Global Engineering

Technology From The Ancient World

Our modern world of computers, air travel, and the Internet has made us believe that we’re the first civilsation in history to create true works of advanced engineering. Our ancestors, however, were far more intelligent than we’ve been lead to believe, and created an assortment of truly next-gen engineering marvels.

  1. Incamisana Water Temple

The Incas were known for their practices in engineering, particularly in water engineering. They saw water as a force both physical and spiritual. They saw their great civilization as something arising from air. The temple of Incamisana at Ollantaytambo in Peru was built to worship deities that provided food and protection to the Inca people themselves. The design of the famous temple reflects both the civil engineering and building masterpiece of the Inca, comparable to even our modern technology. It was designed to focus on offerings and religious ceremonies.

In general, given the harsh weather of the area and the elevation of 2,792 m (9,160 ft.) above sea level, it is certainly a truly remarkable achievement. Floods destroyed the temple in 1679, but the sediment layer luckily protected the lower part of it.

  1. Ancient Batteries

Some scientists believe that a small, undecorated object with an otherwise simple appearance is the first example of a prehistoric source of electrical power. It is the so-called battery of Baghdad, also known as the battery of Parth. The artefact was found in 1936 by railway workers in the area of Tel Khujut Rabu, south of Baghdad, thought to be a 2,000-year-old electric battery. Some accounts date the batteries to about 200 BC, but it wasn’t until 1799 that Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the first known electric battery-the Voltaic stack, which would eventually lead to the batteries we use today to power our smartphones, whether it’s to make a phone call or play UK bingo games online.

Capped with copper plates, the bottoms of these enigmatic cylinders are lined with bitumen or asphalt. The isolating bitumen coating sealed the tops of the pots and kept iron rods in place suspended in the copper cylinders core. The corroded rods showed strong evidence that an acid solution that had evaporated a long time ago.

  1. Aqueducts

Roman aqueducts are among the most remarkable of all the accomplishments of ancient engineering. Engineers in the ancient Roman Empire knew that supplying their city with water was one of the most fundamental requirements for any town or city to exist on a long-term scale, especially during a time where war could strike at any time. The city was able to have drinking, cleaning, and cooking water, but there is evidence to suggest the water lines were also used to keep the Romans cool on warmer days.

By the early fourth century AD, more than twelve aqueducts were supplied to Rome, which could collectively carry more than a million cubic meters of fresh water to the city daily! The water was delivered to the people through a complex network of tanks and pipes, and around 1,500 public fountains, pools and nearly 900 public and private baths,