Technology Was Created

Technology Was Created

Technology Was Created

Technology had a slow start. The first tools, rough hewn, stones, over 2 million years old – mark the birth of mankind. Perhaps a million years later, man mastered fire. Around ten thousand years ago technology excellerated. The first towns inspired a stream of inventions: metallurgy, spinning, pottery, the wheel.

The first tools, found in Kenya, were round, smooth stones dashed against a rock to produce a ragged edge that could be used to hack up meat. Tools found in Tanzania later were of a better quality. From chopper to stone tools probably took over a million years. From carefully shaped ax heads to precise surgical instruments, took 300.000 years.

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Farming was the basic step towards a civilization. About 9000 BC. Some hunters in the Middle East learned to domesticated wild animals and harvest wild grain. These farmers found out how to increase yields by turning the soil, first with sticks and then with hoes and so knowledge spread.

The weaving of cloth, for protection or status, is as old as urban civilization itself. The oldest surviving piece of fabric is a piece of burial cloth found in Turkey. It dates from about 6000 BC. The first looms were of two types, vertical, complete with tensioning weights and horizontal.

The origins of metallurgy date back to about 9500 BC where a copper pendant was found in Iraq. Successors seemed to have been inspired by the metals beauty rather than its practical potential. The Hittites were probably the first to smelt iron, around 2000 BC.

The wheel is a simple idea, but it’s development depended on the ability to work wood. When it first appeared in Sumer around 3500 BC, it seems to have been used in pottery but it was rapidly adapted to transport. Lighter spoked wheels and swiveling axels which necessitates 4 wheeled carts came around by 2000BC.

Glassmaking developed later than other technological innovations, depending as it did on efficient ovens originally devised for pottery. The earliest known glass objects are Egyptian beads from about 2500 BC.

Initially, the only source of power available was muscle power, either human or animal. The first evidence of more sophisticated principles is the record of a shadoof, a pole counterbalanced by weights, used to decant water from a river. Later the Roman’s applied levers with pulleys. Natural energy, such as water and wind started being used at this time.

When I think about the time span to get to what I described, then I wonder if man now is still plodding about and what the future holds.

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