Archeology Technology X-Files

10 Ancient Inventions You Thought Were Modern

10 Ancient Inventions You Thought Were Modern

Some of the greatest inventions known to mankind came to light only after the industrial revolution. Since it was an important part of history, we were taught that most of the significant inventions were done only after the industrialisation. It might not be true, as there are some ancient inventions that you probably thought were modern. Certain things you use today were probably used by the humans even thousands of years back.

The list of ten such inventions is below:

1 – Plywood

The earliest known occurrence of plywood is probably thousands of years back in 3000 BC. It belongs to the era when wooden articles were made from sawn veneers glued together crosswise. Originally done because of the shortage of wood, the structural benefits were discovered incidentally.

2 – Plumbing

In the urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization, around 2700 BC, the earthenware plumbing pipes with broad flanges appeared. Plumbing apparently originated in the Indian, Chinese, Indus, Roman and Persian civilisations where there were public baths made.

3 – Ice Skates

Surprisingly, Finns were the first to come up with ice skates made of animal bones, according to a research done by Federico Formenti, University of Oxford, and Alberto Minetti, University of Milan. Although, the first skate to use a metal blade was found in Scandinavia, with a thin copper strip of copper.

4 – Perfume

Tapputi was a perfume maker and the world’s first chemist, who was mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the second millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Recently scientists discovered the world’s most ancient perfumes dating back to about 4000 years ago. They found some 60 stills, mixing bowls, funnels and perfume bottles.

5 – Metrology and Calibration

A sophisticated system of standardisation was developed by the Indus Valley civilisation, using weights and measures. Calibrations were also found along with the measuring devices. Also, the earliest forms of metrology were simply arbitrary standards set up by regional or local authorities. Metrology has existed since ages.

6 – Lenses

The Nimrud lens, unearthed by Austen Henry Layard, is a 3000 year old piece of rock crystal, which may have been used as a magnifying glass, or as a burning-glass. The Italian scientist Giovanni Pettinato, claimed that this lens was used by the ancient Assyrians as part of their telescope. This could also explain the reason behind Assyrians having so much knowledge about astronomy.

7 – Central Heating

The central heating systems have been used by the cities in the Roman civilisation since 1,000 BC. This system conducted air, heated by furnaces, through the empty spaces under the floors, and out of pipes in the walls. It is also known as hypocaust. It was used to heat the public baths and private houses by raising the walls above ground with pillars and keeping the inside of the wall empty, for the air to fill. Similar central heating system was claimed to be used in ancient Korea, where it was known as ondol.

8 – Cataract Surgery

The early Hindu scriptures and Bible showed the records of cataract surgery. Sushruta, the Indian physician in 6th century BC, knew this surgery. In India, this surgery was performed with a special tool known as the Jabamukhi Salaka.

9 – Dentist’s Drill

The Indus Valley Civilisation shows evidences of dentistry with a tooth, about 9000 years old, and with a 3.5 mm concentric cavity. It is claimed that the ancient people used a bow drill for dentistry.

10 – Plastic Surgery

Surprisingly, nose-reconstruction operations were apparently performed in the ancient India as early as 2000 BC, when amputation of nose was a form of punishment. Plastic surgery is one of the most ancient forms of surgery practiced. Some links of such surgery also appears in ancient Greek and Roman tracts.


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