seojiwo June 19, 2023 0 Comments

Ancient Technologies You Won’t Believe

Technology has boomed over the last 100 years. We know more and can do more than ever before. As Nikola Tesla said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of existence”. From breakthroughs in aeronautics and aerospace to mobile technology and the internet, we have advanced an awful lot, awfully quickly. We are able to produce an exact map of the stars, set to any date since 1900.

1 – Greek Fire

Greek fire was not invented by the Ancient Greeks, but the Byzantine Greeks in the 7th century CE and it was an invention imported from the Middle East. It could be used both on land and at sea to devastating effect. The exact composition of Greek fire is unknown, but it is likely to include naphtha and quicklime, as it would ignite when it made contact with water. Terrifyingly, sailors were unable to put out the flames as water did not help.

2 – The Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek computer, used to predict astrological movements, as well as determine the dates and times of various games, including the Olympic Games. It was discovered in 1901 among the wreckage of a trading ship and has been dated to around 100 BCE.

The Antikythera mechanism is the first known example using scientific dials and used 30 gear wheels. The level of complexity behind this geared mechanism was not matched for a further millennium – until medieval cathedral clocks were built. The drive train for tracking the Moon’s position is extremely sophisticated, using epicyclic gearing and a slot-and-pin mechanism to mirror the variations in the Moon’s movement across the sky.

3 – The Great Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is one of three huge pyramids on a large plain, west of Cairo, built around 4500 years ago. From the time of Herodotus to the modern day, people have speculated at how they were built. The Egyptians of the time are believed to have had only rudimentary tools, they were unfamiliar with the wheel, they had no machinery such as cranes, a limited knowledge of astronomy and only copper tools. It seems that it was achieved with brute force – a huge amount of labourers who would have taken around 20 years to complete each pyramid.

4 – Non-Rusting Iron Pillar of Delhi

Delhi is home to an iron pillar, over one thousand years old, which has never rusted. Not until in the invention of Stainless Steel by Harry Brearley in 1913 was it possible to prevent rusting, yet it was achieved in the reign of King Chandra. The iron pillar is 7.2 metres high with a 16-inch diameter. It weighs over 3,000 kg and has ancient writing on it, which has been preserved due to the lack of rusting.

5 – The Baghdad Battery

The Baghdad Battery, as it has come to be called, is a set of three objects: a tube of copper, a rod of iron and a ceramic pot. Discovered in Iraq near Ctesiphon, it is believed to date from either the Sasanian or Parthian empires of Persia, anywhere from 150 BCE to 650 AD.

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