Inventions and Technology

The ancient Egyptians were a truly civilized society, even by today’s standards.

Not only that they were incredible architects, who built monumental pyramids and temples—they also developed extensive trade networks, and they constantly developed various technologies that made their life easier.

Unlike ancient Greeks, ancient Egyptians were not great philosophers and theorists.

They were great researchers and innovators, but all the research that they conducted always had a practical purpose.

 Ancient Egyptians Inventions for Kids

  • Engineering and construction – the impressive technological skills of the ancient Egyptians are obvious in architecture.They had a strict procedure for the creation, quarrying, and transport of obelisks. Great pyramids were built according to precise engineering plans.
  • Agriculture – ancient Egyptians invented the ox-drawn plough as early as in the predynastic period.The invention of irrigation systems followed, and it enabled a continuous food supply for the upcoming empire.
  • Astronomy – ancient Egyptians observed stars for two reasons – the spiritual and the practical. The spiritual reason was related to their religion.The practical reason was more obvious – the position of stars helped them calculate when it was the best time to plant or harvest crops, when it was going to rain, when the best time to begin construction works is, and so on.
  • Calendar – although a Sumerian invention, the calendar was further improved by the Egyptians.
  • Mathematics – ancient Egyptians were not interested in developing theorems as the Greeks did.Their mathematics was very practical, yet it was so advanced that fascinated even the Greeks.The Egyptians used it to keep records, calculate tax rates, develop designs for building projects, and determine the proportion of the ingredients for medicines.
  • Medicine – halfway between scientific method and magic, ancient Egyptian medicine was a seriously developed field.Egyptians had a vast knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, and they defined strict procedures for dealing with common diseases. However, they often prescribed spells along with medicines.
  • Mummification – one of the things ancient Egyptians are most famous for.They developed at least different mummification technologies, some of which were really expensive and very few could afford them, to preserve corpses from rotting.
  • Dentistry – a lot of discovered medical texts deal with tooth decay prevention and pain management.The first dentist in the world history whose name and occupation was recorded was Hesyre, who served under Pharaoh Djoser.
  • Art and writing – ancient Egyptians are famous for the invention of papyrus, and they were the first to use ink.These inventions were useful for both art and writing – and for making the great library in Alexandria possible.
  • Phonetic script – Egyptian hieroglyphs are the first phonetic script in the world, older than both Greek and Latin alphabet.
  • Glassmaking – in the New Kingdom, the Egyptians had the technology that allowed them to make glass – either clear or coloured – from raw materials.
  • Mirrors – wealthy Egyptians had both wall mirrors and handheld mirrors.
  • Toothpaste and breath mints – Egyptians made toothpaste by blending salt, pepper, mint, and dried iris petals. Breath mints recipe included cinnamon and honey.
  • Decoration techniques – Egyptians invented and used coloured ink and all kinds of materials, including sun-dried mud and gold.
  • The Wheel – while Egyptians used potter’s wheels in the production of pottery from in the 4th Dynasty, they only started to make and use wheeled chariots during the Second Intermediate period.

What did you learn?

Which inventions enabled food production sufficient for the growth of Egypt?
Those inventions were plough and the irrigation system.

What was the practical reason for the Egyptians to develop astronomy?
The position of stars helped them estimate the right time for agricultural and construction works.

What are the two most famous Egyptian inventions, next to pyramids?
Papyrus and mummification

Who invented the calendar?
Sumerians did, but Egyptians developed it further and adapted it according to their needs.