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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.

Metal belt from Metsamor site, Armenia. Second century BC.

The Legacy of Armenia: Trade, Metallurgy, and Forging of Precious Metals of the Ancient World

Since ancient times, demand for metals has been a big part of commercial exchange between countries separated by great distance. The Armenian Highland is situated between the Anatolian and Iranian...
This piece of glass, a footed bowl, was blown about 1500 in Venice and enameled in the late 19th century in France.

Expert Reveals Top Secret Venetian Glassblowing Techniques from the Renaissance

Throughout history, some artists, craftsmen and chefs have carefully protected and concealed knowledge about their processes or recipes. One such art was glass-blowing in Venice, where the process...
The Pantheon dome - made entirely out of concrete.

From Chrome Plating to Nanotubes: the ‘Modern’ Chemistry First Used in Ancient Times

The ancient Babylonians were the first to use sophisticated geometry – a staggering 1,400 years before it was previously thought to have been developed. Sadly, these mathematical innovations were...
An ancient Roman road at Leptis Magna, Libya

Ancient Journeys: What was Travel Like for the Romans?

It was not uncommon for the ancient Romans to travel long distances all across Europe. Actually during the Roman Empire, Rome had an incredible road network which extended from northern England all...
The Olbia gear.

Unraveling the Mystery of the Ancient Olbia Gearwheel

The restoration of the gearwheel found in Olbia (Sardinia, Italy) in 2006 by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage, dated between the mid-2nd century and the end of the 3rd century BC, has...
13th Century illustration of Mongols laying siege to a Middle-Eastern city using a trebuchet.

Catapult: The Long-Reaching History of a Prominent Medieval Siege Engine

One of the most iconic images of the European Middle Ages is the castle. This defensive structure was often heavily fortified and provided its inhabitants with much-needed safety. It was usually...
Detail of Augustinus in betrachtendem Gebet.

Armillary Spheres: Following Celestial Objects in the Ancient World

Astronomy is often considered to be one of the oldest branches of science. In many ancient societies, astronomical observations were used not only for the practical job of determine the rhythm of...
A volvelle from a 14th century English manuscript is on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Volvelle: The paper machine designed to calculate the time and compute the truth of religion

What if you could design a moving device from paper that invoked logical proofs and God’s attributes to settle religious disputes? Or what if you were able to make something more practical—a paper “...
Mosaic depicting Persian Archers

The Master Archers of the Powerful Achaemenid Empire

In the ancient Near East, archery became the predominant means of launching sharp projectiles, replacing spear-throwing. The history of archery, however, may have originated further down south during...
Ancient wax figures

Eerie Ancient Wax Sculptures for Hexing Enemies, Destroying Demons, and Remembering the Dead

The eerie, sightless stare of wax-figure mannequins disconcerts many an onlooker, but the famous wax museums of today which host hyper-realistic looking wax models of celebrities and historical...
Chan Chan, Peru (Wikimedia Commons). Inset: The enigmatic ancient communication device.

1,200-year-old telephone, amazing invention of the ancient Chimu civilization

The thousand-year-old telephone, a marvel of ancient invention, surprises almost all who hear about it. Reportedly found in in the ruins of Chan Chan, Peru, the delicate communication artifact is...
The mummified remains of Usermontu, Rosicrucian San Jose Museum

Medical Mystery of Usermontu: Why the Discovery of 2,600-Year-Old Knee Screw Left Experts Dumbfounded

In 1971, the Rosicrucian Museum in California acquired a sealed ancient Egyptian coffin containing the well-preserved mummy of a high status Egyptian male. More than two decades later, a team of...
A section of a Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD) fresco of 9 chariots, 50 horses, and over 70 men, from a tomb in Luoyang, China, which was once the capital of the Eastern Han.

Power and Prestige across Asia: A History of Chariots, Part II

Read Part I: Superweapon of the Ancient World: A History of Chariots According to written sources from ancient China, the chariot is reported to have been first used during the Xia dynasty. A Xia...
Pharaoh Tutankhamun riding a chariot

Superweapon of the Ancient World: A History of Chariots - Part I

The chariot is often associated with the ancient Egyptian civilization. It became a prominent weapon of war during the New Kingdom. In fact, it is often considered a superweapon of the ancient world...
Sketches of inventions by Leonardo da Vinci

Ancient Magic: The Illusions Created in Temples by Amazing Inventions

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times Imagine you’re in an ancient temple, dimly lit by rays of sunlight peaking in. A worshipper lights a fire on the altar, and steps back. A statue beside the altar begins...

Eight Impressive but Terrifying Cases of Ancient Surgery

It is hard to fathom the way in which invasive surgery was carried out prior to the development of modern anaesthesia, but ancient people around the world have been cutting and drilling into the...

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