Home EducationScientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
EducationBy Joe Burgett -

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Agriculture

  • Historic Period: Pre-10,000 BCE – Various

Agriculture is perhaps the most important of ALL scientific techniques used by ancient people on this list. Without it, we’d likely never survive as a species. It used to be that tribes would come together and often go out on hunts to attain food. Others might gather up berries, nuts, or whatever else they could find. Yet both would become problematic and cause people to move around. Agriculture changed all of that, as you could plant crops at specific times of the year and store a large amount of food. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese all developed their own forms of agriculture. However, the earliest known agricultural system dates back to Mesopotamia in 8,000 BCE. Yet the idea of agriculture in general goes back much further.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Irrigation

  • Historic Period: 4,000 BCE – Ancient Mesopotamia

Speaking of agriculture, something needed to be developed to handle this process in a better way. That led to the formation of irrigation. This is one of the biggest scientific techniques used by ancient people as well. This system brought water to crops and gardens in a much more efficient way. While the oldest known irrigation system goes back to 4,000 BCE in Mesopotamia…the Egyptians and Chinese also developed their own forms. Many believe that proper irrigation led to much larger farms and crop growing that could be utilized heavily in the ancient world.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Animal Husbandry

  • Historic Period: Around 13,000 to 9,000 BCE – Ancient Mesopotamia

This term might make people wonder… did dudes marry animals or something? Luckily, the term “husband” in a marriage is not connected. Animal husbandry is a section of agriculture concerned with raising animals to get meat, fibers, milk, and other products. Pretty much, they handled day-to-day care for animals, selective breeding, and the overall raising of livestock. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese all developed their own forms of this, but the idea of domesticating animals dates back to between 13,000 to 9,000 BCE in Mesopotamia. Most of the time, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and others would be bred on farms and then used for specific human needs.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Architecture

  • Historic Period: Roughly 10,000 BCE

Obviously, architecture utilizes a lot of what we’ve mentioned on this list so far. It is a true science to get right, and some of the most impressive ancient architecture still stands in some form today. Places were designed and built for specific purposes and were always functional, aesthetically pleasing, and durable in most situations. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks are known for some of the most beautiful and impressive examples of this. Today, the oldest known structures still standing are the great pyramids. Specifically, the Pyramid of Giza, which has been up since around 2,570 BCE. Yet we began building things long before this.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Clockmaking

  • Historic Period: 1600 to 1501 BCE – Ancient Babylon

While things like watches and many modern clocks were not invented until later on, clockmaking had been a thing for centuries. Many needed to have some way of keeping up with the passage of time and how to measure it. This is why clocks were developed along with other timekeeping devices. Ancient Greeks & Chinese people developed their own version of this. The Greeks were first to the party, with the development of the oldest known clock dating back to 250 BCE. However, timekeeping is a very old process. This was a very interesting process early on and was one of the most unique scientific techniques used by ancient people. It dates back to ancient Babylon in the 16th Century BCE! They used a water clock here, which would be used elsewhere along with fire and other natural methods.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Masonry

  • Historic Period: Roughly 4,000 BCE – Ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia

Masonry was the process of building structures from individual units. These were often laid in and bound together using mortar to create multiple things like structures and even decorative objects. Usually, bricks were used for this, but masons might also use marble, granite, cast stone, concrete blocks, limestone, and even glass blocks. Of course, the oldest known form of masonry used stone. The oldest structures utilizing this dates back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in roughly 4,000 BCE. This is one of the few scientific techniques used by ancient people that has not changed much from its original use and purpose.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Engineering

  • Historic Period: Around 2,500 BCE – Ancient Greeks & Romans

Perhaps one of the most notable scientific techniques used by ancient people is the world of early engineering. While the Egyptians were known for this, especially when constructing their pyramids…the Greeks and Romans took things to a completely different level. They invented the first levers, pulleys, winches, gimbals, cranes, and gears. If that is not enough for you, the Greeks and Romans also invented the truss and truss roofing system that would become a staple in building design afterward. Oh, and they are also responsible for the earliest form of robotics.

Scientific Techniques Used By Ancient People That Worked Surprisingly Well
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Chemistry

  • Historic Period: Around 4,000 BCE – Ancient Sumeria

Chemistry is one of the most notable scientific techniques used by ancient people that truly worked for them. Their concept of chemistry truly comes from how they experimented with things to get chemical reactions. They understood the basic principles of chemical reactions and would then use that knowledge for numerous purposes. This might be for things like brewing and tanning, but also it could be used in some early medications. Of course, poisons were invented out of this too, which isn’t a good thing. Chemistry dates back all the way to ancient Sumeria in 4,000 BCE. However, it would go on to be heavily expanded upon by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese.

Where Do We Find this Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

United States Geological Survey

University of California – Berkeley

Harvard University

Princeton University

Columbia University

Brigham Young University

Tennessee Tech University

American Museum of Natural History

National Geographic

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