stones have been delivered a sloping ramp would be drawn together along with two staircases and wooden pillars. These pillars would have ropes to work like a pulley system created to ease the pain of moving the giant blocks of rock, a sled was constructed to aid in moving the blocks up steep structures or inclines in aiding with massive building projects.
Therefore, it’s clear that ancient Egypt has a decent number of unique examples of technological advances to be appreciated, understood by the wisdom that created them. These ancient civilizations are a crowning achievement of what mankind can stride for as our knowledge of building improves as the tethers of time goes on, whether it’s improving farm life, basic literature, home goods dealing with decorations and dental hygiene there’s just so much more we can learn from our ancestors that shows more than meets the eye. Which, as Archaeologists find lost scripts and artifacts that detail secrets of lost formulas and blueprints it broadens the horizon of what time has yet to teach us about how intelligent our ancestors once were and what they possibly can be still teaching us from beyond the veil of life itself.
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- Atteberry, J., & Kiger, P. J. (2020, January 27). 10 Amazing Ancient Egyptian Inventions. Retrieved from https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/inventions/5-amazing-ancient-egyptian-inventions5.htm
- Atteberry, J., & Kiger, P. J. (2020, January 27). 10 Amazing Ancient Egyptian Inventions. Retrieved from https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/inventions/5-amazing-ancient-egyptian-inventions9.htm
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