The Marvelous Egyptian Inventions: A Journey Through Time and Culture
Egyptian civilization was one of the most innovative and technologically advanced civilizations of the ancient world. From mathematics to medicine, from agriculture to architecture, Egyptian Inventions left a lasting impact on human civilization and changed the world forever.
Introduction to Egyptian Inventions
Egyptian inventions encompass a wide range of fields, from time-keeping tools to agriculture, from writing systems to cosmetics, and much more. The Egyptians were constantly exploring and experimenting with new technologies, and their ingenuity and creativity continue to inspire us to this day.
Mathematics and Geometry
The Egyptians were skilled mathematicians and used their knowledge of mathematics to keep track of their trade and commerce.
They used geometry to re-establish field boundaries after the floods and to design large structures like pyramids. They were familiar with the use of fractions, the calculation of areas, and problem-solving techniques.
Mummification and Medicine
The process of mummification allowed the Egyptians to gain a deep understanding of the human body. As a result, they made great advances in the field of medicine.
They learned how to treat broken bones with plaster casts and performed sophisticated surgical procedures. They also developed a keen interest in astronomy and created a calendar consisting of 365 days divided into three seasons, with 12 months of 30 days each and five additional days.
The Egyptians had a writing system known as hieroglyphics, which consisted of over 700 signs or symbols. They believed that writing was a gift from the god Thoth and had mystical powers. The writing system was composed of two types of symbols:
Hieroglyphics were a challenging script to learn and only children from wealthy families could afford to become scribes.
In addition to hieroglyphics, the Egyptians developed a simpler and faster writing system for everyday use, known as hieratic, which was akin to a cursive version of hieroglyphics.
The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is a famous artifact that sheds light on the Egyptian civilization and its writing systems. The stone contains a decree of Pharaoh Ptolemy V from 196 BC, written in Greek, hieroglyphics, and demotic (another script commonly used in Egypt).
The Frenchman Jean-Frangois Champollion was the first person to decipher the hieroglyphics and understand that the writing system was not just made up of ideograms but also of symbols representing syllables or letters.
Housing and Clothing
The nobles in Egyptian society lived in large houses with many rooms, gardens, and servants’ quarters. Their houses were decorated with paintings of flowers and geometric figures, while the ceilings and walls were adorned with colorful paintings.
Ordinary people, on the other hand, lived in smaller, one-story houses with flat roofs and small windows to keep out the heat. The houses were close together to maximize space for cultivable fields.
The Egyptians predominantly wore white linen clothing. Men wore pleated kilts that reached the knee or ankle, while women wore light ankle-length robes and applied cosmetics like henna, a natural dye, to color their nails and hair.
Food and Beverage
The Egyptian diet consisted mainly of unleavened bread, fruit (dates and figs), and vegetables (salads and onions), with meat being a rare treat.
Wealthy Egyptians had a more varied diet that included game, fish, eggs, and sweets made of almonds and honey. The nobles drank wine, while beer was the preferred beverage of the general population.
In conclusion, Egyptian civilization was rich in both scientific and cultural achievements. From mathematics and geometry to astronomy, the Egyptians were masters of their craft.
They invented the hourglass for measuring time, the plumb bob for building straight walls, and the libra for weighing products. They also made advances in medicine and developed a sophisticated writing system known as hieroglyphics. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone helped unlock the mysteries of hieroglyphics and gave us a deeper understanding of the Egyptians.
The Egyptians also had a rich material culture, with well-appointed homes for the wealthy and a diverse diet. They were experts in fashion and personal grooming, wearing white linen clothing and adorning themselves with natural dyes like henna. All in all, the Egyptians left a lasting legacy, and their inventions continue to impact our lives today.