Technology in Ancient Egypt
May 30, 2009
The ancient Egyptians utilized many basic methods of science and technology over the course of their culture’s era. You can find examples of these marvels in practically any aspect of their workings. From architecture to agriculture, medicinal practices and time keeping, one thing is for sure, they set a tone for the progression of technology over the centuries. Without these basic beginnings, we would not have what we have today.
The land of Egypt did portray ancient technology, which no one after their civilization, has been able to copy or even come close to understand. The ancient Egypt technology did not look like our industrial machine world; they seem more involved with the nature of what surrounded them. When we think of high technology today, we see something like computers, iPhones and skyscrapers.
Yet it is rather interesting that our perceptions are limited in the time period that we ourselves live in. Of course there was ancient Egyptian technology, and some of it is rather obvious, but our modern perceptions might prevent us from seeing it.
One of the great wonders of the ancient world is the pyramids. The pyramids are huge structures built of brick or stone, some of which are among the largest constructions by humans. Pyramids functioned as tombs for pharaohs. Many pyramids and temples are still standing today and could be mistaken for architecture of a much later time period. A time where many more resources and advanced machinery was available. Simple ramps, sleds and levers are the most obvious method for large scale pyramid construction, despite the fact that ramps were dismantled and the evidence of their existence is slim. Artifacts and customs of their time have passed from generation to generation for thousands of years. It was careful planning and patient, back-breaking heave-ho that got the pyramids up. (“Mysteries of ancient,” 2011) The Ancient Egyptians capped the peaks of their pyramids with gold and covered their faces with polished white limestone, although many of the stones used for the finishing purpose have fallen or been removed for use on other structures over the millennia.
Ancient Egyptians were not in a hurry. They built monuments and whole cities dedicated to pharaohs and deities. Those kinds of projects did not go up overnight like they seemingly do in modern cities such as Dubai. There were no cranes, trucks or computerized this and that to fast track the job. Instead they had basic straight-rules and plumb-bobs for keeping things square and planning their designs. Cutting the limestone blocks in the quarries with primitive hammer - chisel setups, drills and saws would have made production extremely slow. ("Epic eras," 2008)
And, just how did ancient Egyptians keep track of time? They invented the 365-day calendar. They used the sun to keep track of the days throughout the years and divided the year into three seasons of four months. Each month had 30 days and their year had 360 days. The ancient Egyptians also used shadow clocks. The first ones were obelisks in which the moving shadows formed a kind of sundial to help tell time. Another type of clock that was used is a water clock. A water clock sounds very complicated, but really it’s not. It is a little stand with a pot on the top of the stand and a pot at the bottom of the stand. The pot at the top of the stand had a hole drilled in the side. This pot was then filled with water and the water would flow out of the top pot down to the bottom pot. When the water was at a certain level, it was a certain time. The only disadvantage to the water clock was that you had to keep refilling it. The sundial was also used. It was basically a circle with numbers written around it with...
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