The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 3: Science in Antiquity
Head of Sumerian Queen Puabi. ( The Commons )
Textiles from Tutankhamen’s tomb were made out of linen thread so thin that no modern machine or man can reconstruct them. Tutankhamen´s knife was also unique as it was made from meteorite iron.
Linen Kerchief from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache . ( Metropolitan Museum of Art )
For some reason, the skill of jewelry making and architecture in ancient Egypt was more advanced in earlier periods. Among the pyramids in Egypt, the first structures are superior in workmanship. The wave of progress markedly starts downwards in Egypt after 1300 BC.
In 3100 BC, King Menes of Egypt carried out a vast engineering scheme of diverting the course of the Nile in order to build his capital, Memphis. No kingdom had ever attempted to execute such a gigantic project as this.
Artist's depiction of the white walls of the Great Temple of Ptah at Memphis. ( Public Domain )
Ancient Interior Plumbing
Although porcelain flush-toilets are not necessarily a mark of high culture, they do prove the presence of developed technology and sanitation. Only 200 years ago, they were conspicuous by their complete absence. Yet, 4000 years ago private toilets with a central system of stone drains and ceramic pipes were common in the city of Knossos, Crete. The rooms of the Palace of Minos were also ventilated through air shafts. With its air-conditioned chambers, excellent bathrooms and toilets, the palace was not only modern but large – as large as Buckingham Palace in England.
Artist’s representation of the Palace at Knossos. (Mmoyaq/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
Pipes for hot and cold water have been found in tiled bathrooms at Chan Chan, the capital of the Chimu Empire in South America, which flourished in the 11th-15th centuries. Ancient epics of India describe similar scientific accomplishments by the early people of the land of the Gagnes.
- The Book of Abramelin the Mage, Esoteric Grimoire of Kabbalistic Knowledge
- Mirrors of Orion: Star Knowledge of the Ancient World – An Introduction
- The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 2
The ancient ruins of Chan Chan. ( Véronique Debord-Lazaro /CC BY SA 2.0 )
These achievements by the people of antiquity were not surpassed in later centuries. In the Dark Ages mankind experienced a fall in scientific progress and it is only during the last 300 years that science began to pick up again.
Achievements in Transport
The first cart and first boat were built by the Sumerians in the 4th millennium BC. The next big leap in transportation came only in 1802, when the steam vessel was constructed, and the first train followed in 1825. This acceleration in technology and transport climaxed with the invention of the airplane in 1903 and the first manned flight in a spaceship in 1961.
A depiction of an onager-drawn cart on the Sumerian "battle standard of Ur." ( Public Domain )
After the voyage of Apollo 8 to the moon, the New York Times gave the real credit for this historic feat to men of many countries and centuries before – Eculid, Archimedes, Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, and many others.
It is wise to see our achievements in this light because behind our atomic scientists stands Democritus. Our aviation and astronautics engineers also had a predecessor in antiquity – Heron with his jet. Behind our cyberneticists hover Daedalus with his automatons and robots. The source of modern science lies far away in time.
Democritus (by Hendrick ter Brugghen). ( Public Domain )
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Top Image: The Flammarion engraving. Source: imgur
By Sam Boström