When we think of Ancient civilization we think of togas, chariots, and gladiators.

What we don’t think about is flame-throwers, eye surgery, and other inventions we take for granted.

This is a list of things that the ancients had that you think are modern inventions.


1. Concrete

The Romans are credited with inventing ‘modern’ concrete as a building material. It was a completely revolutionary material at the time.

It was lightweight, extremely strong, dried underwater, and highly pliable when wet.

The basic components of concrete haven’t changed in several thousand years, and in some ways, Roman concrete is superior to that which is used today.


2. Medicines

There is much archeological and historical evidence to support the use of complex medications and medical procedures within the ancient world.

Honey was used as a topical antiseptic, Honeysuckle often for spleen problems, horsehair for stitches, fine needles for cataract corrective surgery, and maggots for wound cleaning (as they eat dead tissue).

Most medical procedures used today haven’t changed significantly in several thousand years. Boils are still lanced, drained, cleaned, and closed, bones are still set, and teeth are still pulled, although pain medication has come a long way.


3. Biological Weapons

With the increase in medical knowledge through the ages, there has also been a markedly increased reverse engineering of the same knowledge to produce biologically based warfare tactics.

In mediaeval times, besieging armies would hurl rotting carcasses into a city with catapults and trebuchet.

Farther ago, there is evidence that plagued prisoners were thrown into rivers and streams leading to a city, poisoning it’s water supply and demoralizing the defending forces.


4. Chemical Weapons

The Chinese were the first to exploit poison gas. As early as the 4th century B.C. the Chinese used noxious smoke to defend besieged cities.

As the attackers attempted to undermine the city walls the defenders would attempt to tap into their tunnels with terracotta pipes.

Then a bellows would be used to pump in smoke and noxious gas from a nearby furnace, causing fits, poisoning, suffocation and death in the enemy miners.

By A.D. 1000 poison-bombs, noxious substances mixed with gunpowder and resin, were regularly being tossed from catapults or, later, fired from cannon.



5. Odometer

Although first used effectively by the Greeks in their measurements between cities, the Romans employed a very simple cart odometer that had 4-foot wheels.

Each time the wheel completely turned, a pin would engage a cogwheel one notch out of its 400 teeth. Each time said cogwheel turned, the cart traveled one Roman Mile. (Approx 1400 Meters).


6. Flame-thrower

The Ancient Byzantines first used flame-throwers as a naval device, usually to set alight the rigging and sails of an enemy vessel.

Although handheld devices were cumbersome and dangerous, naval ones were much more efficient.

Working on a simple siphon pump concept, they would be pumped, and the action would pull flammable liquid out of a reservoir tank, forcing it past an open flame igniting the spray in a lethal barrage of a panic inducing inferno.


7. Cosmetics

Roman women would put metal compounds on their faces in order to enhance their color.

Tin-Oxide or Lead-Oxide was used as a paling agent, Arsenic (Though they knew it was poisonous) as a rouge or blush, and charcoal was used as eyeliner.

Romans also were the first to use a pocket mirror.


8. Heated Indoor Swimming Pools

The Baths of Caracalla were one of the largest bathing complexes built in ancient Rome.

The baths boasted, both heated and cooled rooms, heated and cooled baths, a gymnasium for sports, and a “hat check room” where garments and personal effects were held under guard by a slave.

An ingenious network of under-floor rooms and tunnels, coupled with heating furnaces arrayed around the lot, created the marvelous thermal differences used by the patrons.


9. Mechanical Astrological Calculator

The earliest known example of a mechanical calculator used in the calculation of astronomical objects is the Antikythera Mechanism.

It;s gears were used to compute the position of the Sun, Moon, and possibly other astrological objects. It’s complexity rivals that of clocks produced in the 1700’s.

The Antikythera Mechanism was produced sometime between 150 and 100 BC.


10. Postal System

Ancient postal systems were normally used either for official business conducted by the government or by the military. They were often the fastest form of information conductivity available.



11. Glassware

The earliest known use of glassware occurred in Ancient Mesopotamia.

It's use was later copied and refined by several civilizations including, but not limited to, the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians.

-- Source: http://www.uphaa.com

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Date: 19 Nov 2008 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News | Views: 7246

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