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Ancient Technology

Dating back thousands of years are numerous examples of ancient technology that leave us awe-struck at the knowledge and wisdom held by people of our past. They were the result of incredible advances in engineering and innovation as new, powerful civilizations emerged and came to dominate the ancient world. These advances stimulated societies to adopt new ways of living and governance, as well as new ways of understanding their world. However, many ancient technology mysteries were forgotten, lost to the pages of history, only to be re-invented millennia later. Here we feature ancient technology history and dozens of amazing artifacts that reflect the brilliance of ancient minds.

Medieval style bathing depicted in calligraphy of a book circa 1400.

Medieval Hygiene Might Have Been Better Than You Think

The Medieval period is usually perceived as a time in Europe during which the greater part of the continent was in decline. In many aspects of Medieval society, the quality of life was inferior as...
Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.

Why Are There 365 Days in a Year? Organizing Dates with an Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two...
The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes

Bronze Artifacts Found in 3,100-Year-Old Tomb Tell of Dynastic Take Over

Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which...
Romanian Postage stamp design 1989 with Conrad Hass, Austrian military engineer with an early rocket design.

Conrad Haas’ Flying Javelin: Yes, It Is 16th Century Rocket Science

Conrad Haas was a military engineer who lived during the 16 th century. Not much is known for certain about Haas’ life, in fact, he was largely forgotten by history. But this changed in 1961, when a...
Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an, China.

Terracotta Army Weapons Were Genuine, Military Grade and State of the Art

It was 1974, Xi’an, China and one of the most phenomenal archaeological discoveries ever occurred. It was the moment when more than 8000 full scale warriors cast of clay were reintroduced to the...
Plague Doctor Mask, Steno Museum

The Secrets Behind the Plague Doctor’s Terrifying Costume

The plague doctor is arguably one of the most enigmatic figures to have emerged from the Middle Ages. These were European physicians who specialised in treating victims of the plague, the best known...
Bologna, San Petronio: Meridian of Giandomenico Cassini

Synchronizing Science and Religion? Why We Find Solar Observatories and Astronomical Features in Churches

It is often assumed that science and faith are always at loggerheads with each other. This, however, is a common misconception, as there are numerous instances demonstrating the co-existence and co-...
Looking up inside a Yakhchal

Ancient Advanced Technology: 2,400-Year-Old Yakhchals Kept Ice in the Desert

The ancients were cleverer than some people today assume. They didn’t have rockets or electricity, at least no indisputable proof has been found of such technologies, but they did come up with...
The Viking weaver’s sword found at the South Main Street dig in Cork

1,000-year-old Viking Sword in Extraordinary Condition Discovered in Ireland

A 1,000-year-old wooden Viking weaver’s sword has been unearthed by archaeologists at the historic site of the former Beamish and Crawford brewery in Cork city, Ireland. Experts describe the sword as...
A cowboy boot in a horse’s stirrup.

Giddyap! How the Stirrup Revolutionized Horseback Riding and Helped Build Empires

Seemingly simple, yet oh so significant - the stirrup is an invention that changed the history of the world. The emergence of the stirrup revolutionized the way horses were ridden and consequently re...
Tar collected in a birch bark container from the pit roll experiment, a technique which uses glowing embers placed over a roll of bark in a small pit.

How Neanderthals Made the Very First Glue 200,000-Years-Ago

The world's oldest known glue was made by Neanderthals. But how did they make it 200,000 years ago? Leiden archaeologists have discovered three possible ways and published their findings in...
Five carved stone spheres from Scotland held at the Ashmolean Museum

Geometric Stone Spheres of Scotland: Part 2 – Explanations From Platonic Solids to Sexual Healing

The purpose of these, predominantly Scottish in origin, spheres is unknown, although simple theories range from projectiles to predictive devices and more. But the sophistication of their design and...
Figure 1. Geometric stone spheres. (Photo Credit: Martin Morrison, taken at Hunterian Museum, Glasgow)

Geometric Stone Spheres of Scotland: Part 1 – More Than A Projectile - What Possible Purpose 5,000-years Ago?

“O nly in the period when Megalithic Man was setting out the sophisticated stone rings has a sufficiently high standard of mathematical knowledge and skill ever been reached before the fifteenth...
Detail of a rattle, 1100-1470 AD, Chimu, north coast Peru, gold or gold-plated silver - Art Institute of Chicago.

Golden Years: Metal Coating Techniques Used 2000 Years Ago Outshine Modern Methods

Ancient technology used by craftsmen 2000 years ago to apply thin films of metal onto their statues surpassed modern standards for producing DVDs, solar cells, and electronic devices. It makes you...
Grinding stone, Dendera Temple, Egypt.

The Evidence is Cut in Stone: A Compelling Argument for Lost High Technology in Ancient Egypt

Most people know of the great construction achievements of the dynastic Egyptians such as the pyramids and temples of the Giza Plateau area as well as the Sphinx. Many books and videos show...
The Medieval ring found in Kavarna, Bulgaria (Image: Kavarna Municipality)

Jewelry to Die For: 14th-Century Bulgarian Ring with a Killer Dose

When a medieval ring was uncovered by Bulgarian archaeologists excavating the remains of the medieval fortress on Cape Kaliakra, near the town of Kavarna on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, they were...

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