Egyptian Technology > Egyptian Technology

Egyptian Technology

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Ancient Egyptian technology describes devices and technologies invented or used in Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians invented and used many simple machines, such as the ramp and the lever, to aid construction processes. They used rope trusses to stiffen the beam of ships. Egyptian paper, made from papyrus, and pottery were mass-produced and exported throughout the Mediterranean basin. The wheel was used for a number of purposes, but chariots only came into use after the Second Intermediate period. The Egyptians also played an important role in developing Mediterranean maritime technology including ships and lighthouses.Ancient Egyptian depiction of women engaged in mechanical rope making, the first graphic evidence of the craft, shown in the two lower rows of the illustrationSignificant advances in ancient Egypt during the dynastic period include astronomy, mathematics, and medicine. Their geometry was a necessary outgrowth of surveying to preserve the layout and ownership of farmland, which was flooded annually by the Nile river. The 3,4,5 right triangle and other rules of thumb served to represent rectilinear structures, and the post and lintel architecture of Egypt. Egypt also was a center of alchemy research for much of the western world.

Dynastic Egypt Technologies

Egyptian Paper


Egyptian Construction

See Egyptian Construction

Ship Building

See Egyptian Ship Building


See Egyptian Navigation

Egyptian Agriculture

See Egyptian Agriculture




See Egyptian Glassworking


See Egyptian Astronomy


See Egyptian Medicine

Egyptian WheelsEvidence indicates that Egyptians made use of potter's wheels in the manufacturing of pottery from as early as the 4th Dynasty.[44] Chariots, however, are only believed to have been introduced by the invasion of the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate period;[45] during the New Kingdom era, chariotry became central to Egypt's military.Other developments[edit]Stained glass window from c. 1914 depicting weaving and spinning in ancient EgyptThe Egyptians developed a variety of furniture. There in the lands of ancient Egypt is the first evidence for stools, beds, and tables (such as from the tombs similar to Tutenkhamen's). Recovered Ancient Egyptian furniture includes a third millennium BC bed discovered in the Tarkhan Tomb, a c.2550 BC. gilded set from the tomb of Queen Hetepheres I, and a c. 1550 BC. stool from Thebes.Some have suggested that the Egyptians had some form of understanding electric phenomena from observing lightning and interacting with electric fish (such as Malapterurus electricus) or other animals (such as electric eels).[46] The comment about lightning appears to come from a misunderstanding of a text referring to "high poles covered with copper plates" to argue this[47] but Dr. Bolko Stern has written in detail explaining why the copper covered tops of poles (which were lower than the associated pylons) do not relate to electricity or lightning, pointing out that no evidence of anything used to manipulate electricity had been found in Egypt and that this was a magical and not a technical installation.[48]The single representation of the image, called the "Dendera light" by some alternative suggestions, exists on the left wall of the right wing in one of the crypts of the Hathor templeThose exploring fringe theories of ancient technology have suggested that there were electric lights used in Ancient Egypt. Engineers have constructed a working model based on their interpretation of a relief found in the Hathor temple at the Dendera Temple complex.[49] Authors (such as Peter Krassa and Reinhard Habeck) have produced a basic theory of the device's operation.[49] The standard explanation, however, for the Dendera light, which comprises three stone reliefs (one single and a double representation) is that the depicted image represents a lotus leaf and flower from which a sacred snake is spawned in accordance with Egyptian mythological beliefs. This sacred snake sometimes is identified as the Milky Way (the snake) in the night sky (the leaf, lotus, or "bulb") that became identified with Hathor because of her similar association in creation.Later technology in Egypt[edit]Greco-Roman EgyptMain articles: Ancient Greek technology and Roman technologyUnder Hellenistic rule, Egypt was one of the most prosperous regions of the Hellenistic civilization. The ancient Egyptian city of Rhakotis was renovated as Alexandria, which became the largest city around the Mediterranean Basin. Under Roman rule, Egypt was one of the most prosperous regions of the Roman Empire, with Alexandria being second only to ancient Rome in size.Recent scholarship suggests that the water wheel originates from Ptolemaic Egypt, where it appeared by the 3rd century BC.[50][51] This is seen as an evolution of the paddle-driven water-lifting wheels that had been known in Egypt a century earlier.[50] According to John Peter Oleson, both the compartmented wheel and the hydraulic Noria may have been invented in Egypt by the 4th century BC, with the Sakia being invented there a century later. This is supported by archeological finds at Faiyum, Egypt, where the oldest archeological evidence of a water-wheel has been found, in the form of a Sakia dating back to the 3rd century BC. A papyrus dating to the 2nd century BC also found in Faiyum mentions a water wheel used for irrigation, a 2nd-century BC fresco found at Alexandria depicts a compartmented Sakia, and the writings of Callixenus of Rhodes mention the use of a Sakia in Ptolemaic Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy IV in the late 3rd century BC.[51]Ancient Greek technology was often inspired by the need to improve weapons and tactics in war. Ancient Roman technology is a set of artifacts and customs which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of Roman commerce and Roman military possible over nearly a thousand years.Arabic-Islamic EgyptMain articles: Inventions in medieval Islam, Muslim Agricultural Revolution, and Timeline of science and engineering in the Islamic worldUnder Arab rule, Egypt once again became one of the most prosperous regions around the Mediterranean. The Egyptian city of Cairo was founded by the Fatimid Caliphate and served as its capital city. At the time, Cairo was second only to Baghdad, capital of the rival Abbasid Caliphate. After the fall of Baghdad, however, Cairo overtook it as the largest city in the Mediterranean region until the early modern period.Inventions in medieval Islam covers the inventions developed in the medieval Islamic world, a region that extended from Al-Andalus and Africa in the west to the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia in the east. The timeline of Islamic science and engineering covers the general development of science and technology in the Islamic world.See also[edit]List of Egypt-related topicsEgyptian chronologyHistory of ancient EgyptHistory of technologyEgyptian mathematicsHistory of science in early culturesAstrology and astronomyArchaeoastronomyHand drill (hieroglyph)ImhotepHero of AlexandriaNotes[edit]


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Jump up ^ Georges Ifrah, The Universal History of Numbers. Page 162 (cf., "As we have seen, Sumer used a sexagesimal base; whereas the system of Ancient Egypt was strictly decimal.")Jump up ^ Robert E Krebs, Groundbreaking scientific experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Page 127. ISBN 0-313-32433-6Jump up ^ Thomas Little Heath, Manual of Greek Mathematics. Page 11.Jump up ^ Plutarch, Life of Caesar 49.3.Jump up ^ Abd-el-latif (1203): "the library which 'Amr ibn al-'As burnt with the permission of 'Umar."Jump up ^ Europe: A History, p 139. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1996. ISBN 0-19-820171-0Jump up ^ A. Lucas and J. Harris, "Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries" (New York: Courier Corporation, 2012), 48.Jump up ^ A. Lucas and J. Harris, "Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries" (New York: Courier Corporation, 2012), 64.Jump up ^ "What is Civil Engineering: Imhotep".Jump up ^ eeescience : Cairo RocksJump up ^ Arce/Nc Archives Archived October 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.Jump up ^ Patricia Blackwell Gary; Richard Talcott (June 2006). "Stargazing in Ancient Egypt". Astronomy: 62–7.^ Jump up to: a b Caltech researchers successfully raised an obelisk with a kite to test theory about ancient pyramidsJump up ^ A primary feature of a properly designed sail is an amount of "draft", caused by curvature of the surface of the sail. When the sail is oriented into the wind, this curvature induces lift, much like the wing of an airplane.^ Jump up to: a b Encyclopedia Of International Sports Studies. Page 31Jump up ^ Technological Choices: Transformation in Material Cultures. Page 410.Jump up ^ Ships and boats in EgyptJump up ^ Ancient Egyptian boat buildingJump up ^ Shipbuilding in Ancient EgyptJump up ^ Solar shipsJump up ^ The Abydos Ship^ Jump up to: a b Sakkara and Abydous Ship GravesJump up ^ "Abydos Boat". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.Jump up ^ Ancient Egypt ShipsJump up ^ Ship Minimatures at Egyptian museumJump up ^ Anzovin, item # 5393, page 385 Reference to a ship with a name appears in an inscription of 2613 BCE that recounts the shipbuilding achievements of the fourth-dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Sneferu. He was recorded as the builder of a cedarwood vessel called "Praise of the Two Lands."Jump up ^ Blake L. White, Ancient Egypt Provides an Early Example of How A Society's Worldview Drives Engineering and the Development of Science. Strategic Technology Institute. Page 2.Jump up ^ JG Manning, "Water, Irrigation, and Their Connection to State Power in Egypt" (Econ Yale 2012), 8.Jump up ^ "Amenemhet III". Britannica Concise. Retrieved 2007-01-10.Jump up ^ JG Manning, "Water, Irrigation, and Their Connection to State Power in Egypt" (Econ Yale 2012), 9.Jump up ^ Ancient Egyptian Glassmaking Recreated. Lockergnome, December 17, 2007Jump up ^ Susan Hampton. "Glassmaking in Antiquity". The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-21.Jump up ^ Ronald A Wells, "Archaeoastronomy in Egypt", in Walker, Christopher, Ed Astronomy before the telescope, British Museum Press, 1996 p.28Jump up ^ John Britton and Christopher Walker, Astrology and Astronomy in Mesopotamia, in Walker, Christopher, Ed Astronomy before the telescope, British Museum Press, 1996 p. 42Jump up ^ Tyldesley, Joyce, Pyramids: The Real Story Behind Egypt's Ancient Monuments, Viking, 2003, p. 74Jump up ^ Neugebauer, Otto (1969) [1957]. The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (2 ed.). Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-22332-2., p.86Jump up ^ De Santillana, G.; Von Dechend, H. (1977). Hamlet's Mill. David R. Godine. ISBN 9780879232153.Jump up ^ Paul Jordan (2006). "Esoteric Egypt". In Garrett G. Fagan. Archaeological Fantasies:How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public. Routledge. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-415-30593-8.^ Jump up to: a b Microsoft Word – Proceedings-2001.doc Archived April 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.Jump up ^ 10th Annual Proceedings of the History of Medicine Days Archived April 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.Jump up ^ "animal dung can have curative properties".[dead link]Jump up ^ Mamtani R, Malhotra P, Gupta PS, Jain BK (June 1978). "A comparative study of urban and rural tetanus in adults". Int J Epidemiol. 7 (2): 185–8. doi:10.1093/ije/7.2.185. PMID 681065.Jump up ^ Frank J. Snoek (August 2001). "The Mind Matters". Diabetes Spectrum. 14 (3): 116–117. doi:10.2337/diaspect.14.3.116.Jump up ^ Doherty, Sarah (2013). The origins and the use of the potters wheel in Ancient Egypt. (Thesis). Cardiff University. Retrieved 8 January 2016.Jump up ^ Hyskos introduced chariots to ancient EgyptJump up ^ Heinrich Karl Brugsch-Bey and Henry Danby Seymour, "A History of Egypt Under the Pharaohs". J. Murray, 1881. Page 422. (cf., [... the symbol of a] 'serpent' is rather a fish, which still serves, in the Coptic language, to designate the electric fish [...])Jump up ^ Bruno Kolbe, Francis ed Legge, Joseph Skellon, tr., "An Introduction to Electricity". Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1908. 429 pages. Page 391. (cf., "[...] high poles covered with copper plates and with gilded tops were erected 'to break the stones coming from on high'. J. Dümichen, Baugeschichte des Dendera-Tempels, Strassburg, 1877")Jump up ^ Stern, Bolko (1998) [1896]. Ägyptische Kulturgeschichte. Reprint-Verlag-Leipzig. pp. 106–108. ISBN 978-3-8262-1908-5.^ Jump up to: a b Krassa, P., and R. Habeck, "Das Licht der Pharaonen.". ISBN 3-548-35657-5 (Tr. The Light of the Pharaohs)^ Jump up to: a b Örjan Wikander (2008). "Chapter 6: Sources of Energy and Exploitation of Power". In John Peter Oleson. The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World. Oxford University Press. pp. 141–2. ISBN 0-19-518731-8^ Jump up to: a b Adriana de Miranda (2007). Water architecture in the lands of Syria: the water-wheels. L'Erma di Bretschneider. pp. 38–9. ISBN 88-8265-433-8References[edit]Leslie C. Kaplan, "Technology of Ancient Egypt. 2004, 24 pages. ISBN 0-8239-6785-9Denys Allen Stocks "Experiments in Egyptian Archaeology: Stoneworking Technology in Ancient Egypt". Routledge, 2003. 336 pages. ISBN 0-415-30664-7Katheryn A. Bard" Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt By Katheryn A. Bard". Routledge, 1999. 968 pages. ISBN 0-415-18589-0R. J. Forbes, "Studies in Ancient Technology". 1966.Örjan Wikander, "Handbook of Ancient Water Technology". 2000.Patricia Blackwell Gary; Richard Talcott (June 2006). "Stargazing in Ancient Egypt". Astronomy: 62–7.Evans, James. The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.Pannekoek, A. A History of Astronomy. New York: Dover, 1961.Parker Richard A. "Egyptian Astronomy, Astrology, and Calendrical Reckoning". Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 15: 706–727.Budge, E. A. Wallis. Egyptian Religion. Kessinger Publishing, 1900.Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians Volume 1 of 2. New York: Dover Publications, 1969 (original in 1904).Further reading[edit]Anzovin, Steven et al., Famous First Facts (International Edition), H. W. Wilson Company, 2000, ISBN 0-8242-0958-3David, Rosalie A.; H.G.M. Edwards & D.W. Farwell (2001). "Raman Spectroscopic Analysis of Ancient Egyptian Pigments". Archaeometry. 43 (4): 461–473. doi:10.1111/1475-4754.00029.Earl, Bryan (Summer 1995). "Tin Smelting at the Oriental Institute". The Oriental Institute News and Notes. 146.Gourdin, W.H.; W.D. Kingery (1975). "The Beginnings of Pyrotechnology: Neolithic and Egyptian Lime Plaster". Journal of Field Archaeology. 2: 133–150. doi:10.1179/009346975791491277. JSTOR 529624.Lucas, Alfred. 1962. Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries, 4th Edition. London: Edward Arnold Publishers.Meyer, Carol; Bir Umm Fawakhir (1997). "Insights into Ancient Egyptian Mining". JOM. 49 (3): 64–8. Bibcode:1997JOM....49c..64M. doi:10.1007/BF02914661.Nicholson, Paul T. and Ian Shaw, eds. 2000. Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. University Press, Cambridge.Pulak, C. A (1998). "The Uluburun Shipwreck: An Overview". International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 27 (3): 188–224. doi:10.1111/j.1095-9270.1998.tb00803.x.Scheel, Bernd. 1989. Egyptian Metalworking and Tools. Haverfordwest, Great Britain: Shire Publications Ltd.Shaw, Ian. Editor. 2000. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Shortland, A.J. (2004). "Evaporites of the Wadi Natrun: Seasonal and Annual Variation and its Implication for Ancient Exploitation". Archaeometry. 46 (4): 497–516. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2004.00170.x.Davis, Virginia. "Mines and Quarries of Ancient Egypt, an Introduction" Online articleInstitutt for Arkeologi, Kunsthistorie og Konservering website, in English at [1]External links[edit]History of the Egyptian obelisks, egipto.comAncient Egyptian Industries
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo