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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.

Ancient Prosthetics

The ancient origins of Prosthetics

In the field of medicine, a prosthesis is a man-made device used to replace a missing body part. Although one may think that the use of prosthetic devices is a modern phenomenon, it was already in...
Trundholm Sun ‘Chariot’

The astronomy of the Trundholm Sun ‘Chariot’

The Trundholm Sun ‘Chariot’ is a bronze and gold artefact pulled out of a bog on the Danish island of Sjælland in 1902. Even though this artefact is said to belong to the Nordic Bronze Age (c. 1700-...
The Ben Cao Gang Mu - Compendium of Materia Medica

The Ben Cao Gang Mu - Compendium of Materia Medica

The Ben Cao Gang Mu is an encyclopaedic compendium written by LI Shi-zhen (1518-1593), a Chinese doctor who lived during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This compendium is said to be the most complete...
The Kangyur Written with 9 Precious Stones

The Kangyur Written with 9 Precious Stones

Buddhism was founded over two and a half millennia ago in India by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha (Sanskrit for ‘awakened one’). Like the practitioners of Hinduism, Buddhists believe in the concept...
Ten amazing inventions from ancient times

Ten amazing inventions from ancient times

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...
The Nebra Sky Disc

The Secrets of the Nebra Sky Disc

The Nebra Sky Disc is a 3,600-year-old bronze disc which, according to UNESCO, features "the oldest concrete depiction of cosmic phenomena worldwide." The disc is such an extraordinary piece that it...
Rice Mortar in China

Ingenious use of sticky rice mortar in Ancient China

Ancient Chinese culture has made great contributions to humanity. The ‘Four Great Inventions of China’ – the compass, gunpowder, paper, and printing – are still being used extensively today. “Sticky...
Aeolipile by Hero of Alexandria

The ancient invention of the steam engine by the Hero of Alexandria

In our society today we are often surprised and impressed by the advancement of technology and engineering, a major characteristic of our civilisation. However if we look back more than 2,000 years...
Baghdad Battery as a medical device

Was the Baghdad Battery a medical device?

Through the ages history books have taught us that mankind was ignorant of technology and medicine in ancient times. But there are archaeological and textual clues saying otherwise. In the Journal of...
Acharya Kanad

The Indian Sage who developed Atomic Theory 2,600 years ago

John Dalton (1766 – 1844), an English chemist and physicist, is the man credited today with the development of atomic theory. However, a theory of atoms was actually formulated2,500 years before...
Assyrian Nimrud lens

Is the Assyrian Nimrud lens the oldest telescope in the world?

The Nimrud lens is a 3,000-year-old piece of rock crystal, which was unearthed by Sir John Layard in 1850 at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq. Since its discovery over a century ago...
Ancient Chinese Earthquake detector - Zhang (‘Chang’) Heng

The incredible earthquake detector invented nearly 2,000 years ago

Although we still cannot accurately predict earthquakes, we have come a long way in detecting, recording, and measuring seismic shocks. Many don’t realise that this process began nearly 2000 years...
Dujiangyan Irrigation System

The legacy of Dujiangyan: China’s ancient irrigation system

Dujiangyan is the oldest and only surviving non-dam irrigation system in the world, and a wonder in the development of Chinese science. Built over 2,200 years ago in what is now Sichuan province in...
Antikythera Mechanism

The incredible inner workings of ancient Antikythera mechanism explained

The Antikythera mechanism is one of the most amazing mechanical devices discovered from the ancient world. For decades, scientists have utilized the latest technology in attempts to decipher its...
Stone Age sea travel

The Discovery that Revealed Ancient Humans Navigated the Seas 130,000 Years Ago

It was a few years ago that a Greek-American archaeological team made a startling discovery – they found the oldest indications of seafaring and navigation in the world, in an area called Plakia on...
Brain Surgery during Ancient Times

Brain Surgery in Ancient Times

Hippocrates describes many operations of the brain during ancient Greek times. However, it is one thing to have something written and another thing to find concrete evidence that proves that such...

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