A Meditation On Early Technological Development

Ah technology, how much I love you and how tight you remain in my grasp. You’ve changed our world with the telephone, and the TV, and don’t forget the all-important computer! But wait…the wheel is also technology? That’s right! We seem to get so caught up in the technology of the present and future that we forget about the distant past. The wheel or rope or house, all pieces of technology that are severely overlooked. Let’s analyse the history and creation of some basic technological advancements.

The Rope:

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Rope consists of a group of strands which are twisted or braided in a way that will make them stronger. They have huge importance in supporting the weight of other objects; this ability is known as tensile strength. There is evidence to suggest that rope-making took place in Europe as far back as 28,000 years ago. This is reinforced through a discovery in which cordage remains on fired clay was found, suggesting it was used to make early forms of rope. Also found were fossilised fragments of what is believed to be two-ply laid rope in a cave at Lascaux. The latter dates back to 15,000 BC.

During prehistoric times ropes were used for a variety of different tasks such as: hunting, attaching, carrying, lifting, pulling and climbing. As you’d imagine, this was an integral component for everyday life.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to document the special tools used for rope-making. This rope was made using water reed fibres and used during 4000—3000 BC.

An inconceivably old technology it is, and one that is still in constant use today. It’s amazing to think that while phones become obsolete year after year as their replaced by newer models, ancient inventions like rope remain an important part of industry.

In modern times rope is still continually used for jobs such as catching fish and lifting large, heavy objects. The rope has managed to see through the test of time.

The Wheel:

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A very well-known invention of prehistoric times, the wheel is perhaps one of the best inventions of its time. Wait, no, it IS the best invention of its time. The wheel was initially made from a solid piece of wood, and as you’d expect it revolutionised transportation. It opened the door to many possibilities: no longer would people have to carry goods by hand, and the idea of travel was now fresh in everyone’s mind.

The wheel, while seeming simple, is a marvellous piece of technology. A wheel causes the least amount of friction by allowing motion by rolling together with the use of axles. I mean where would we be without wheels? Having to trek 10 miles to get to work, that’s where.

The wheel is seen as one of the technological advancements that gave rise to the Bronze Age. It’s original creation took place sometime in the 2nd half of the 4th millennium BC, yet it’s unknown exactly which culture introduced it. It is believed that the wheel was produced at a similar time period by the Mesopotamians, those in Central Europe and those in Northern Caucasus.

Nowadays the wheel is, ummm, practically everywhere. Every land vehicle depends heavily on wheels, and without the inception of this idea life would never be the same.

Verdict:

While people always glare in awe at their latest smartphones maybe they should take the time to appreciate the little things in life. After all, where would we be without them?

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