Timelines of ScienceDK, Smithsonian
From the discovery of penicillin to the advent of the Internet, science has been an invaluable part of the human experience.
Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution and highlighting the theories, breakthroughs, and key thinkers that shaped the history of science, Timelines of Science is an informative guide to the history of scientific discovery and technology that follows the path chronologically, and explores everything from ancient Greek geometry to quantum physics.
Filled with striking visuals, including specially commissioned photography, arresting infographics, and illustrations that illuminate technological discovery, Timelines of Science includes major advances in all the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy.
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smithsonian smithsonian LONDON, NEW YORK, MELBOURNE, MUNICH, AND DELHI DK LONDON Senior Art Editor Ina Stradins Project Art Editors Alison Gardner, Clare Joyce, Francis Wong Senior Preproduction Producer Ben Marcus Producer Vivienne Yong Creative Technical Support Adam Brackenbury Jacket Designer Mark Cavanagh Picture Researcher Liz Moore New Photography Gary Ombler New Illustrations Peter Bull Jacket Design Development Manager Sophia MTT Managing Art Editor Michelle Baxter Art Director Philip Ormerod Senior Editors Peter Frances, Janet Mohun US Senior Editor Rebecca Warren US Editor Jill Hamilton Project Editors Jemima Dunne, Joanna Edwards, Lara Maiklem, David Summers, Miezan van Zyl, Laura Wheadon Editors Ann Baggaley, Martyn Page, Carron Brown DK INDIA Deputy Managing Art Editor Sudakshina Basu Senior Art Editor Devika Dwarakadas Art Editors Suhita Dharamjit, Amit Malhotra Assistant Art Editor Vanya Mittal Production Manager Pankaj Sharma Indexer Jane Parker Managing Editor Angeles Gavira Guerrero Publisher Sarah Larter Senior Editor Anita Kakar Editors Dharini Ganesh, Himani Khatreja, Priyaneet Singh DTP Manager Balwant Singh Senior DTP Designer Jagtar Singh DTP Designers Nand Kishor Acharya, Sachin Gupta Editorial Assistant Kaiya Shang Jacket Editor Manisha Majithia Managing Editor Rohan Sinha SMITHSONIAN ENTERPRISES Senior Vice President Carol LeBlanc Director of Licensing Brigid Ferraro Licensing Manager and Project Coordinator Ellen Nanney Product Development Coordinator Kealy Wilson Associate Publishing Director Liz Wheeler Publishing Director Jonathan Metcalf First American edition, 2013 Published by DK Publishing, 4th Floor, 345 Hudson Street, New York 10014 13 14 15 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 184801 – 001 – Oct/2013 Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited Copyright © 2013 Dorling Kindersley Limited All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN 978-1-4654-1434-2 DK books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact: DK Publishing Special Markets, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 or SpecialSales@dk.com Color reproduction by Alta Images, London Printed and bound in China by Hung Hing Discover more at www.dk.com CONTRIBUTORS Jack Challoner Philip Parker Mary Gribbin Science writer and communicator with a background in physics. He contributed to DK’s Science and has written more than 30 other books on science and technology, for readers of all ages. Historian and writer whose books include DK’s Eyewitness Companion: World History, Timelines of History, and Engineers. Science writer for young readers and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex. Derek Harvey Naturalist and science writer for titles including DK’s Science and The Natural History Book. John Farndon Popular science writer, specializing in Earth science and the history of ideas. Marcus Weeks Writer on history, economics, and popular science. He has contributed to DK’s Science, Engineers, and Help Your Kids with Math. GLOSSARY Richard Beatty Edinburgh-based science writer, editor, and scientiﬁc lexicographer. Giles Sparrow Popular science writer, specializing in astronomy and space science. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CONSULTANTS SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION Professor Robert Winston John Gribbin Smithsonian contributors include historians and museum specialists from: Robert Winston is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London and runs a research program in the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology. He is an author and broadcaster and regularly writes and hosts popular science programs, many of which have been shown around the world. Previous DK books include the award-winning What Makes Me Me?, Science Experiments, and Human. Science writer, astrophysicist, and Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex. He is the author of Science: A History, published by Penguin. CHIEF EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Patricia Fara Patricia Fara is Senior Tutor of Clare College, University of Cambridge. She has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science, and is a regular contributor to radio and TV programs. Marty Jopson Science communicator and TV presenter, with a Ph.D. in plant cell biology. National Air and Space Museum The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum maintains the world’s largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft, and its mission is to educate and inspire by preserving and displaying historically signiﬁcant aeronautical and spaceﬂight artifacts. National Museum of American History Jane McIntosh Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History dedicates its collections and scholarship to inspiring a broader understanding of the American nation and its many peoples. National Museum of Natural History The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history museum in the world and the most visited museum in the Smithsonian museum complex. National Museums of Asian Art The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery hold in trust the nation’s extraordinary collections of Asian art and of American art of the late 19th century aesthetic movement, and are dedicated to the acquisition, care, study, and exhibition of works in their collections. 1 2 3 2.5 MYA–799CE 800–1542 010 BEFORE SCIENCE BEGAN 044 THE EUROPEAN 074 THE AGE AND ISLAMIC OF DISCOVERY RENAISSANCE Features Features Features 016 Early Metallurgy 054 Understanding Stars 078 The Story of Anatomy 020 The Story of The Wheel 062 The Story of Gears 084 Measuring Instruments 1543–1788 026 The Story of Geometry 090 Medicine 034 Understanding Simple Machines 100 Understanding Planetary Orbits 108 The Story of Measuring Time 114 Microscopes 120 Understanding Newton’s Laws of Motion 132 Navigational Tools 146 Meteorological Instruments CONTENTS 4 5 6 7 1789–1894 1895–1945 1946–2013 158 THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS 230 THE ATOMIC AGE 276 THE INFORMATION AGE 350 REFERENCE Features Features Features Categories 164 Fossils 234 Understanding Electromagnetic Radiation 284 Understanding DNA 352 Measurements and Units 292 The Story of Oceanography 355 Physics 170 The Story of the Engine 174 Understanding Compounds and Reactions 184 The Story of Calculating Machines 240 Flying Machines 244 Understanding Relativity 194 Understanding Cells 250 Understanding Atomic Structure 204 Understanding Evolution 260 The Story of Plastics 212 Surgery 266 Understanding Radioactivity 218 The Story of Sound Recording 358 Chemistry 298 The Story of Space Exploration 360 Biology 316 Communication 364 Astronomy and Space 326 Understanding Global Warming 366 Earth Science 334 The Story of Robotics 344 Understanding Cosmology 368 Who’s Who 375 Glossary 382 Index 398 Acknowledgments Forewor d “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun, 1950 Modern science carries multiple traces of its historical origins: we encounter its past every day. Even the most sophisticated clocks mark off time in sixties, a survival from Babylonian numbering systems used many thousands of years ago. Scientiﬁc heroes are celebrated in units of measurement—Volts, Curies, Richters—and in parts of our body, such as the Eustachian tubes in our ears. Discarded scientiﬁc theories live on in language: “melancholic” and “sanguine” originated in ancient Greek medicine, while “mesmerizing” refers to an 18th-century French therapy based on magnets. Plants and animals still bear the Latin names of Carl Linnaeus’s classiﬁcation system, introduced in Sweden long before Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories made sense of life’s complicated variety—and rainbows have seven colors because Isaac Newton believed they should follow the mathematics of musical scales worked out by Pythagoras. Technological science now permeates society, inseparable from political, commercial, military, and industrial projects, yet the word “scientist” was invented only in 1833. Despite that apparently late start, science has ancient roots. Long before universities and laboratories were created, stargazers studied the heavens to calculate the dates of religious festivals, while scholars attached to mosques and monasteries deciphered God’s designs by interpreting the natural world. Uneducated men and women were building up the practical expertise that later provided the foundation of scientiﬁc disciplines— how to distil medicines from herbs, smelt ores to produce metals, navigate by the stars, detect the signs of bad weather, mix chemicals to make soap. From the earliest attempts to make ﬁres, pots, and tools, people have always experimented to ﬁnd out how the world works and how they can make their lives more comfortable. These twin goals of scientiﬁc research were spelled out in the early 17th century by philosopher Francis Bacon. “Knowledge is power,” he declared, and the rate of change accelerated as governments increasingly recognized the advantages to be gained from investment in scientiﬁc projects. Expanding exponentially, technological science rapidly came to dominate the world, uniting it in an international web of instantaneous electronic communication. Science has uncovered many of nature’s secrets, but it has also unleashed some genies—atomic energy, global warming, genetic modiﬁcation—that may ultimately destroy us. As citizens of a scientiﬁc global community, we need to understand the past in order to control our own future. PATRICIA FARA Chief Editorial Consultant Extremophile habitat Vivid colors in the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, US, result from a ﬁlm of pigmented bacteria around the edge of the hot spring. Different species of microbes ﬂourish in speciﬁc temperatures and contain pigments suited to their environments. 1 BEFORE SCIENCE BEGAN 2.5 MYA–799 CE Starting with early experiments to make tools and use fire, humans gradually learned how to control, explore, and understand their surroundings by developing techniques in astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. 2.5 MYA– 8000 BCE The paintings at El Castillo in Spain, dating from around 41,000 YA , are among the oldest known cave art. Made using natural pigments, the paintings include depictions of horses and bison, although the very earliest are abstract disks and dots. THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SCIENTIFIC ADVANCE was the production of stone tools. Around 2.5 million years ago (MYA), early hominids (either Homo habilis or Australopithecus) began to modify cobbles by striking them with another stone, thus removing ﬂakes of stone and creating a sharp edge—a method known as hard-hammer percussion. These early pebble tools, or choppers, are known as Oldowan tools. They were used for dismembering killed animals, cracking bones for the marrow, and scraping hides. Oldowan technology spread throughout Africa, where it lasted until around 1.7 MYA. Early hominids must have seen and understood the power of ﬁre by observing wildﬁres caused by lightning strikes. They may have sharp edge where stone ﬂake struck off Oldowan tool Choppers like this were the earliest stone tools. They were suitable for tasks such as cutting animal hides. t ls es rli too Ea ne o st .5 an c. 2 dow de a l O em ar A MY st lie ar lian E s u A M Y che axe .76 A and h c.1 12 SURFACE 1 surface of both blocks heat up upper and lower blocks rubbed together SURFACE 2 GENERATING HEAT FROM FRICTION Rubbing two surfaces together causes the kinetic movement energy of the rubbing motion to be transferred to the atoms in the surfaces. This process, known as friction, causes the atoms to heat up. The smoother the surfaces, the more heat is generated; in extreme cases this can cause nearby material to catch ﬁre. lit branches from these ﬁres to use as weapons against predators or to provide light and heat. There is possible evidence for sporadic controlled use of ﬁre from around 1 MYA, with evidence of regular use from around 400,000 YA. Finds at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov in Israel (790,000 YA) show signs of the active use of ﬁre. Early humans were able to use devices such as ﬁre plows or ﬁre drills to produce their own ﬁre with friction. Fire was important for warmth and protection, splitting stones, hardening the points of wooden tools, and cooking. Heating food breaks down proteins, which makes it easier to digest. It also protects food from decay and extends the range of edible resources to include plants containing toxins that can be broken down by heat. The earliest evidence of cooking comes from sites such as Gesher Benot Ya’aqov in Israel (790,000 YA), where concentrations of burnt seeds and wood were found. Making ﬁre Early humans probably made ﬁre using a ﬁre drill or ﬁre plow, which generates heat by rubbing two pieces of wood together. The heat causes wood dust to ignite and this can then be used to light larger kindling. ﬂame generated in kindling such as twigs n ria e te g us usin com o M de be E e C e a 0 B m niqu rop u 00 ls 5, oo ech n E 12 ke t is t nt i o a a l ﬂ val in Le edom pr st Fir f YA e o ot 0 00 us en 0, lled at B l 9 c.7 ntro und srae co e, fo ov, I ﬁr ’aqk Ya t es t rli Ea nd a d E u C n 0 B , fo ngla 00 ls 0, too ve, E 0 r c.5 ntle xgro a Bo Around 1.76 MYA, more advanced stone tools began to appear. Unlike Oldowan tools, Acheulian tools, particularly the multipurpose handaxe, were deliberately shaped. Hardhammer percussion (striking off ﬂakes with a hammerstone) was used to rough out the tool’s shape. It was then reﬁned by removing smaller ﬂakes using a soft hammer of bone or antler. Mousterian tools are particularly associated with Neanderthals and occurred from c.300,000 YA. They include sharp-edged Levallois ﬂakes that were struck off a prepared st de Ol und E C fo any 0 B s, 00 ar rm 0, spe , Ge 0 c. 4 den ngen o i wo rön G at w Bo d e o l p 0 00 deve , 4 t c.6 ﬁrs is BC E Upper Paleolithic leaf point This skillfully crafted tool was made by ﬂaking small pieces off a larger core using a sharp piece of bone or antler to apply pressure. core (see panel, opposite), and a wide range of ﬂake tools—such as knives, spear points, and scrapers—shaped for different purposes. In the late Middle and Upper Paleolithic (c.35,000–10,000 YA), a new technique, indirect percussion, allowed for many blades to be struck from a single core. The ﬁnal stage of tool development ﬁrst appeared c.70,000 YA and became widespread postglacially from about 10,000 YA. It involved microliths—tiny ﬂakes and blades for use in composite tools. The earliest weapons were rocks or handaxes, but by about 400,000 BCE early people had adapted sticks for use as spears. At ﬁrst, these had sharpened wooden ends, but by around 200,000 BCE stone points started being attached to create more effective weapons. The bow was probably ﬁrst developed around 64,000 BCE, but the earliest examples found st lie s, ar ting E E in BC pa pain 00 e ,0 cav lo, S 9 l c.3 own asti kn El C at e on t b ope s r e rli Eu Ea d in E n BC u 0 o 00 , f 0, dles 3 . c ee n gs Do ted a 0 tic 00 es 0, om 3 c. st d ﬁr BC E Einkorn is the ancestor of modern wheat and still occurs naturally throughout southwest Asia. It has a higher protein content than its domesticated descendent. date from around 9000 BCE. The arrows of this period show evidence of ﬂetching— attaching feathers to the shaft to improve ﬂight and accuracy. The ﬁrst deliberate use of ﬁre to harden clay dates from around 24,000 BCE, with the manufacture of ceramic Venus ﬁgurines found at Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic. Examples of the ﬁrst pottery vessels, from around 18,000 BCE, were found in Xianrendong Cave in China, but the earliest ceramic vessels to have survived in any quantity are Jomon pots from Japan. These date from about 14,000 BCE and were probably used for cooking food. The growing stability of settlements probably played a role in the spread of pottery stone core Jomon pot This style of pottery was produced in Japan for over 10,000 years. The earlier examples generally have pointed bottoms. were ﬁred in pit-kilns, or bonﬁre kilns, which were shallow pits dug in the ground and lined with fuel. In western Asia, unbaked clay was initially used for making bricks. The ﬁrst containers were made from gypsum and lime plaster, which was made by burning chalk. It was not until around 6900 BCE that ceramic pottery appeared at sites such as Çayönü in Turkey. The earliest bone needles date from around 30,000 BCE and come from Europe. They may have been used to join skins together, using threads of gut or sinew, and to thread pierced objects, such as shells or beads. Ancient clay impressions of textiles date the ﬁrst woven cloth to around 27,000 BCE. Cordage—the twisting together of ﬁbers to increase the strength of the threads— appeared around 18,000 BCE, when three-ply cord was in use in the Lascaux caves of southern France. Until at least 13,000 YA, early humans were hunter- vessels, which were useful for storing food and also for cooking. Early pottery was generally formed by pinching (shaping the wet clay by hand) or gradually coiling rolls of clay up and into the shape of a pot. These pots “tortoise” core shape is gradually developed ﬂakes are detached ﬂakes are detached from the face THE LEVALLOIS TECHNIQUE This technique involves shaping a “tortoise” core using hard and soft percussion. Flakes are struck from the edges and one face to produce the desired shape of the ﬁnal ﬂake, which is then detached from the core. The resulting ﬂake has a sharp edge on all sides and can be used without further modiﬁcation. ic am er lni c st Do lic Fir at pub E e BC und 0 hR 00 s, fo zec , 4 e C c.2 urin ice, ﬁg ston Ve wn no y t k tter in s Fir f po nd a o u in CE 0 B ples s, fo , Ch 0 0 m sel ve , 8 xa s a 1 . C e ve g c n do en nr a i X wn no g t k stin s r i Fi (tw E r BC ge 00 rda er fo ) 0 , co th th 8 c.1 e of toge eng us ers r str ﬁb eate gr The upland areas of the Fertile Crescent, an area of relatively fertile land in southwest Asia, were home to wild cereals, sheep, and goats. Around 10,000 BCE the climate cooled, leading to a contraction of the range of wild cereals to areas with higher rainfall. Perhaps due to the greater difﬁculty in gathering the seeds of these plants, communities began cultivating them next to their villages. Sheep and goats were also domesticated for their meat. More productive sources of food led to increased population densities, while the demand in time and labor needed for agriculture led to settlements becoming both larger and more sedentary. gatherers or foragers. The ﬁrst evidence of plant domestication (the deliberate selection and manipulation of plants for cultivation) is of wild rye seeds that were sown and harvested around the settlement of Abu Hureyra in Iraq around 10,500 BCE. About a thousand years later, a group of wild cereals— notably einkorn (Triticum boeoticum) and emmer (Triticum dicoccoides), both varieties of wheat, and wild ce en g vid bein g E E n ks ldi BC 00 ric ui ,0 d b se-b 0 u c.1 f m hou o in d e us barley (Hordeum vulgare)— were domesticated. Cultivation of these cereals was widely distributed in southwest Asia, particularly in a fertile crescent of land that stretched from the Persian Gulf to the coastlands of the Near East. By 7000 BCE, barley had also been domesticated on the Indian subcontinent. In China, however, a different set of plants, notably millet and rice, was domesticated beginning in the 8th millennium BCE. Bone shuttle Needles and shuttles of bone were the ﬁrst means of binding materials together, using animal gut or vegetable ﬁbers such as ﬂax. rn t ko irs f ein ) F t E n o ea BC 00 tio wh ,0 tica ild 0 c.1 mes of w do type (a CE 0B 00 wn 4 , no of c.1 st k les Fir amp ese tery ex pan pot Ja mon Jo e nc ide ye ev n: r aq t s io Ir Fir icat ra, E t y BC es ure 0 m 0 ,5 t do bu H 0 c.1 plan at A of own gr DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE st Fir n E BC io t 0 a 00 tic c.8 mes ts o a d go of BC E 0 50 of c.8 tion a tic es m do st Fir ep e sh 13 8000 – 3000 BCE 15 THOUSAND THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF SOAY SHEEP ALIVE TODAY The Soay sheep is native to a small island off the west coast of Scotland. It is a primitive breed, very similar to the ﬁrst domesticated sheep in Europe. Farming hillsides The use of terraces to allow hilly areas to be farmed began in Yemen in about 4000 BCE but was also widely practiced in China and in mountainous areas of Peru. ONE OF THE FIRST ANIMALS to be domesticated by humans, around 30,000 BCE, was the dog, which was selectively bred from domesticated wolves and was used for hunting. Around 8500 BCE, people in southwest Asia began to domesticate other animals, beginning with sheep and goats. Cattle and pigs were domesticated around 7000 BCE in many places across the world, and by 3000 BCE a number of other animals had been domesticated including, in the Americas, the guinea pig (around 5000 BCE) and the llama (about 4500 BCE). The ﬁrst large-scale construction of stone buildings began around 9000 BCE, with the building of a ritual structure at Göbekli Tepe in southeast Anatolia (in modern Turkey). It consisted of a number of free-standing T-shaped pillars within a low circular enclosure wall. In around 8000 BCE the ﬁrst settlement wall was built at Jericho in Palestine. Made of stone, the wall was about 16 ft (5 m) high with a circumference of 1,970 ft (600 m). Architectural techniques became more sophisticated, with the use of corbelling (overlapping stone to create a type of vaulted roof) in northwest Europe by 4000 BCE, and buttresses to strengthen walls in Mesopotamia by around 3400 BCE. From about 5000 BCE, the practice of building large structures using massive stones—megaliths—spread ne to t s , at s r Fi uilt E b ine BC is 00 all lest 0 a 8 w . c wn o, P to rich Je , try q st Fir aske Ira E C b in 0 B of mo 00 ce r c.7 iden at Ja ev nd fou nd ea d ttl cate t a C sti Eas E e r re BC 00 dom Nea whe 0 e e 7 e . s r h l c s a in t nd e pig a 14 throughout western Europe, resulting in structures such as the Carnac stones in Brittany, France (dating from around 4500 BCE), Newgrange Passage tomb in Ireland (around 3400 BCE), and Stonehenge in England (from 2500 BCE). By around 6500 BCE the people of Mehrgarh (in modern Pakistan) were making bitumen, a sticky liquid that seeps from crude oil deposits, to make reed baskets waterproof, and around 2600 BCE the people of the Indus Civilization were using it to create a watertight coating for brickbuilt basins. In Mesopotamia from the 4th millennium BCE, bitumen was mixed with sand to create a mortar for building and as a tar for caulking ships. is en m d for u t Bi use g, in E BC rst ﬁn tan 0 ﬁ roo akis 50 p P 6 r . c te h, wa rgar h e M Where there was insufﬁcient rainfall for agriculture, farmers developed irrigation to transport water to their ﬁelds. At Choga Mami, in eastern Iraq, water channels from the Tigris River were constructed from around 6000 BCE, and by the 4th millennium BCE, dams and dikes were used to store water in reservoirs in parts of western Asia. In Egypt, the annual ﬂooding of the Nile River inundated ﬁelds naturally, but from at least as early as 3000 BCE, excess water was diverted for storage. Terrace agriculture, in which ﬂat, cultivable areas are cut into a hillside and irrigated by water channels, was developed in Yemen in around 4000 BCE. In China, networks of banks and ditches were built to ﬂood and drain wet-rice cultivation ﬁelds (paddies). Cold-working (beating or hammering) of naturally occurring metals, such as gold and copper, was practiced as early as 8000 BCE. Smelting— heating metallic ores with a reducing agent to extract the pure metal (see 1800–700 BCE)— appeared as early as 6500 BCE in Çatal Höyük in Turkey. The technique spread widely: it was being used from southeast Europe to ALLOYS The combination of two or more metals produces an alloy, which may have different characteristics from the original metals. In the mid to late 5th millennium BCE, it was discovered that smelting a small amount of arsenic with copper produced arsenical bronze, which is harder and stronger than copper alone. By around 3200 BCE, true bronze was being produced in southwest Asia by using tin instead of arsenic in the smelting process, and objects such as this early 2nd century bronze ﬁgurine were being made. By the late 3rd millennium BCE, it had also been discovered that copper could be alloyed with zinc, forming brass. f eo nc ound e f y id Ev ing, rke u CE lt 0 B me ük, T 0 5 rs y c.6 ppe l Hö co Çata at ry st nd tte in lie Po ear, re ar , fou key E E p C tu CE rls ur 0 B ap ul 0 B ho k, T 00 st a c 00 le w öyü .6 s ﬁr sun mia 6 c . n s c ind l H ta kil e Ha opo sp Çata th Mes at of g tin n el m ster st s er ea Ea pp uth r Co so Nea E C in he t 0 B ns 50 egi and c.5 b pe o r Eu n tio iga at r r I ilt CE q u 0 B e b Ira 50 s ar mi, 5 c. nal Ma ca oga Ch The Carnac stones in Brittany, France, are a series of more than 3,000 upright megaliths. The oldest stones date from around 4500 BCE. “ BARLEY IS THRESHED FOR YOU, WHEAT IS REAPED FOR YOU, YOUR MONTHLY FEASTS ARE MADE WITH IT, YOUR HALF-MONTHLY FEASTS ARE MADE WITH IT. “ Spinning threads Spindle whorls are often the ﬁrst evidence of spinning—spun threads are wrapped around a spindle shaft. Whorls are usually light; if heavier than 5 oz (150 g), they tend to break the thread. Ancient Egyptian pyramid text, c.2400–2300 BCE South Asia by 5500 BCE; throughout Europe by 3000 BCE; and as far as China and Southeast Asia by 2000 BCE. Casting metal objects with a mold developed in the 5th millennium BCE. The ﬁrst known cast metal object comes from Mesopotamia and dates from about 3200 BCE. Spinning raw ﬁbers to make a thread may have begun as early as the 7th millennium BCE, which is the date of spindle whorls found at Çatal Höyük, Turkey. Weaving may have arisen from the late Paleolithic skill of making nets and baskets. The loom—a frame or brace to keep one set of threads (the warp) tense while another (the weft) is interwoven with it—appeared in the form of warp beams (simple sticks) and backstrap looms (the warp beams were held taut by a strap around the user’s back) in West Asia and Egypt by the 4th millennium BCE. During the early years of agriculture, ground for sowing had to be cultivated using handheld digging sticks or hoes. The use of cattle as draft animals made the eventual use of the ard, or scratch plow, possible. This primitive wooden plow, sometimes with a metal tip, cut shallow furrows. The earliest evidence of its use comes from the 4th millennium BCE, and it spread widely in Egypt, West Asia, and Europe. The quality of ceramics was improved by the invention, in around 6000 BCE, of kilns— specially built chambers in which pottery could be ﬁred. Two-chamber, updraft kilns (in which the ﬁre is in the lower chamber) appeared in the Hassuna culture of Mesopotamia in about 6000 BCE. Around CE 0B 00 al c.5 meg of ing ild ns Bu begi s ith w plo a rd ami igs A t E a p eru po e BC o n P 0 s i 00 Me Gu d in E e c.5 d in BC at 0 c e i 00 st us is c.5 ome d e ar 5000 BCE, the method of “coiling” pots was improved by a simple turntable (tournette) beneath the pot. By 3500 BCE, the tournette had been replaced in southern Mesopotamia by a true potter’s wheel, consisting of a heavy stone wheel that could be turned rapidly and continuously. This allowed the potter to throw the pot by placing a lump in the center of the device and shaping it as the wheel spun around. For many millennia, all transportation on land was by foot. The ﬁrst artiﬁcial aids were sleds, which have been found in Finland dating from 6800 BCE, and skis, in use in Russia around 6300 BCE. The invention of the wheel revolutionized transportation. handle of pot Wagon in clay This clay pot in the shape of a wagon dates from around 3000 BCE and shows the typical features of early wheeled vehicles from central and southern Europe. wheel in the form of a solid disk d ce t ed as du at e t c pro s rig s ar ir re r I F e a CE CE ac ts 0 B rr 0 B ec ia 00 e te men 00 obj tam 4 4 l d . . o c lsi c eta op Ye hil ilt in m Mes bu in er pp Co ads E C re 0 B sp 00 ng sia c.5 elti th A sm Sou to tte ne r ur e) fo d o T bl te E a BC nt ven 00 (tur s in 5 i c. 4 heel tery w pot Four-wheeled wagons appeared in Poland and the Balkans around 3500 BCE and soon afterward in Mesopotamia. At ﬁrst, wheels were solid disks connected to the wagon by a wooden axle, but around 2000 BCE, spoked wheels were developed, which made lighter, more mobile vehicles possible. Around 3100 BCE, efﬁcient harnesses for attaching draft animals to wagons were developed in Mesopotamia, allowing greater loads and distances to be attained. As commercial transactions grew more complex, accurate measurements of goods became essential. Standardized weight and length measures were introduced in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley in the late 4th millennium BCE. The earliest weights were often based on grains of wheat or barley, which have a uniform weight. The standard unit of length, the cubit, was based on the length of a man’s forearm. ice t-r ns We begi na i 0 B ion Ch 00 vat in c. 4 culti CE e ar e st Fir cles rop E u i C 0 B veh l E 50 ed ntra c.3 eel n ce wh ed i us nt r’s nd te cie r a ke ot d in fﬁ oped e p E e a p a i to p m e el CE ue op Co to onz Tr vel otam 0 B dev mia als E 0 E r e d a C s C 1 p t i d e b m s 0 B oy e so 0 B is c.3 ess sopo ani gon 20 all tru 50 el Me t n ar Me draf o wa c.3 are c.3 whe ern h n t i ch h tin ut a so att d ize n rd di da n ce a St ngth rodu and E C t e , 0 B d l in ia 00 t an are tam c.3 igh res opo we asu Mes y e m ypt, Valle Eg us Ind 15 2.5 MYA –7 9 9 CE B E FO R E S C I E N C E B E GA N curved blade adapted for harvesting grain Reaping hook Metal shears Cast-iron mold Date unknown By the Iron Age, metal harvesting sickles had replaced ﬂint-bladed ones since the metal was readily available and easier to sharpen and mend than ﬂint. Date unknown These iron shears from Italy are similar to those used by later sheep-shearers. They were found in Riva del Garda, in the Italian province of Trento. c.300 BCE The Chinese had invented high-temperature furnaces capable of melting iron as early as 500 BCE. This enabled them to produce cast iron by pouring molten metal into molds such as this one, used to make agricultural tools. sharp tip for piercing Bronze sword c.1200 BCE Sword blades could be created using bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Bronze Age swords, such as this one from France, were carried only by the rich. ﬂat pommel Iron sword c.500–700 The Anglo-Saxons used the pattern-welding technique to make swords, in which rods of iron were twisted together and forged to form the core. An edge was then added. blade with rounded tip EARLY METALLURGY ANCIENT METALLURGISTS PRODUCED A VARIETY OF OBJECTS—FROM LETHAL WEAPONRY TO STUNNING JEWELRY The development of metallurgy, from around 6500 BCE, made possible the production of ornamental objects of great beauty as well as tools and weapons that were more durable and effective than those made of wood. Chariot decoration c.100 BCE –100 CE Enameling, or the fusing of molten glass with metal, was invented around 1200 BCE. The use of red glass in enameling became especially popular in the late Iron Age, as seen in this Celtic chariot decoration. The earliest metalworking was cold-hammering—the beating of naturally occurring metals. After smelting (heating ore to extract metal) was developed, techniques became more sophisticated. Metal casting began around 5000 BCE, and alloys were developed in the 5th millennium BCE. By the end of the ancient period, techniques such as gilding and inlaying had been developed and metalworking had spread across much of the world. Bronze Celtic brooch c.800 BCE This ornate brooch was created by Hallstatt craftsmen in Austria. The spiral pattern was part of the Celtic artistic repertoire for over 1,500 years. red enamel ﬁligree work Bronze pin c.1200 Pins with ﬂattened heads were a common decorative item used for fastening clothes in Bronze-Age Europe. granulation Anglo-Saxon belt buckle bird’s head in proﬁle 16 writhing snake pattern c.620 This gold belt buckle features an intertwined pattern of snakes and beasts, highlighted in black niello—an enamellike substance formed from an alloy of silver, copper, lead, and sulfur. Gold Minoan pendant c.1700–1550 BCE This pendant, depicting bees depositing honey on a honeycomb, exhibits granulation (minute balls of gold soldered onto the surface) and ﬁligree (ﬁne threads of metal). hemispherical iron cap Corinthian helmet c.700 BCE This helmet is made from a single piece of bronze, giving it extra strength. Such helmets were popular in Greece from the 8th to the 6th centuries BCE. rigid face mask, riveted to cap decorative roundel red glass inlay Ceremonial shield cover c.350–50 BCE Made from a bronze sheet, this shield cover displays the repoussé technique of hammering the reverse side to create a raised design on the front. stamped design Silver plaque Lydian coins c.300–200 BCE This plaque depicts the ﬁgures of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, her son Eros, and a girl attendant, was made by repoussé. Other decorative incisions have been highlighted with gilding. c.700 BCE The earliest coinage was produced in Lydia (now in Turkey). It was made from electrum—a naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold, which was once believed to be a metal in its own right. neck guard Anglo-Saxon helmet (reconstruction) c.620 Found in a ship burial at Sutton Hoo, UK, the original helmet was made of iron and covered with tinned bronze sheets. It was decorated with silver wire and garnets. turquoise eye leg shaped as dragon Bronze ﬁgure c.1000 BCE This statuette of a Canaanite god was made with a technique called cire-perdue casting, which uses a single-use mold, and plated with silver using a direct application technique. Bronze Age vessel Copper mask c.800 BCE This animal-shaped ritual vessel, known as yi, was used in Late Western Zhou China for washing hands before making a sacriﬁce. c.250 Found in the tomb of a nobleman from the Peruvian Moche culture, this mask shows mastery of metal sculpture. Both eyes were originally inset with turquoise. 17 3000 –1800 BCE ,, ,, CLIMB UPON THE WALL OF URUK, WALK ALONG IT, I SAY; REGARD THE FOUNDATION TERRACE AND EXAMINE THE MASONRY… Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet I, c.2000 BCE The ruins of Uruk, the world’s oldest city, are in present-day Iraq. The site of Uruk was ﬁrst settled around 4800 BCE and became a town around 4000 BCE. IRRIGATION TECHNIQUES BECAME MORE COMPLEX during the 3rd millennium BCE. The shadoof was developed in Mesopotamia in around 2400 BCE. It consisted of an upright frame with a pole suspended from it; on one end of the pole was a bucket for scooping up water, while on the other was a counterweight. By 1350 BCE, the shadoof had spread to Egypt. There, devices called nilometers had already been developed to measure the rise and fall of the river, which predicted how good the harvest would be. In the period 4000–3000 BCE farming communities in Mesopotamia had coalesced to form the world’s ﬁrst cities, such as Uruk c.3400 BCE. By 3100 BCE, cities had begun to appear in Egypt, beginning with Hierakonpolis. By 2600 BCE, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, great cities of the Indus Civilization, had been built. As towns and cities developed, the ﬁrst true writing emerged in Mesopotamia around 3300 BCE, probably prompted by the need to keep detailed records. Originally largely pictographic, with signs looking like the things they represented, they were written using a stylus that produced wedge-shaped marks. Cuneiform script developed as the curved outlines of these early signs changed into a series of wedge-shaped lines that gradually became more stylized over time. These symbols were impressed into soft clay, which then hardened to create durable documents. At around the same time, another writing system developed in Egypt. Known as hieroglyphic, this system was lime in a furnace, but initially was suitable only for small objects. In Egypt, faience became common from around 3000 BCE. Consisting of a mixture of crushed quartz, calcite lime, and soda lime, which when vitriﬁed produced a blueturquoise glaze, faience was used by the Egyptians on small sculptures and beads. The early 3rd millennium BCE saw the spread of true bronze, created by alloying copper with tin, which became the most commonly used metal in Mesopotamia between 3000 and 2500 BCE. Clay crucible furnaces for smelting appeared there in around 3000 BCE. Mesopotamian metallurgists also invented the technique of gold granulation around 2500 BCE. This produced tiny gold balls, which were used to decorate jewelry. EARLY ASTRONOMY Evidence of interest in astronomical phenomena dates from Neolithic times in Europe, when many megaliths were laid out in an orientation that indicated particular lunar or solar events. Some of the stones at Stonehenge (ﬁrst erected around 2500 BCE) were aligned to indicate the times of year at which the winter and summer solstices occurred. Other features may have been connected with lunar events. initially primarily pictographic. The earliest known examples are clay labels from Abydos, c.3300 BCE. Writing also developed in the Indus Valley around 2600 BCE, in China by at least 1400 BCE, and in Mesoamerica around 600 BCE. Soda-lime glass was ﬁrst developed in Mesopotamia around 3500 BCE. It was made by ﬁring silica (sand), soda ash, and Egyptian boat of the dead A model of the boat buried near the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The boat was intended to ferry the dead pharaoh’s soul across the heavens. rack for holding oars in place shelter high, curved stern E o BC nt t 00 egi gyp ay 0 b E Cl aces ar c.3 ties r in CE n ppe B i r 0 u C pea 00 le f g a ia ap c.3 ucib eltin tam cr sm opo for Mes in f ns eo tia s Us mes yp hip g t o E ks E 0 ec Egyp BC an 00 e b 00 n-pl c.3 ienc on in 0 c.3 sew fa m m co lop ve de E BC 18 f so ed tie d Ci an blish on o r sta ati B a 0 D z 60 jo re e ivili c.2 hen pa a s C o u p M ra Ind Ha the by E bs BC m pt 00 a to Egy 9 b c.2 sta ilt in Ma e bu r a CE ep St er E BC jos 5 pt 62 of D Egy c.2 id t in m ra uil Py is b t ea Gr are a 72 Giz 24 of 0 – ids ypt 5 25 ram Eg Py ilt in bu BC E 1 ST CENTURY THE DATE BY WHICH CUNEIFORM SCRIPT HAD BECOME EXTINCT Boat-building also developed signiﬁcantly around the 3rd millennium BCE. Early humans had probably been using some form of boat from as long ago as 50,000 BCE, although the earliest surviving water craft is a dugout canoe that dates from around 7200 BCE. In the Gulf region, boats were being made of bitumen-coated reeds as early as 5000 BCE. By around 3000 BCE, more sophisticated vessels made of wooden planks that were sewn together were being built in Egypt. Early boats were powered solely by oars. Sailing boats, with square-rigged sails, appeared in Egypt in around 3100 BCE, supplementing muscle power with wind power. By 3000 BCE, large steering oars pair of steering oars leaf-shaped blade had been developed in Egypt, and by about 2500 BCE, pairs of side oars and tillers had been introduced. Before 3000 BCE, few monumental structures were residential. The practice of building some temples on platforms began before 4000 BCE, the platform rising with each rebuilding. After 2900 BCE, temple platforms in Sumerian cities such as Ur and Kish reached a considerable height, leading to the development of ziggurats— initially three-tiered structures with a shrine on the top platform. Largely made of mud bricks, with a baked-brick facing, these monumental structures suggest growing sophistication in structural engineering. In Egypt, most architecture was religious (temples) or funerary (tombs). The tombs of the nobility and rulers of the Early Dynastic Period (around 2900 BCE) were simple mud-brick rectangular structures known as mastabas. Between 2630 and 2611 BCE, during the reign of the pharaoh Djoser, a huge mastaba was irs t pa ats en ss se n bo nv oce i u s pr s o CE an ian lers 0 B mi ion pt gy d til 50 pota ulat 2 E c. so ran an CE 0 B rs Me ld g 50 e oa o 2 . g c sid of BC E 0 s 50 ian c.2 ylon -Sur b a st Ba e G e ﬁr p th th ma e , uc et ue od tabl tr pr of on e cti eng c e Er eh ithi E n al ed BC to t 00 at S meg dica nd 5 a 2 a s . c gin d, at in lar nts be glan t th t so eve s n r n n e rta na ne E lu sto in num po o im m Egyptian faience This Middle Kingdom (1975–1640 BCE) statue of a woman with a tattooed body shows the deep blue color typical of much Egyptian faience work. modiﬁed by building six stepped platforms to create a step pyramid. By the reigns of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure in mid-3rd millennium BCE, the creation of smoothsided stone pyramids had been perfected, and each of these pharaohs erected a huge pyramid tomb for himself at Giza. Collectively known as the Great Pyramids, each was oriented and built with great precision, which suggests that sophisticated surveying techniques were in use. An interest in observational astronomy arose early in Mesopotamia, culminating in the Venus tablet of AmmiSaduqa (dating from around 1650 BCE). It contained the rising and setting times of the planet Venus over a period of 21 years. A carved piece of mammoth tusk found in Germany, dating from about 32,500 BCE, may possibly represent the constellation Orion, but systematic division of the sky into constellations dates from Babylonian manuscripts c.1595 BCE. With the growing administrative demands of cities in the 3rd millennium BCE, the development of an accurate calendar became vital. The ﬁrst known version is in the Umma calendar of Shulgi, a Sumerian document dating from about 2100 BCE that contains 12 lunar months of either 29 or 30 days. When this 354-day year became too out of phase with the real 365.25-day year, an extra month was added by royal decree. The ancient Egyptians had a similar calendar, but ﬁve days were added each year to give a 365-day year. There have been claims that some prehistoric carvings represent topographical maps, but true cartography and real maps were not developed until the 3rd millennium BCE. The Akkadian Ga-Sur tablet (dating from about 2500 BCE) shows the size and location of a plot of land between two hills and was probably part of a land transaction. Fragments of a statue of Gudea of Lagash, from around 2125 BCE, show a plan of a temple. The ﬁrst real street map discovered to date shows a scale plan of the Sumerian town of Nippur (in present-day Iraq) and dates from about 1500 BCE. The ﬁrst surviving attempt to map the entire known world is the Babylonian “world map” from about 600 BCE, which shows the regions surrounding Babylon (see 700–400 BCE). Monumentally tall Built around 2560 BCE, the Great Pyramid of Khufu was 482 ft (147 m) tall and remained the world’s tallest building for nearly 4,000 years. 150 125 HEIGHT IN METRES Cuneiform (wedge-shaped) script developed from the earliest writing, invented in Mesopotamia around 3300 BCE . It was used for a wide range of ancient Near Eastern languages, including Sumerian and Akkadian. 100 75 50 25 0 Great St. Peter’s Pyramid Cathedral Big Ben Statue of Taj Mahal Liberty Notre Dame t en nv s i vice n a de 0 B mi 40 ota f, a er c.2 sop adoo wat Me e sh sing th rai for CE st Fir ilt u a b i 0 e 20 ar am c.2 rats opot u s g e zig in M BC E BC E 0 e 10 uc c.2 prod own s kn ma i ian t er rlies e Um ulg m h Su e ea r, th of S th nda dar n le ca cale 19 2.5 MYA –7 9 9 CE B E FO R E S C I E N C E B E GA N Faster armies Lightweight war chariots enabled armies to maneuver much faster than an infantry ever could. A Bronze Age chariot (c.1200 BCE) moved more than 10 times as fast as the marching pace of a Roman legionary. Roman legionary Chariot 0 10 20 30 40 50 SPEED (KILOMETERS PER HOUR) Egyptian chariot Around 1600 BCE, the Egyptians developed lightweight war chariots that had spoked wheels and a thin wooden semicircular frame. The platform could accommodate two people, one to maneuver at high speed, and another armed with a bow. leather bindings connect shaft to chariot body footboard made of sycamore wood wood bent into V-shape to make spokes ,, …BUT LET THE LEFT-HAND HORSE KEEP SO CLOSE IN THAT THE NAVE [HUB] OF THE WHEEL SHALL ALMOST GRAZE THE POST. hub or nave cattle intestines fasten spokes to hub ,, Homer, Greek poet, from Iliad Book XXIII, first description of chariot race, c.750 BCE Neolithic period Logroller c.1323 BCE Spoked wheel c.750 BCE Iron-rimmed wheel Neolithic people place loads on rollers made from logs. These logs, however, are not always smooth and the difﬁculties in keeping them aligned make this an inefﬁcient method. Wheels with spokes are lighter than disk wheels, and allow a cart or war chariot to be pulled by a lighter animal, such as a horse. First developed in the steppes of central Asia a little after 2000 BCE, these wheels spread to Egypt by 1600 BCE. The Celts add iron rims to the wooden wheels of chariots to improve their durability on rough surfaces. They do so ﬁrst by nailing the metal to the rim and later, by applying strips of hot iron, which shrink to ﬁt as they cool. 3500 BCE Potter’s wheel In southern Mesopotamia, potters become the ﬁrst to use wheels to mechanize an industrial process—that of making pottery. They use a heavy, rapidly turning stone wheel to shape clay on. 20 Early logrollers Egyptian potter c.2500 BCE Disk wheel The ﬁrst true transportation wheels—disks of wood connected by axles—are developed in the Balkans and Mesopotamia. The Sumerians used these on Disk wheels on battle wagons. the Standard of Ur Egyptian potter Celtic chariot c.300 BCE Water wheel The Greeks invent water wheels as a means of harnessing the power of running water. They use water wheels either to raise water in buckets to a higher level for irrigation, or to drive around a shaft that operates a milling machine. T H E S TO R Y O F T H E W H E E L yoke to attach horses to shaft THE STORY OF THE WHEEL THIS SIMPLE INNOVATION HAS MOVED ARMIES, CARRIED LOADS, AND POWERED INDUSTRIES One of the most important inventions in history, the wheel allowed the transportation of loads over long distances, revolutionized early warfare, and made the development of the first mechanized processes possible. It opened up the globe to human exploration and revolutionized industry. box is easier to move movement friction gives outside edges of wheels grip on the road wheels turn around static axles small contact area, so friction is less WHEELS AND FRICTION The force needed to pull a load pressing down directly on the ground is increased by the friction or “rolling resistance” between the load and the ground. The use of wheels resolves this problem. Since only a small part of the wheel is in contact with the ground at any one point in time, the rest of it can rotate freely, without being impeded by friction. The little friction that remains allows the wheel to grip the ground without sliding. Wheels are mounted on sturdy shafts, called axles, which facilitate the rolling motion. The earliest wheel, the logroller, was used by neolithic people to transport heavy weights, such as large stones used in the construction of megaliths. By 3500 BCE, the logroller was adapted to create the ﬁrst true wheels—solid disks of wood connected by an axle. These wheels, however, were very heavy. Lighter, spoked wheels were invented around 1600 BCE. The more hard-wearing, iron-rimmed wheels came around 800 years later, making for faster, more durable vehicles suitable for battle and long-distance transportation. Wheels steadily evolved, using materials such as iron and steel as they were developed. Modern wheels use high-tech alloys of titanium or aluminum that are light and allow vehicles to move faster, using much less power. THE WHEEL IN INDUSTRY Beginning with the potter’s wheel around 4500 BCE, the wheel was also adapted for use in industrial processes. By 300 BCE, watermills were Spoked wheel construction The spokes of a wheel distribute the force applied to a vehicle evenly around its rim. As the wheel rotates, each spoke shortens slightly. outer rim of wheel spokes radiating from central hub employed in Greece to harness the power of water, via a turbine, for use in milling. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, the wheel appeared in one form or another in almost all industrial machinery. Gears (toothed wheels) and cogs were used in the Antikythera mechanism—an astronomical calculating machine created in Greece around 100 BCE—but it is possible they were used earlier in China. Gears and cogs eventually became common components of machines as diverse as clocks and automobiles. Yet there were some cultures where the wheel did not feature as prominently. Some ancient civilizations of Central America and Peru did not develop wheels, or, as in the case of the Aztecs of Mexico, used them only in children’s toys. c.100 BCE Wheelbarrow 1848 Mansell wheel 1915 Radial tire The Chinese create a wheelbarrow with a large central wheel, which makes all the weight fall on the axle. Easy to push, each wheelbarrow can carry up to six men. The quieter and more resilient Mansell railroad wheel has a steel central boss (hub), surrounded by a solid disk of 16 teak segments. Patented by Arthur Savage, radial ply tires are made of rubber-coated steel or polyester cords. They are now the standard tire for almost all cars. Chinese spinner “Wooden ox” wheelbarrow c.1035 Spinning wheel 1845 Vulcanized rubber tire In China, a hand-crankoperated driving wheel is added to a handspindle, automating it and allowing multiple spindles to be operated simultaneously. Robert Thomson uses vulcanized rubber— invented by Charles Goodyear—to make pneumatic (air-ﬁlled) tires, which are lighter and harder to wear out. Gazelle steam engine 1910 Early automobile spoked wheel Earliest automobile wheels have wooden spokes, which are more suitable for narrow tires, but tend to warp and crack. 1960s Mini 2010 Modern wheel types Ford Model T Ultra-lightweight racing bicycles use composite carbon spokes, while car wheels are made of magnesium, titanium, or aluminum alloys. High-tech racing bike 21 1800 –700 BCE The ancient Egyptian Rhind Papyrus is based on an original text written before 1795 BCE . It contains a series of mathematical problems and their solutions, including calculations of the areas and volumes of geometrical ﬁgures. developed, probably in the steppes of Central Asia. Unlike self bows made of a single piece of wood, the composite bow was made of laminated strips of horn, wood, and sinew, which together provided greater range and penetration, and allowed the bow to be smaller and easier to use on horseback. The bow was further modiﬁed to become recurved, with the ends curving forward, which added even more strength. Composite bows spread from the air is blown in with bellows to help raise the temperature ,, IN THE EARLY 2ND MILLENNIUM BCE, the composite bow was ANOTHER REMEDY FOR SUFFERING IN HALF THE HEAD. THE SKULL OF A CATFISH, FRIED IN OIL. ANOINT THE HEAD THEREWITH. Ebers Papyrus 250, Egyptian medical treatise, c.1555 BCE Steppes to China, where they were used during the Shang (1766–1126 BCE) and Zhou (1126–256 BCE) dynasties, and west into Egypt and Mesopotamia. There is evidence that doctors existed in Egypt during the Old Kingdom (c.2700–2200 BCE) and lime and clay lining crushed iron ore and charcoal bowl-shaped furnace tuyères SMELTING Pure iron melts at 2800°F (1540°C), higher than early technology could achieve, so instead it was smelted by reducing iron ore with charcoal at around 2200°F (1200°C). The ore was packed with charcoal in bowl furnaces, and tuyères (clay nozzles) were used to blow air in to raise the temperature. The resulting molten metal was cooled to form a “bloom,” a solid lump containing iron and various impurities, which was then hammered repeatedly to remove the impurities and extract the iron. s ian l ns lon tica utio y b a sol a B em e ns E BC ath ud tio 00 e m incl qua 8 t e c 1 c. odu tha tic pr les adra tab qu for BC E 0 e 80 th c.1 t of bow en ite m s lop o ve mp De co 22 depictions of surgery have been found on temple walls, but most knowledge of ancient Egyptian medicine comes from papyri written around 1550 BCE. These show that medicine had moved beyond a belief that disease was a divine punishment. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (c.1600 BCE) contains details of human anatomy, shows awareness of the link between the pulse and heartbeat, and also gives instructions for the diagnosis and treatment of a range of ailments and injuries. The Ebers Papyrus (c.1555 BCE), dating from about the same time, includes descriptions of diseases, tumors, and even of mental disorders such as depression. The earliest intentional production of iron was in Anatolia in Turkey, which was exporting small quantities of iron by the 19th century BCE. At ﬁrst, iron was smelted only on a small scale, but by 700 BCE production was widespread in Europe. Smelting also developed independently in a number of places, including Africa and CE of E BC nt 00 pme itic ipt 8 c.1 velo Sina scr De oto- etic pr hab alp s ian d pt gy Rhin s E E ru e BC uc py 95 rod l pa 7 p ica c.1 at em h at m ,, B 00 of 16 ent nite – 00 pm aa ipt 17 velo Can scr De oto- etic pr hab alp BC E 0 s 60 as c.1 le gl gins a e b the sc t e- on d rg ucti t an Eas a r p L od gy Nea r E p in Stick chart Made by Marshall Islanders in Micronesia, this chart uses sticks to represent currents and waves, a technique that may have been passed down from ancient Polynesians. India, where the earliest evidence of ironworking is thought to date from around 1300 BCE. Until medieval times, smelting in the West produced only bloom that needed to be hammered to remove impurities. It was only in China that furnaces capable of melting iron were developed and iron could be cast. Evidence of cast iron production in China dates from the 9th century BCE. In mathematics, the Babylonians had made major advances by 1800 BCE, producing tables of reciprocals, squares, and cubes and using them to solve algebraic problems, such as quadratic equations. Several tablets are thought to show an awareness of Pythagoras’s theorem (see 700–400 BCE). The Babylonians also estimated pi to be about 3.125, close to the actual value of about 3.142. Most of what is known of ancient Egyptian mathematics comes from mathematical texts such s ns ail tia th yp Smi det g g E in n E C ni 0 B dw tai y 60 e E on om c.1 oduc us, c anat pr pyr an Pa hum of ns tia s yp ber , g s E E e E yru f BC o uc 55 rod Pap ion s 5 t p 1 ip ition c. r c es ond a d al c c i ed m as the Rhind Papyrus. It is based on a text written before 1795 BCE and consists of a series of problems and solutions. It shows the use of unit fractions (1⁄n), solutions for linear equations, and methods for calculating the areas of triangles, rectangles, and circles. It also shows the volumes of cylinders and pyramids. The earliest boats recovered date from before 6000 BCE, but early navigation was not sophisticated. The most effective navigators of this period were the Lapita people of the Paciﬁc (ancestors of the Polynesians), who from 1200 BCE expanded eastward to Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Samoa, and Fiji. Their voyage to Fiji involved a 530 miles (850 km) journey across open sea. To accomplish t a en pit nt La to ca pm ript t E o ﬁ n i l e C c n e n b ve s 0 B gi a Sig rt to lopm De etic 20 be se s E E BC sta ve BC c.1 ople long cros an ab e 0 h 0 d 50 es e pe ke s a Oce 20 lp a c.1 vanc in th ess –1 ic a m yage ciﬁc 00 arit ad de harn 3 g 1 vo e Pa a e U m th of th of s n an d Iro s E ae BC lop ia en g an ys 0 e c 30 ev Ind My ellin inla c.1 ing d y in CE l 0 B nam nné t 0 el ent e 2 so sm end c.1 elop cloi p v ss e e d la ind g An Assyrian bronze relief of the mid-9th century BCE shows war chariots carrying soldiers to assault the city of Khazazu (present-day Azaz, in Syria). crouching lion cub poppy pods in crown clay ﬁgure glazed with quartz and metal oxides The invention of the spoked wooden wheel around 2000 BCE, along with the domestication of the horse, opened up new possibilities in land transport, permitting lighter vehicles and eventually the use of adaptable riding animals. Although harnesses were in use from the 3rd millennium BCE, signiﬁcant advances began to be made from c.1500 BCE. The halter yoke, with ﬂat straps across the neck and chest of the animal, made horses more efﬁcient at pulling light chariots. Weighing as little as 66 lb (30 kg), these chariots could carry two warriors and became crucial to many Near Eastern armies. The preservation of corpses had its origins in the natural process of drying out and ian pt n gy atio ir E CE ﬁc he 0 B mi h t on 00 um eac icati 1 . r t m s c e his iqu sop n ch of te eak p 1539 1350 1083 1000 1064 950 700 328 350 232 Melting point of metals Iron melts at a far higher temperature than other metals used in early metallurgy. China was ﬁrst to master the technology to melt iron. 0 Iron Copper Gold Bronze Lead Tin METALS preserving bodies in the desert sand. These corpses were wrapped in linen bandages dipped in resin, which also helped to prevent the bodies from decaying. By around 2700 BCE, the Egyptians had discovered that natron (a mixture of salts) desiccated ﬂesh and could be used to mummify bodies. They gradually reﬁned this process until it reached a peak of sophistication around 1000 BCE. Bodies were mummiﬁed by removing the internal organs (apart from the heart), washing out the body cavity, and packing it with natron for 40 days to dry it out. The natron was removed and replaced with clean packets of natron and linen soaked in resin to restore the body’s shape before being coated in resin and bandaged in linen. EARLY SCRIPTS The transition from symbolic scripts to an alphabetic one, where each individual sign represents a sound in the language, seems to have ﬁrst taken place among miners in the Sinai desert of Egypt around 1800 BCE. The signs appear to derive from Egyptian hieratic script (a cursive script that developed alongside the hieroglyphic system), but there are few inscriptions in this proto-Sinaitic alphabet and it is not certain whether slightly later alphabets in the region, such as proto-Canaanite (17th century BCE) and Ugaritic (13th century BCE), derived from it or developed separately. By 1050 BCE, proto-Canaanite had evolved into the Phoenician script that is the ancestor of Greek and other European scripts. Snake goddess Faience reached its peak in the Minoan civilization, with works such as this goddess statuette (c.1700 BCE), but with more available glass, faience was replaced by glass-glazed ceramics. n s ian e Iro ome E nc nic BC ec e ra hoe 0 b a th 00 ng pe P Ap ped c.1 elti on in E BC elo ript sm mm ast v 0 05 de sc co ar E c.1 fully etic Ne of hab alp 1700 MELTING POINT (°C) this, the Lapitan sailors must have used knowledge of winds, stars, and currents. They may also have created stick maps, like those later used by the Polynesians who settled as far as Easter Island, Hawaii, and (by 1000– 1200 CE) New Zealand. In Egypt and the Near East, glass began to be made in signiﬁcant amounts from about 1600 BCE. In the late 2nd millennium BCE, the technique of bonding glass to ceramics to produce glazes was discovered. Glass cloisonné inlays and enameling (fusing glass to metal surfaces) were developed by the Mycenaeans in Greece around 1200 BCE. Casting glass (by pouring molten glass into a mold) was discovered in Mesopotamia around 800 BCE. Around 100 years later, the Phoenicians had developed clear glass. E BC st Ca ced du o r 0 80 p 0 – ﬁrst 0 c.9 n is a iro Chin in s si las in t g ced ia s Ca rodu tam o CE p 0 B rst esop 0 ﬁ M c.8 Proto-Sinaitic symbol for the letter D Proto-Sinaitic symbol for the letter H Proto-Sinaitic symbol for the letter K s ian nic ss, e o a l Ph r gl ysta E r BC lea ck c 0 c 0 p o c.7 velo ng r de itati im e h ft to E BC en bet 0 0 pm a c.8 velo alph De eek Gr s gi e tin el urop m E n s ss Iro cro E a BC d 00 rea c.7 esp d wi 23 700–400 BCE The School of Athens fresco by the 16th-century Italian artist Raphael contains idealized depictions of a number of Greek thinkers, including Pythagoras (left, holding a book). AS EARLY AS 2300 BCE, the Babylonians had developed a sexagesimal number system (based on writing numbers in multiples of 60) and the principle of position (where numbers in different positions represent different orders of magnitude). By 700 BCE they sometimes used a marker to indicate a null value (zero). The screw pump (or Archimedes Screw) is a cylindrical pump with a central shaft surrounded by inner blades in the shape of a spiral and encased in wood. As the shaft is rotated, water is pulled up the spiral, transferring it from a lower to a higher level. The invention of the pump is traditionally ascribed to the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes (287–212 BCE) in around 250 BCE, but it was probably ﬁrst invented much earlier, in the 7th century BCE under the rule of King Sennacherib of Assyria to water his palace gardens at Nineveh. By the 1st millennium BCE, the Babylonians had begun to make maps of larger areas. By around 600 BCE they had produced a “world map,” which showed the city of Babylon in relation to eight surrounding regions. The ﬁrst known Chinese map, found on an engraved bronze plaque in the tomb of King Cuo of Zhongshan, was a plan of the king’s proposed necropolis. The ancient Greek cartographic tradition began in Ionia in the 6th century BCE. Anaximander (c.611–546 BCE) is said to have drawn the ﬁrst world map that Archimedes Screw A hollow cylinder with rotors in the shape of a spiral inside, the screw pump pulls water upward. The original version would have been turned by foot. rotation of shaft spiral-shaped rotors move water up shaft water expelled from top water collected from bottom se su ta ian sen n ylo re ab rep ) E B to ro C r (ze 0 B ke 70 ar lue m a a ll v nu 24 al ric nd n as i l y ow , is EC kn rew to BC 0 e t r Sc ans r 0 c.7 p, la des syri wate e s p m pu chim by A um p Ar use in showed Earth surrounded by a great ocean. Hecataeus of Miletus (c.550–480 BCE) also drew a map to accompany his Survey of the World that showed three great continents, Libya (Africa), Asia, and Europe. The ﬁrst evidence of scientiﬁc (as opposed to supernatural) thinking about the nature of the world came from ancient Greek philosophers in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. Thales of Miletus (b. c.620 BCE) believed that water was the fundamental material of the universe, and that earthquakes happened when the surface of Earth rocked on the watery surface on which it ﬂoated. In contrast, Anaximander, who was also from Miletus, believed that the prime material of the universe was apeiron, a substance that preceded air, ﬁre, and water. He also put forward an early evolutionary theory, suggesting that humans had developed from a type of ﬁsh. The ﬁrst atomic theory was also proposed by a Greek, the philosopher Democritus of cuneiform inscriptions Salt Sea city of Babylon ns p” nia ma ylo rld f b o Ba “w ity o CE a e c ght s 0B e i n 60 oduc g th d e gio n i r p ow n an g re sh bylo ndin Ba rrou su us let t Mi tha c f s o dea asi ale e i e b se Th d th s th iver E ar r i un BC 80 orw ate the c.5 uts f w l of p ia er at m Ancient map This Babylonian map from around 600 BCE shows the relationship between Babylon and other important places in West Asia, including Assyria and Urartu. r de an im arly x na n e n E A d a tio BC ar olu 0 w 5 v r c.5 ts fo of e pu eory th ds uil a s b ugh s o n o li ro pa th am Eu nel on S E n C e u B t d 30 er llsi c.5 wat hi a t s abou wn ra go rem of a kno a h s w o t Py the side , no m e e CE le 0 B s th f th iang eore 3 p o c.5 velo ios ed tr ’s th de e rat ngl oras th ht-a hag rig Pyt as 0.65 The Tunnel of Eupalinos, built in the 6th century BCE, may have been excavated accurately by surveying a series of right-angled triangles above ground. Abdera (460–370 BCE), who postulated that matter was made up of an inﬁnite number of minute, indivisible particles. The most famous mathematician of the ancient world was the Greek, Pythagoras of Samos (c.580–500 BCE). He established a school that promoted the mystical powers of numbers and particularly of the tetraktys, the perfect arrangement of 10 as a triangle of four rows. He is best known for the theorem bearing his name (see panel, below), but he also ﬁrmly believed in the transmigration of souls and his followers lived by a strict set of rules, including a prohibition on eating beans. The oldest major Chinese mathematical treatise, the PLATO (424–348 BCE) One of the most inﬂuential of the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato proposed a type of ideal society ruled by philosopherkings, and espoused the importance of ethics as a guide to a just life. In his many works, he set out a theory of ideal “forms,” of which the material world is only a reﬂection. Most of his books are cast in the form of dialogues by his teacher Socrates. Zhou Bi Suan Jing (some parts of which date to as early as 500 BCE), contain proof of Pythagoras’s theorem. At about the same time, or possibly PYTHAGORAS’S THEOREM The theorem of Pythagoras states that the sum of the squares of the two short sides of a right-angled triangle are equal to the square of the hypotenuse (the long side). Although associated with the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, the theorem was known to the Babylonians around 1800 BCE and possibly also to the Egyptians as early as 1900 BCE. a2 + b2 = c2 9 + 16 = 25 c b a b2 = 16 a2 = 9 earlier, Chinese mathematicians also invented magic squares— square grids of numbers in which the numbers in all rows, all columns, and both diagonals add up to the same total. By around 530 BCE, Greek surveying expertise had advanced sufﬁciently to allow the engineer Eupalinos of Samos to excavate a water channel 0.65 miles (1.04 km) through a hillside by digging tunnels from each end. The two tunnels met almost perfectly in the middle. Eupalinos may have used Pythagoras’s theorem to survey right-angled triangles above ground to determine the path of the channel. Indian astronomy is thought to have its roots in the Indus Civilization. Ancient Hindu sacred — ts u ise en r s nd at ed eu Hi wn lem ajo tre duc a e e t s l s m nt kno d o y n a ce d a l e r e c i r c n s i te s c a w ti re p He odu orl Ch ians uare An ture ple E E E kno ma r w BC s p BC e g— a m CE CE c p t q e i i B h o B 0 0 s t r s 0 0 ﬁr th at in tu 00 ma ic 00 sc re c c.5 Mile p of c.5 the e m an J c.5 athe mag c.5 cred as a t of ma of ines i Su d a n m e s V e his Ch ou B inv as Zh s tu cli s ra se i x e r H ve ﬂu E ni of BC 00 he u ate 5 . t c at t st n h s t nsta e iz or a co e th in es nt za onte n Da t M ring E BC d a ea les 00 ecte o, b mp in 4 – er xic xa tes a 0 50 elae n Me wn e da eric st án i kno itten oam r b s Al ﬁrst f w Me o MILES THE LENGTH OF THE TUNNEL OF EUPALINOS AT SAMOS scriptures called the Vedas— completed c.500 BCE—contain references to using astronomical observations for calculating the dates of religious ceremonies and identiﬁes 28 star patterns in the night sky to help track the movements of the Moon. In the 5th century BCE, Greek thinkers moved away from simple cosmological theories toward more sophisticated ideas about the nature of the universe. Heraclitus (c.535– 475 BCE) sought to explain phenomena in terms of ﬂux and change. He also believed in the unity of opposites, saying “the road is the same both up and down.” Empedocles of Acragas (494–434 BCE) believed that all matter consisted of varying proportions of earth, air, ﬁre, and water. This theory of four elements remained inﬂuential for many centuries. The Maya of Mesoamerica developed a complex calendrical system based on a series of cycles based on the number 20, which may initially have been developed by the Olmecs (the ﬁrst major civilization in Mexico) before the 5th century BCE. The Mayan Haab (year) had 18 months of 20 days plus one of ﬁve days— one of the two elements of the Calendar Round cycle. Mayan astronomers also oriented monuments to sunset positions at the equinoxes and solstices, and were able to predict eclipses. The cities of the Indus Valley were laid out in a grid pattern around 2600 BCE, but the ﬁrst person to theorize urban planning was Hippodamus of Miletus (493–408 BCE). He is said to have devised an ideal city for 10,000 citizens, laid out on a grid. Using his “Hippodamian grid,” he also laid out Piraeus, the harbour town of Athens, and Thurii in Italy. Mesoamerican calendrics This Zapotec stele from Monte Albán in Mexico dates from 500–400 BCE and contains some of the earliest calendary glyphs from Mesoamerica. us m da id o pp gr Hi wn E to s BC s 1 45 sign aeu r e d Pi for glyph for Zapotec year “Four Serpent” glyph for Zapotec day “Eight Water” us rit he oc es t m s De opo ry o r CE 0 B ra p c the 2 e i c. 4 Abd tom of st a ﬁr s cle do ry pe theo ts Em his en m CE 0 B ard r ele 5 w 4 fo ou ts of f pu 25 2.5 MYA –7 9 9 CE B E FO R E S C I E N C E B E GA N THE STORY OF 4 triangular faces arranged in same plane GEOMETRY ONE OF THE OLDEST BRANCHES OF MATHEMATICS, GEOMETRY IS EXPANDING INTO NEW AREAS The term “geometry” derives from ancient Greek words meaning “Earth measurement,” but this branch of mathematics encompasses more than map-making. It is about relationships between size, shape, and dimension— and also about the nature of numbers and mathematics itself. 6 edges Tetrahedron Geometry ﬁrst arose as a series of ad hoc rules and formulas used in planning, construction, and mathematical problem-solving across the ancient world. Greek philosophers such as Thales, Pythagoras, and Plato were the ﬁrst to recognize geometry’s fundamental relationship to the nature of space, and to establish it as a ﬁeld of mathematics worthy of study in its own right. Euclid, probably a student of Plato and a teacher at Alexandria, summed up early Greek geometry in his great work The Elements, written around 300 BCE, and established fundamental mathematical and scientiﬁc principles through complex geometrical models developed from a handful of simple rules or axioms. Axioms of geometry Euclid’s approach to geometry had a huge and lasting inﬂuence on later mathematicians. BREAKTHROUGHS IN UNDERSTANDING Throughout medieval times, philosophers and mathematicians from various cultures continued to use geometry in their models of the Universe, but the next major breakthrough did not come until the 17th century, with the work of French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes. His invention of coordinate systems to describe the positions of points in two-dimensional and three-dimensional space gave rise to the ﬁeld of analytical geometry, which used the new tools of mathematical algebra to describe and solve geometrical problems. Descartes’s work led to more exotic forms of geometry. Mathematicians had long known that there were regions, such as the surface of a sphere, where the axioms of Euclidian geometry did not hold. Investigation of such non-Euclidian geometries revealed even more fundamental principles linking geometry and number, and in 1899 allowed German mathematician David Hilbert to produce a new, more generalized, set of axioms. Throughout the 20th century, and into the 21st, these have been applied to a huge variety of mathematical scenarios. c.2500 BCE Practical geometry Early geometry is driven by the need to solve problems such as working out the volume of material required to build a pyramid. 26 360 BCE Platonic solids Pyramids at Giza These ﬁve regular, convex polyhedra (solids with several sides) are long known, but Plato now links them to ideas about the structure of matter. They comprise ﬁve shapes that can be formed by the joining together of identical faces along their edges. Octahedron 12 edges 8 triangular faces c.400 CE “Archimedean” solids Greek mathematician Pappus describes 13 convex polyhedra, comprising regular polygons of two or more types meeting in identical vertices or corners. 1619 Kepler’s polyhedra German mathematician Johannes Kepler discovers a new class of polyhedra known as star polyhedra. c.500 BCE Pythagoras 4th century BCE Geometric tools 9 th century Islamic geometry The Greek philosopher lends his name to the formula for calculating the hypotenuse (long side) of a right-angled triangle from the lengths of its other two sides. The hugely inﬂuential philosopher Plato argues that the tools of a true geometrician should be restricted to the compass and straight edge, and so helps establish geometry as a science rather than a practical craft. Mathematicians and astronomers of the Islamic world explore the possibilities of spherical geometry; geometric patterns used in Islamic decoration at this time show similarities to modern fractal geometry. Theorem of Pythagoras Pair of compasses Mosaic at Alhambra T H E S TO R Y O F G E O M E T R Y Platonic solids There are only ﬁve convex polyhedra (solids having several sides) that can be formed by joining identical polygons (shapes with three or more sides). Known as the Platonic solids, they are the cube (hexahedron), tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. 6 square faces 12 edges Hexahedron (cube) SPHERICAL GEOMETRY So-called “spherical geometry” allows the calculation of angles and areas on spherical surfaces, such as points on a map or the positions of stars and planets on the imaginary celestial sphere used by astronomers. This system does not follow all Euclidean rules. In spherical geometry, the three angles in a triangle sum to more than 180 degrees and parallel lines eventually intersect. Icosahedron ,, Dodecahedron 20 triangular faces 30 edges ,, LET NO ONE DESTITUTE OF GEOMETRY COME UNDER MY ROOF. 12 pentagonal faces Plato, Greek philosopher and mathematician, c.427–347 BCE 30 edges Z 1637 Analytic geometry Kepler’s polyhedra René Descartes’s inﬂuential work La Géometrie introduces the idea that points in space can be measured with coordinate systems, and that X geometrical structures can be described by equations—a ﬁeld Cartesian system known as analytic geometry. 1858 Topology Möbius strip (x,y,z) Mathematicians become fascinated by topology—edges and surfaces, rather than speciﬁc shapes. The iconic Möbius strip is an object with a single surface and a single continuous edge. x z y Y 20th century Fractal geometry Computing power allows fractals— equations in which detailed patterns repeat on varying scales— to be illustrated in graphical form, producing iconic images such as the Mandelbrot fractal famous Mandelbrot set. 1882 Klein discovery Present day Computerized proofs Investigating geometries with more than three dimensions, German scholar Felix Klein discovers a construct with no surface boundaries. Computer power solves problems such as the four-color theorem (only four colors are needed to distinguish between regions of even Four-color map complex maps). Modern Klein bottle 27 400–335 BCE Euclid’s Elements is one of the most important mathematical texts from the ancient world. It consists of 13 books and was originally written in Greek. ,, IF YOU CUT OPEN THE HEAD, YOU WILL FIND THE BRAIN HUMID, FULL OF SWEAT AND HAVING A BAD SMELL… ,, Hippocrates, from On the Sacred Disease, 400 BCE Healing hands A marble frieze showing Hippocrates treating a sick woman. He advocated careful examination to determine the underlying disease. ASTRONOMERS IN GREECE were interested in predicting the location of celestial bodies. This led the Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (c.408–355 BCE) to develop a geometrical model of the heavens, in which the Sun, Moon, and planets moved in a series of 27 concentric spheres. He also made an accurate estimate of the length of the year at 365.25 days. At the time, most Greek astronomers believed Earth was stationary at the center of the Solar System, but Heraclides of Pontus (388–312 BCE) offered a variation on this theory. He claimed that Earth rotated on an axis, which explained the changing seasons. Greek medicine moved in a more scientiﬁc direction when Alcmaeon of Croton began to teach that health is achieved by balancing the elements in the body. Hippocrates of Cos (460–370 BCE), who valued clinical observation, including taking a patient’s pulse, applied this theory, teaching that imbalances in the body and impurities in the air could cause disease. In the mid-5th century BCE, Euryphon of Cnidus, who was tes ces ra oc alan p p Hi imb t CE 0 B s tha can 0 y c. 4 che bod ase tea the dise in use ca s nd ou ol o f cho ns t a s Pl my the A CE e 7 B cad at 8 3 eA th 28 from a rival school, taught that diseases were caused by residues building up in the body and advised that these be neutralized. The Greek polymath, Aristotle, reﬁned the theory of the four elements—earth, air, ﬁre, MOTION OF THE SPHERES Greek astronomers explained irregularities in planetary motions by theorizing that the Sun, Moon, and planets each sat in a series of concentric spheres. The circular motion (at differing speeds) of each sphere generated the planet’s orbits. In the early 2nd century, the astronomer Ptolemy replaced the spheres with circles in his model of the Solar System. s t de cli tha s ra es axi e H ach its E te on BC 50 tus tes 3 . n c Po rota of rth Ea ato ry Pl theo 0 the 35 rd 0 – rwa ms 9 r c.3 ts fo l fo pu idea f o BC E us ox s ud s hi f E p o E BC elo n 75 ev otio res c.3 us d of m phe id y ls Cn or tia of the les e c and water—to include a ﬁfth— aither—which caused the stars and planets to move in a circular motion. Aristotle modiﬁed Eudoxus’s theory to explain anomalies, adding additional spheres to a total of 55. He also m fro s at k i Bo mar sel n es B De lt v 00 –3 ng in -bui 0 5 ri er c.3 rtsp link o c Hj rst eﬁ h t CE e otl ist of Ar ory es e B th her 22 e p –3 es th of s 0 35 eﬁn tion r o m CE began the study of dynamics by theorizing that speed could be directly proportional to the weight of the body, the force applied, and the density of the medium in which the body moved. The foundations of geometry were laid in the mid-4th century BCE by the Greek mathematician and father of geometry, Euclid of Alexandria (325–265 BCE), in his 13-book work called Elements. In it he puts forward a set of ﬁve “geometrical postulates“ and nine “common notions” (or axioms). From these he deduced a set of theorems, including Pythagoras’s theorem, and that the sum of angles in a triangle is always 180 degrees. Elements also included pioneering work on number theory, including an algorithm for the greatest common divisor. 334–300 BCE 14 THOUSAND THE NUMBER OF SPECTATORS THAT CAN BE SEATED AT THE THEATER IN EPIDAURUS The acoustic properties of the theater at Epidaurus in Greece, built by Polycleitus the Younger in the 4th century BCE , allowed the actors to be heard perfectly up to 197 ft (60 m) from the stage. GREEK MEDICINE MADE SIGNIFICANT ADVANCES in the 4th century BCE after the dissection of human bodies was pioneered by Diocles of Carystus, who wrote the ﬁrst book devoted to anatomy. The foundation of the Museum, a scientiﬁc academy set up by Ptolemy I of Egypt (367–283 BCE), helped give rise to an Alexandrian school of medicine. One member, Herophilus of Chalcedon (335–280 BCE), identiﬁed the brain as the seat of the nervous system and made a distinction between arteries and veins. Greek understanding of physics also progressed under Strato of Lampsacus (c.335– 269 BCE). He rejected the idea of a force pushing light objects, such as air, upward to counter Via Appia The ﬁrst major Roman road, the Via Appia, originally ran from Rome to Capua. It was gravelled; paving stones were added in 295 BCE. the force that pulls heavy objects down. He argued for the existence of a vacuum and showed that, because air can be compressed, voids must exist between the particles of which it is made up. ARISTOTLE (384–322 BCE) A founding ﬁgure in Western philosophy, Aristotle was a pupil at Plato’s Academy in Athens. During his career he wrote more than 150 treatises on almost every aspect of Greek philosophy and science. He taught an empirical approach, that knowledge is gained from experience, and that all matter consists of a changeable form and an unchangeable substance. a f xtr 0 us o ds e 3 c.3 llipp s ad the xus Ca zicu s to udo Cy here of E sp eory th E BC e otl m ist eu Ar Lyc ns E e C e 4 B th th 33 nds in A l u o o f ho sc o eM l es tica n i a ion h e C em ot e Th ath s a n valu E m C e e 0 B ing ud ac 33 Ch incl l pl e ima s i at ec tre of d CE y, 0 B es or 27 clud The – n t e 30 n i en es c.3 u Ya lem e hin Zo e E is th of C ght Fiv ich tion hou wh nda iﬁc t fou ient sc os fC e s o renc s a r n go diffe vei xa ra the and P s s E BC ibe rie 20 scr rte c.3 de en a e tw be In Europe, wooden trackways had been used to traverse wet and marshy ground since Neolithic times, but proper roads needed a strong, centralized political authority to build and maintain them. In 312 BCE, the Romans began to construct a vast network of roads that bound their empire together. The ﬁrst road they built, which ran from Rome to Capua, was called Via Appia. Roman roads were 10–26 ft (3–8 m) wide and were laid out on solid clay beds or timber frameworks, ﬁlled with loose ﬂint or gravel. Sometimes they were bound together with lime mortar and topped with paving stones, or cobblestones in cities. The Pharos of Alexandria was commissioned c.300 BCE by the ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy I. It was the tallest lighthouse in the ancient world at 410–492 ft (125–150 m) high. Innovative s ilu s ph iﬁe ro ent at e d se H E ni tem BC do he 00 lce as t sys 3 a s . c Ch ain ou of e br nerv th the of engineering was used in the hydraulic machinery needed to raise fuel to the ﬁre that burned on top by night. During the day, a mirror of polished metal or glass reﬂected the Sun to create a warning beacon for ships. Pythagoras had experimented with acoustics in the 6th century BCE. Aristotle advanced his work further in the 4th century BCE by theorizing that sound consisted of contractions and expansions in the air. The Greek theater at Epidaurus used stepped rows of seats to ﬁlter out low-frequency background noise, which allowed actors to be heard perfectly in the back row. Compiled before 300 BCE, the Chinese text Huang Di Nei Jing explains human physiology and pathology in terms of the balancing forces of the universe: the opposing, but mutually dependent, principles of yin and yang; the ﬁve elements (earth, ﬁre, wood, water, and metal); and qi, the essence of which everything is composed. Ill health was 5 Pharos of Alexandria The Pharos of Alexandria was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century. thought to be caused by an imbalance of yin and yang, in the patient’s qi, and in the ﬁve elements that had their counterparts in the organs of the body and the environment. THE NUMBER OF PLATONIC SOLIDS (REGULAR POLYHEDRALS) IN EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY d an sis m a s ba e u h E s d i e t a y I haro s dr I BC s ru s m d’s ar y Mu an 00 itu ild au cli rw ory ole e P he Alex olem Eu ts fo the Pt s th c.3 lycle er bu Epid T E E t C u E l C f o ng at n P C B B a p o o P B i c y 0 y r u 0 nts tri 00 iss ria 00 rar d b Yo eate ce c.3 me me c.3 mm and e c.3 e lib nde th Gre le geo u E co Alex h o t f in e for of ar e of es to hin ards , ra ps a C t o s e E S elo um Th ng b tion ce BC v u E i BC 00 s de vac nt lcula ten er 3 0 u . f s u 0 i c ac y o b a co c.3 se for c e ex num ing ps or u th al m the us lue g La m n m i i e va ply dec syst ace l im f a p o g an ail Hu ﬁrst m ts E n C e el ai 0 B g— es Ch by C 30 Jin hin — E BC re Nei of C dge en ed o 0 s t e f Di n u 0 wl rit o Be c.3 mor ati no is w pil al k ar m co edic m CE B 00 ust ing e 3 oca heat ped r lo fo yp r Be st h ﬂoo deve Fir der- is un stem ce e sy Gre in BC E 0 s 30 ng i e i re fo dye in th of e B ist ed es a s c i Re odu tepp l As r S tra int n Ce 29 300–250 BCE EUREKA! I HAVE FOUND IT. ,, Attributed to Archimedes, Greek inventor and philosopher c.287–c.212 BCE ,, The Roman writer Vitruvius recorded that when Archimedes got into his bath he noticed that his body displaced a certain amount of water. This gave him the idea for the Archimedes Principle. MAGNETIC IRON LODESTONES were described in Chinese literature of the 3rd century BCE. By c.83 the Chinese text Lunheng (Discourses Weighed in the Balance) had mentioned the electrostatic qualities of amber, which becomes charged when rubbed. At around this time, Chinese diviners may also have discovered that iron, when rubbed against a lodestone, becomes magnetized and will point in a particular direction. The ﬁrst primitive compasses were iron ladles set on divining boards that pointed south. In Greece, Theophrastus of Lesbos (c.370–287 BCE), a pupil of Aristotle and also his successor as head of the Lyceum school in Athens, extended Aristotle’s work, particularly in botany. He wrote Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants, which classiﬁed plants into trees, shrubs, and herbs. He also began the study of plant reproduction and discussed the best methods of cultivation for agriculture and companion planting to combat pests. In astronomy, Aristarchus of Samos (c.310–230 BCE) rejected the prevailing view among early Greek astronomers that Earth was at the center of the Solar System. He believed that Earth rotated in orbit around the Sun; whether he thought the other planets also orbited the Sun is unclear. Aristarchus estimated the comparative sizes of the Sun and Earth at a ratio of about 20:1, and calculated the distance between Earth and the Sun to be 499 times the radius of Earth. The science of pneumatics was founded by Ctesibius of Alexandria in the early 3rd century BCE. It is said that one of his ﬁrst inventions was Chinese compass A Han-era compass in the form of a magnetized ladle set on a bronze plate, featuring a diviner’s representation of the cosmos. us ch tar ps s i Ar velo ory CE e e 0 B os d ic th 5 c.2 Sam entr of lioc he Ctesibian pump The rocker arm pushes the piston down on one side, creating pressure that closes the inlet valve and forces water through the outﬂow tube. Reduced pressure on the opposite side opens the valve to let more water in. pivot rocker arm moves pistons piston goes up reduced pressure opens inlet valve an adjustable-height mirror for his father’s barber shop that used air compressed by counterweights to move up and down. He developed this idea to produce the Ctesibian device, a two-chamber force pump that used pistons attached to a rocker to create pressure. With the chambers of the device immersed in water, the rocker was moved up and down, alternately sucking water into one chamber and forcing it out of the other. Another inventor and philosopher, Archimedes (287–212 BCE) was also one of the greatest mathematicians of Ancient Greece. In On the Measurement of a Circle he presented a method for calculating the area and reduced pressure shuts outlet valve 30 pressure forces inlet valve shut circumference of a circle. He also produced methods for calculating the volumes of solids, proving that the volume of a sphere inside a circumscribed cylinder is two-thirds that of the cylinder. Archimedes was the founder of hydrostatics (the science of ﬂuids at rest). He showed that objects placed in water will displace a quantity of liquid equal to their buoyancy. He also developed a systematic theory of statics, showing how two weights balance each other at distances proportional to their relative magnitude. His aptitude for practical applications led him to develop the Archimedes screw (see 700–400 BCE) to pump out the bilges of a huge ship he built for the ruler of Syracuse. During es e ed g th a m i n ch ati are Ar lcul nd E a a BC c e 60 on enc c.2 rks fer o m e w cu cl r cir a ci of CE B 00 of c.3 stus to s a hr art ts op s st plan e Th sbo ify Le lass c piston goes down pressure pushes outlet valve open chamber ﬁlls with water water sucked in water forced up and out of us s ibi lop s p e e Ct dev um E ia an p BC r 0 5 nd ibi c.2 lexa tes A eC th 249–100 BCE Erasistratus is said to have cured Antiochus, the son of Seleucus I of Syria, who was gravely ill. He identiﬁed the disease as love-sickness for his stepmother Stratonice, one of the ﬁrst diagnoses of a psychosomatic illness. the Roman conquest of Sicily, in 214 BCE, he was employed by the state to build various machines to defend Syracuse from attack. This included the Claw of Archimedes—a type of crane with a huge grappling hook that could capsize enemy ships. volume of water displaced is equal to volume of object heavy load upthrust equal to weight of water displaced ARCHIMEDES PRINCIPLE This states that a solid object, partly or wholly immersed in a liquid, has a buoyant force acting on it that is equal to the weight of the ﬂuid it displaces. The relative density of the object can be worked out by dividing the weight of the object by the weight of the displaced liquid. The boat above can support a heavy load because it displaces a lot of water; therefore, the buoyant force supporting it is equally great. s tu tra sis shes a Er gui om r CE n 0 B disti um f 5 c.2 Cos rebr llum of e ce rebe th e ce th ANATOMY ADVANCED CONSIDERABLY IN GREECE with the work of Erasistratus of Cos (c.304–250 BCE). He developed a theory of vascular circulation, in which he said that blood passed through the body in veins, while arteries distributed pneuma (air) to vital organs. He also gave an accurate description of the brain, including the cerebellum, and distinguished sensory from motor nerves. Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c.275–195 BCE) made the ﬁrst map of the world that featured lines of longitude and latitude in around 240 BCE. He also calculated the dimensions of Earth by comparing the angles of shadows at noon at Alexandria and Syene in Egypt, which are on roughly the same longitude. He yielded a ﬁgure of 250,000 stades—about 29,870 miles (48,070 km)—which is within one percent of the true ﬁgure. Eratosthenes also worked out a simple method of ﬁnding prime numbers, known as the Sieve of Eratosthenes (see panel, right). Greek geometry advanced further in the late 3rd century BCE with the work of Apollonius of Perga (c.262–190 BCE), whose major work was entitled On Conics. In it he described the properties of the three fundamental types of conic section—the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola. He also developed the theory of epicycles—circular orbits rotating around a larger circumference—to reﬁne the theory of the motion of the spheres (see 400–335 BCE). The Romans found a way of bonding small stones to produce concrete in the late 2nd century BCE. By adding pozzolana stone (ash from prehistoric volcanoes) to lime, they produced a strong binding mortar. This enabled them to build stronger and cheaper monumental buildings. The ﬁrst structure built 2 of ius the n o oll es ns Ap crib ctio E es se BC d 30 ga nic c.2 Per f co so tie er p o pr 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 SIEVE OF ERATOSTHENES This is a simple algorithm for ﬁnding prime numbers. Starting at 2 without striking it out, strike out all multiples of 2 to the end of the series. Return to the next non-struck out number (3) and without striking it out, strike out every multiple of 3 to the end. Repeat the process; eventually all the non-struck out numbers will be prime. using concrete was the Porticus Aemilia in Rome in 193 BCE. Observational astronomy was revolutionized by Hipparchus of Nicaea (c.190–120 BCE), who made a new map of the heavens that catalogued 850 stars. He invented a new astronomical sighting tool and surveying instrument called the dioptra that was in use until it was replaced by the armillary sphere. Using the dioptra, he discovered the phenomenon of precession, by which stars appear to move gradually in relation to the equinoxes. Basilica Maxentius This early 4thcentury concrete Basilica was the largest building in Rome at the time. es en th s s e to ra asur ns EE e sio BC m n 0 e 4 ne c.2 Cyre s dim of rth’ Ea crossed-out numbers are non-primes circled numbers are primes Hipparchus also calculated the length of the year to be 365.2467 days—very close to the true value. At this time, the Chinese were busy reﬁning the production of paper. The process of soaking and pulping textile rags then drying them out on a screen to produce a ﬁbrous mat for writing on, probably dates from the late 3rd century BCE. Although the invention of paper is often ascribed to Cai Lun (50–121), he probably just reﬁned this process and introduced new pulp materials, such as tree bark. p lo ve de s lt Ce tire E BC n o 0 r 20 e i re ec fo -pi Be gle sin f eo ch ake o M m ce E BC ica pie s 00 mer wo- old 2 . A c h xt ym ut ple er So com pott s ri d ve ea Sil m l E o C es B fr 00 ted And c.2 trac the ex e in or ity jor s Ma lyph u r g 00 eo Pe –5 ca g d in E C e z 0 B Na eat 20 the e cr ar of CE k ya c ka cti he n Ar T i E BC ed a 00 lop ric c.2 deve Ame is rth No ge ar tl — rs ing is ﬁ ld — e Th bui ilia me E o e BC et Aem in R 3 r 19 onc cus ilt c rti bu Po of s E BC us ibe 60 ch cr the c.1 ppar des of Hi caea sion Ni eces xes pr uino eq 31 100 BCE–50 CE ,, THE LAWS OF MECHANICS ARE FOUNDED ON THOSE OF NATURE, AND ARE ILLUSTRATED BY STUDYING THE MASTERMOVEMENTS OF THE UNIVERSE ITSELF. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, Roman architect and engineer, from Ten Books on Architecture, c.15 BCE ,, A medieval depiction of a Vitruvian undershot waterwheel. Operated with a hand lever, the buckets ﬁll with water as the wheel rotates and the buckets dip into a water source. The water is deposited at the top. THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM IS A COMPLEX DEVICE that shows the earliest understanding of gears. Dating from around 80 BCE, it was recovered in 1900 from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Made up of a series of bronze toothed dials and at least 30 gears, it is thought to have been used to predict solar and lunar eclipses and to track other driven gear rotates counterclockwise driver gear rotates clockwise GEARS Mentioned c.330 BCE by Aristotle, the Romans brought gears into common use during this period in waterwheels and hoists. Gears are made up of sets of interlocking toothed wheels. They work when a larger wheel engages with a small wheel and alters the speed of a driving mechanism. time cycles, such as the 19-year Metonic cycle—the basis for the ancient Greek calendar. By the 1st century BCE the Maya calendar had developed a 5,125-year era known as the Long Count. Twenty tun (years) made a katun, 20 katun were a baktun, and 13 of these completed the whole era. The earliest known date inscribed in the Long Count system is December 9, 36 BCE; this is found on a stele at Chiapa de Corzo in Mexico. The Maya also used a 52-year Calendar Round, with two elements working in combination—the 260-day Tzolk’in calendar and the 365-day Haab. Around 90 BCE Posidonius of Apamea (c.135–50 BCE) used the relative position of the star Canopus, seen from Alexandria and Rhodes, to calculate the size of Earth. His calculation was 240,000 stades, only slightly smaller than the estimate of Eratosthenes of Cyrene (see 250–100 BCE). Posidonius also calculated the size of the Moon and made a study of tides, 3 ROMAN VETERINARY SCIENCE Roman interest in veterinary science sprang from the needs of farmers and also of the army, which had large cavalry units. In the army, specialists called mulomedicus cared for military donkeys and horses. Around 45 CE the Roman writer Columella wrote extensively on the care and early terracotta diseases of farm animals. horse head relating them to the phases of the Moon. Around this time, the Greek physician Asclepiades of Bithynia (c.129–40 BCE) put forward his idea of the brain being the seat of sensation. He developed a theory of disease based on the ﬂow of atoms in the body, a doctrine he derived from the atomic theory of the 5th-centuryBCE philosopher Democritus. His treatment methods were very subtle, prescribing baths and exercises. Perhaps less humane MILLION THE DIAMETER OF THE SUN IN STADES, AS PER POSIDONIUS of ion ra CE 0 B ruct ythe 8 c. nst tik Co e An nism th cha e m 32 of ea se a am e f u hin o Ap e siz n e in C f c n s o th oo ide re niu tes d M Ev nctu do cula h an E i C u s 0 B up Po cal Eart CE c.9 ac of 0B 9 . c es iad ps lep elo ry c As dev heo e s CE t ia 5 B hyn ist isea 7 . c Bit tom f d o of he a t ing low e b s th t las by van d Le EG BC ope e 0 l th c.5 deve s in is rian Sy es rit g a w erin s l l v e e m co as olu tise dise C 5 rea al c. 4 a t nim a were the practices of his follower Themison of Laodicea, who was the ﬁrst recorded physician to use leeches to bleed patients. The Roman writer Celsus (c.25 BCE–50 CE) produced one of the most important texts on medicine, De Medicina, an encyclopedic summary of medical knowledge of the time. In it, he gave accounts of the use of opiates for calming patients and laxatives to purge them. He also detailed many surgical techniques, including the removal of kidney stones and how to operate on cataracts (clouding of the lens in the eye). g ct t nin e ite es ai at rli cont nt d ch se r a a u E n E ou an es BC tio C m ib 36 crip ong Ro escr mp L s E C d u in ya 5 B us e p Ma c.1 ruvi forc t i e V th of ius uv s itr hod d V et an CE ts 5 B s m ng c.1 ribe veyi educ c ur qu s de of s g a in ild bu The Romans also advanced engineering in this period. The architect Vitruvius (c.84–15 BCE) was the ﬁrst to explain the use of siphons to lessen hydraulic pressure in pumps. He also described the Vitruvian turning wheel. When the wheel was turned, buckets emptied water into a channel at the top and ﬁlled up from a water source at the bottom. This type of “undershot” waterwheel had probably been invented earlier, but Vitruvius may have reﬁned it to make it more effective. Glassblowing was developed around 50 BCE in Romancontrolled Syria. Glassmakers obtained a more even ﬂow by blowing molten glass through a tube (either freely or into a mold), rather than just pouring it. The higherquality glassware that resulted led to the establishment of glassworks throughout the Roman Empire. Roman glass The strong colors of this 1st-century CE vase from Lebanon are typical of the early Imperial period. e es ine hin st to y br g C r b lin ﬁ CE t i l c.1 e the t sa d bo ar trac an ex ning i m us els cal i a d e 50 m icin 5 – the Med 2 c. ces De u od dia pr ope l c cy en C CE 50–75 ,, ,, NATURE WILL NEVER FOLLOW PEOPLE, BUT PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO FOLLOW THE LAWS OF NATURE. Dioscorides, Greek physician and botanist, from De Materia Medica, c.50–70 An illustration of the common bilberry, traditionally used for circulatory problems, from a 6th-century manuscript of Dioscorides’s Materia Medica (Regarding Medical Materials). Moche medicine This ceramic from the Moche culture of Peru shows a doctor treating a recumbent patient. INDIAN MEDICINE HAD ITS ROOTS IN THE VEDIC PERIOD before 1000 BCE, but in the period 100 BCE–100 CE, the Caraka Samhitã (Compendium of Caraka) appeared as one of the earliest Indian medical texts. The book highlights the importance of clinical examination and the use of careful regimens of drugs or diets to cure illnesses. Traditional Indian, or ayurvedic, medicine came to stress the importance of balancing humors in the body and ensuring srotas (channels) in the body transport ﬂuids correctly. Much of what is known about medicine in ancient South America comes from examination of the ceramics of the Moche people from the late 1st century CE onward. These depict a variety of injured patients, including some with facial paralysis, and also show the use of crutches, and primitive prosthetic legs for amputees. The ﬁrst pharmacopeia (compilation of medicinal plants) was compiled by Dioscorides in Greece. In it he described over 600 plants, including their physical properties and effects on patients. Hugely inﬂuential, it was used by physicians throughout the Middle Ages. The Huainanzi (Master Huainan) is a compilation of Chinese knowledge composed before 122 BCE. It touches on a range of subjects, including philosophy, metaphysics, natural science, and geography. It is notable for its analysis of mathematical and musical harmonies, including a description of the traditional 12-tone Chinese scale. 600 f eo On n a E a BC ak di 00 t In ar d r 1 lies ts, C pile e t x r Af e ea al te com th dic tã, is e m mhi Sa t rs sﬁ s an glas om w 0 R do 10 win – 0 se c .5 u The Greek geometer and inventor Hero of Alexandria (c.10–70 BCE) described a variety of cranes including the barulkos, which operated using a toothed worm-gear that could not reverse and which prevented loads from slipping. He provided the ﬁrst descr