It is rightly quoted that “necessity is the mother of invention.” It is proven that the major and important inventions and discoveries are a result of man’s necessities. The ancient civilizations appropriately justified the proverb by inventing some marvellous things that we still use. Have you ever wondered from where did the commonly used things like cosmetics, newspapers, papers, wig, etc come? They all date back to ancient times. So, check out the list of amazing discoveries and inventions that we owe to the ancient civilizations.
Paper, a commonly used item, is an invention of the ancient Egyptians in around 3000 B.C. The papyrus plant was largely found along the banks of the Nile. So, the Egyptians wisely used the long strips of the pith of the papyrus plant, wove them together and weighted them down to bind them into thin and strong sheets of paper. Now all they needed was something to write on it. So, they used pens made of cut reeds. For the ink, they mixed soot and other organic substances like beeswax and vegetable gum. Their invention was so amazing that even after more than 5,000 years; the Egyptian hieroglyphics remain intact and readable.
Today, we and our valuables are kept safe because of the door lock mechanism. Well, we should be thankful to the Egyptians for this as they were the ones who invented this wonderful mechanism. However, their lock systems, unlike the small ones we have today, were about two feet in length. Their door lock mechanism was made out of wood and had a large bolt attached to the door and connected with pins. As each lock had a different pattern, the key was unique to every lock.
Imagine our life without alarm clocks. Say, you have an important meeting in the morning and you were not able to wake up on time. Sounds terrible! So, we must be grateful to the Greeks who invented this amazing device. But the alarm clocks used by the Greeks were very different from the ones we use today. The famous Greek philosopher Plato owned one such alarm clocks way back in 428- 348 B.C. His alarm clock consisted of a large water clock with a sound similar to a water organ that let him know when his lectures would begin at dawn.
Have you ever wondered how newspapers came into existence? Well, the idea roots in ancient Rome where the prototype for the first newspaper appeared. The Romans got the news of all political and social happenings from their type of newspaper (which actually wasn’t made of paper!) called Acta Duirna (or “daily acts”). Acta Duirna contained news like the victory of events, gladiatorial bouts and other games, births and deaths and even human-interest stories inscribed on it’s metal or stone surface. Then it was posted in areas with heavy foot traffic, such as the Roman Forum.
Girls love wearing mascara, eye-liner, kajal and other eye makeup. So, girls, you should definitely thank the Egyptians as they knew the power of smoky eyes and discovered the world of eye makeup. Way back in 4000 B.C., Egyptian men and women wore eye makeup as they believed it contained healing properties and protected them from the evil eye. But how did they make the eye makeup products? They used simple materials around them like they started making kohl to line their eyes by mixing soot with galena, a mineral with a metallic bluish, grey or black hue. To make green eye makeup, they mixed malachite with galena.
By now, you might have understood that the Egyptians were quite concerned about their beauty and appearance. So, undoubtedly the credit of making wigs also goes to Egyptians. As Egypt had really hot summers, so many Egyptians shaved their heads to keep them clean and prevent pests such as lice. Hence, they invented the wigs that were available in various styles and set with perfumed beeswax.
Have you ever wondered where did this all-time favourite invention originate? This invention was done more than 3,000 years ago by Maya, Aztec and Toltec peoples of ancient Mesoamerica. These civilizations used the cocoa beans from the cocoa tree to prepare a frothy beverage they considered an energy drink, mood enhancer and aphrodisiac all in one. They considered the coca tree so important that the Mayans worshipped it and used cocoa beans as currency. It was only in the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadores seeking gold and silver in the New World brought chocolate back to Europe with them. They launched the craze for chocolate that still exists.
So, this was the list of a few inventions that have originated in the ancient civilizations. Without a doubt, we can say that ancient people inspired the achievements that have shaped the foundation of modern society. Thankfully, they ventured in different directions and successfully accomplished the feat of inventing such amazing things.