Boats, Bowling and Moldy Bread: Curious Achievements Ancient Egypt Shared With the World
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Toy cat Egypt New Kingdom Thebes. (Mary Harrsch/ CC BY NC SA 2.0 )
Machines and Medicine
The Egyptians had a basic means of transportation which resembled today's pedaling bicycle. They also had horse-drawn chariots which were used in warfare. Apart from this, they invented a few of the most well-known simple machines. Among them were the ramp and the lever. These devices aided the ancient builders in forming some of their grandest architectural feats. The fundamental concepts of these two simple machines continue to be employed in modern construction equipment.
An ancient Egyptian chariot. ( Public Domain )
The Egyptians were also interested in health, and they discovered beneficial treatments for certain ailments in very interesting ways. For example, ancient Egyptian doctors put moldy bread on gashes and cuts, keeping the wounds clean and allowing them to heal. This worked because bread mold usually produces penicillin, which destroys bacteria. They also took poppy seeds, which contain morphine and codeine, as extreme painkillers. All three of these - penicillin, morphine, and codeine - are still widely applied in the field of medicine to this day.
As you can plainly see, ancient Egypt was a fairly advanced and most assuredly a powerful civilization for its time. Without these notable developments (and others) from Egypt, our modern world and all its history would be extremely different and lacking.
Top Image: Part of an ancient Egyptian statue. Source: CC BY SA 3.0
By John Tuttle
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