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Cultural Traces Around the World

Advanced Inventions of Ancient Egypt, Part 1 of 2



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Egypt is a transcontinental country that connects Africa and Asia with a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula, bordered by the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the states of Palestine and Israel to the northeast. The longest river in the world, the Nile flows north-south through Egypt, and millennia-old monuments stand along the Nile River Valley, including the colossal Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Egypt has one of the longest histories in the world, tracing its civilization and cultural heritage along the Nile Delta back at least as far as 6000 BC. Today, we will journey through ancient Egyptian inventions in astronomy, timekeeping, architecture, and shipbuilding.

Ancient Egyptians clearly felt a close connection with the universe, and Egyptian astronomy traces back to earlier than 5000 BC, when celestial alignments appear to have inspired the astronomical site at Nabta Playa. The earliest known traces of sundials were also discovered in Egypt, and date to around 3500 BC, while a surviving limestone sundial showing greater complexity in design, dates back to 1500 BC and was discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 2013.

According to historical evidence, the ancient Egyptians invented many simple building tools, such as scaffolds, ramps and the lever, and used them to help construct the pyramids as far back as 4,500 years ago. Simple but effective surveying tools, such as a plumb bob, a cubit rod for short measurements, and a calibrated rope of 100 cubits for longer distances, were used in field measurement. These effective construction methods made it possible to build Aten, the largest ancient city, which was established around 3,000 years ago.

An Egyptian pharaoh's “Solar Boat,” dating back to around 4,500 years ago, possesses the most advanced shipbuilding technologies in ancient Egypt. Based on their prolific innovations in shipbuilding and navigation, ancient Egypt became the first country in the world to possess a navy. Many early Egyptian inventions and technological advances demonstrate a high level of wisdom within their ancient civilization, which has formed the basis of many technologies still used to this day.

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