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6 Ancient Things We All Thought Were Modern Inventions

A modern person is surrounded by many things that make their life easier. It would seem that they all appeared in our age of high technologies, and earlier poor people were deprived of such amenities. But, as studies of historians show, the desire for comfort is in our blood, and even distant ancestors spent time and energy not only on survival, but also on the invention of new objects that would improve life.

We decided to find out what history of modern devices and phenomena is actually more interesting than we thought.


13 древних вещей, которые мы все считали современными изобретениями

As soon as a person learned to get food in larger quantities than they needed for one meal, the question arose of how to preserve these surpluses. Already in ancient times, people knew how to salt and smoke food. They also knew the magical effects of cold on food.

The idea to create ice artificially for these purposes first came to the mind of scientists during the time of Zimri-Lim, who ruled the state of Mari (located in Mesopotamia) from 1774 to 1759 BC. e. The inventors built a building equipped with a special drainage system and several shallow pools. The water in the containers froze at night. This is how the first glaciers appeared, which were used for storing food until the 19th century.


13 древних вещей, которые мы все считали современными изобретениями

The modern world is hard to imagine without phones. Now we can contact any person, wherever they are, to discuss serious issues or just chat. However, the technology of transmitting sound at a distance was already known to the Chima civilization, which existed in Peru from the 8th to the 15th centuries.

With the help of two pumpkins, leather membranes and twine, they created a means of communication like modern telephones. Researchers have not been able to figure out why this apparatus was invented: the Chima people did not know writing. Most likely, it was required by nobles or priests. With the help of this technology, ordinary clerks could transmit information to noble citizens or priests, whom they had no right to see live.

By the way, a phone like that can be made by hand.

Wrapping paper

13 древних вещей, которые мы все считали современными изобретениями

Various ways of packaging goods appeared around the same time that trade began. Initially, baskets, wooden boxes, ceramic vessels and more were used for this. The first to use paper for this purpose were the Chinese. Back in the 1st or 2nd century they packed the food in mulberry bark. Later, medicines and tea were wrapped in paper sheets.

In Europe, this method first appeared in the XI century. A Persian traveler noticed how traders in the Cairo market were wrapping fruits, vegetables and spices in paper.

Disposable tableware

13 древних вещей, которые мы все считали современными изобретениями

A constant companion for picnics and parties, disposable tableware is a blessing and curse of the 20th century. A very convenient thing: it does not break, does not need to be washed, used and thrown away. Surprisingly, this idea did not come to the minds of our contemporaries.

Scientists have discovered clay bowls that existed even during the Minoan civilization (XVIII-XVII centuries BC). They were made especially for feasts. After the holiday, the dishes were thrown away. Archaeologists have discovered thousands of such mugs. Most likely, the use of cups was a demonstration of wealth and high social status. Besides, no one wanted to do the dishes after the party.

During the reign of Elizabeth I, edible tableware appeared in England. Plates, spoons, forks and knives were made from sugar dough. Of course, such a curiosity could only be seen at the feasts of the nobility. They also came up with disposable dishes for entertainment, and not in order to preserve the environment.


13 древних вещей, которые мы все считали современными изобретениями

Ironing things, which for some is a joy, and for others is a sad obligation, was already known to our distant ancestors. It’s hard to say when people first decided that their outfit should be not only warm, comfortable, but also not wrinkled. The Chinese were the first to use metal objects to iron clothes. To do this, they filled special pans with hot coals and ran them over the fabric.

In Northern Europe, stones, glass and wood were used for the same purposes. Archaeologists have found similar items in female burials belonging to the Vikings. It is not very clear how people in those days ironed their clothes, but it is unlikely that stone or glass irons were heated.

In the Middle Ages, folds in the fabric were removed using special presses. These mechanisms existed until the 19th century, when the first iron iron was invented, similar in design to its modern counterparts.

The passport

13 древних вещей, которые мы все считали современными изобретениями

The first mention of passports can be found in the ancient Indian treatise “Arthashastra”, which was created in the 3rd century BC. It said that the official is responsible for issuing sealed manuscripts that are required to enter and leave the country.

In ancient China, during the Han Empire (from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD), passports were also required for travel within the country. This document included details such as age, height and physical characteristics of a person. Such papers were required even for children, if they were not in the care of their mother or were over a year old.

The passport regime also existed on the territory of Egypt at the very beginning of Arab rule. Back in the VIII century the ruler ordered that every citizen leaving their district must have the appropriate papyrus on hand. The punishment for moving inside the country or leaving it without such a document was severe. And not only for a person, but also for the owner of the vehicle, whose services they used.