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Inventions and Technology
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The Ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to form in the ancient world. Their inventions and technology had an impact on many civilizations to come. Their technology included the ability to build large construction projects such as pyramids and palaces, simple machines such as ramps and levers, and a complex system of government and religion.
One of the most important inventions of the Ancient Egyptians was writing. They wrote in hieroglyphics. You can learn more about hieroglyphics here. Writing allowed the Egyptians to keep accurate records and maintain control of their large empire.
The Egyptians learned how to make durable sheets of parchment from the papyrus plant. It was used for important documents and religious texts. The Egyptians kept the process to make the sheets a secret so they could sell the parchment to other civilizations such as Ancient Greece.
The Ancient Egyptians had a wide variety of medicines and cures. Some of their medicines were quite strange. For example, they used honey and human brains to cure eye infections. They also used a whole cooked mouse to help cure coughs. Many of their medicines were accompanied by spells to ward off the evil spirits making the person sick.
With the Nile River playing a major role in the lives of the Egyptians, building ships was a big part of their technology. They originally built small boats from papyrus reeds, but later began to build large ships from cedar wood imported from Lebanon.
The Egyptians needed a good understanding of mathematics and geometry to build the pyramids and other large buildings. They also used math and numbers to keep track of business transactions. For numbers they used a decimal system. They didn't have numerals for 2 - 9 or zero. They just had numbers for factors of 10 such as 1, 10, 100, etc. In order to write the number 3 they would write down three number 1s. To write the number 40, they would write down four number 10s.
All Egyptians wore makeup, even the men. They made a dark eye makeup called kohl from soot and other minerals. The makeup was a fashion statement, but it also had the side affect of protecting their skin from the hot desert sun.
Because their bread had so much grit and sand in it, the Egyptians had a lot of problems with their teeth. They invented the toothbrush and toothpaste in an effort to take care of their teeth. They used a wide variety of ingredients to make their toothpaste including ashes, eggshells, and even ground up ox hooves.
Fun Facts about the Inventions of Ancient Egypt
- The Ancient Egyptians did not start using the wheel until it was introduced by foreign invaders using the chariot.
- The word for paper comes from the Greek word for the papyrus plant.
- The Egyptian number for one million was a picture of a god with his arms raised in the air.
- They invented a game similar to bowling where the bowler tried to roll a ball into a hole.
- They invented large door locks which used keys. Some of the keys were up to 2 feet long.
Take a ten question quiz at the Ancient Egyptian Inventions and Technology questions page.
More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:
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