History Embalmed

Ancient Egyptian Inventions

The Ancient Egyptians are famous as the first civilization to invent a calendar which organised the year into 365 days and the days into 24 hours. Other famous Ancient Egyptian inventions included paper (papyrus) and glass but the the Ancient Egyptians were also responsible for many other inventions. The most important Ancient Egyptian inventions are detailed below. Click the following link for comprehensive information about the Ancient Egyptian Calendar.

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Building
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to building include:

  • The Pyramids, the development of tools to ensure a level base and the development of mortar and cement
  • Producing custom-made bricks all of the same size to ensure the fast building of the capital of Akhetaten built in just 7 years by the heretic king Akhenaten, the father of Tutankhamen
  • Arched ceilings developed by shaving the corners off stones to produce a vaulted structure

  • Obelisks
  • Man-made canals in order to transport building materials to the great building sites
  • The use of organized labor and production line methods to create the great Egyptian monuments including the use of conscription and the supply of clothing and food for the builders
  • The extensive use of rope made from hemp (first discovered in China) in construction techniques
  • Surveying techniques
  • Tunnelling techniques
  • Scaffolding

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Metal
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to the use of metal include:

  • The development of iron works, copper and tin mines
  • The development of Bronze by mixing tin and copper
  • The construction and use of copper piping
  • The replacement stone and wooden tools with metal tools for farming, hunting and weaponry
  • The use of fine metal work in creating jewelry using newly invented chisels and needles

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to the Interiors of Buildings
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to the interiors of buildings include:

  • The vaulted ceiling effect
  • Indoor lighting including candles and oil lamps
  • The use of lighting to create specific visual effects
  • Primitive air-cooling systems in palaces based on using water, sometimes in conjunction with cold air, to cool the brickwork of the buildings
  • Wooden Locks and Keys
  • Sundials, a primitive clock design, using a vertical stick called a gnomon to divide the day into 12 hours for the daytime and 12 hours for the night
  • The concept of a master bedroom
  • The Potter's Wheel leading to the fast production of pots and storage jars
  • Glass Making - Glass was produced from a mixture of silica-sand, lime and soda. Ancient Egyptian paintings depict the glass blowing process
  • Furniture Decorations - The furniture of wealthy Ancient Egyptians was inlaid with ebony, ivory and Faience (Faience was a strong greenish blue glass-like material, consisting of crushed quartz, lime and alkali, which first made in Predynastic Egypt). Semi-precious stones, gold, silver and bronze was also used as furniture decoration for the Pharaohs
  • Domestication of the Cat originally used for pest control

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Medicine
Egyptian doctors were known to have identified and documented hundreds of different illnesses. The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to medicine include:

  • Knowledge of human anatomy acquired from the mummification and embalming process
  • The identification and naming of internal and external body parts
  • The development of various surgical instruments
  • Surgical techniques
  • The practise of using specialists for treating specific ailments relating to the head, eyes, ears, the stomach and fertility. This also included dentists
  • Antibiotics and other medicines for treating various diseases

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Writing and Communications
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to writing and communications include:

  • Hieroglyphics - an early writing system
  • Black Ink
  • Calendar
  • Paper manufactured from the fibers of the papyrus plant, hence the name papyrus
  • Use of flags for construction projects
  • The use of wills, marriage contracts and other legal documents
  • Recording harvests and controlling food supply and distribution
  • Documenting rainfall and water levels of the Nile
  • Conducting census of the population
  • A Postal system and the use of Carrier pigeons
  • Maps

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Cosmetics and Clothing
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to cosmetics, personal grooming and clothing include:

  • Comb including use of a hot hair straightening comb
  • Use of a form of henna for nail paint and hair coloring
  • Scissors
  • Wigs
  • Cosmetics including eye makeup
    • The black coloring used in  Ancient Egyptian eye make up was achieved by the use of Kohl
    • The green coloring was achieved by the use green pigment called malachite
  • Ancient Egyptians used a type of rouge  made from red ochre to stain their lips and cheeks
  • Beauty shop and cosmetic manufacture
  • Perfumes and deodorants. These were derived from flowers, plants, seeds. Perfumes were blended into creams made from animal fats and oils. The Ancient Egyptians also used myrrh, frankincense, cardamom and cinnamon to mix their perfumes
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Linen produced from flax which was combed and spun with a balance wheel on a spindle for spinning the thread from the flax
  • Looms were developed
  • Methods for fixing clothing dyes were invented
  • Sandals made of palm fibre or braided papyrus

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Musical Instruments
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to musical instruments include:

  • The sistrum which was a sacred rattle use in religious ceremonies
  • Lyre - An ancient plucked string instrument in the shape of a box, similar to a harp, but smaller
  • The Oud - a pear-shaped, stringed instrument
  • The Kithara was a seven stringed lyre played by professional musicians
  • The Zummara (Double Clarinet) consisting of two parallel cane or bamboo pipes, with five or six holes each
  • The Ney - an end-blown flute
  • Kinnor a 10 - 12 string lyre
  • Hasosra - a trumpet (usually used at ceremonies)
  • Ugab which was a vertical flute
  • Shofar which was a horn of a ram or goat

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Farming
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to farming include:

  • Ox-Drawn Ploughs
  • Sickle blades
  • Irrigation systems
  • Domestication of Cattle and the Donkey
  • Beekeeping
  • Zoos - these originated as exotic animals were hunted and captured as sacrifices to the gods

Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to Boats
The Ancient Egyptian Inventions relating to boats and ships include:

  • Ships (rowed, single-sailed)
  • Sails
  • Rudder
  • Canals
  • Navy
Ancient Egyptians

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