In prehistoric times, advice and knowledge was passed from generation to generation in an oral tradition. The development of writing enabled knowledge to be stored and communicated across generations with much greater fidelity. Combined with the development of agriculture, which allowed for a surplus of food, it became possible for early civilizations to develop, because more time could be devoted to tasks other than survival.
Many ancient civilizations collected astronomical information in a systematic manner through simple observation. Though they had no knowledge of the real physical structure of the planets and stars, many theoretical explanations were proposed. Basic facts about human physiology were known in some places, and alchemy was practiced in several civilizations. Considerable observation of macrobiotic flora and fauna was also performed.
Science in India
Main article: Science and technology in ancient India
Ancient India was an early leader in metallurgy, as evidenced by the wrought-iron Pillar of Delhi.
Mathematics: The earliest traces of mathematical knowledge in the Indian subcontinent appear with the Indus Valley Civilization (c. 4th millennium BCE ~ c. 3rd millennium BCE). The people of this civilization made bricks whose dimensions were in the proportion 4:2:1, considered favorable for the stability of a brick structure. They also tried to standardize measurement of length to a high degree of accuracy. They designed a ruler—the Mohenjo-daro ruler—whose unit of length (approximately 1.32 inches or 3.4 centimetres) was divided into ten equal parts. Bricks manufactured in ancient Mohenjo-daro often had dimensions that were integral multiples of this unit of length.
Indian astronomer and mathematician Aryabhata (476-550), in his Aryabhatiya (499) introduced a number of trigonometric functions (including sine, versine, cosine and inverse sine), trigonometric tables, and techniques and... [continues]
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