Weapons were another important category of the inventions of human civilization. Weapons are known to have been familiar to chimpanzees too. This has led to theories that early hominids first began to use weapons as early as five million years ago. However, this hasn’t been confirmed using physical evidences. The earliest unequivocal weapons to be found are the Schöninger Speere dated as being more than 300,000 years old. Ancient weapons were the improvements of late Neolithic implements to begin with. However, the significant improvements in materials and crafting techniques produced a series of improvements in military technology. The important ancient weapons were spear, bow and arrow, sling, spears, swords, clubs, axes, knives and catapults. The invention of weapons was significant because after their invention, humans became able to fight with wild animals more effectively and also became less vulnerable to dangers from nature.
6. Timekeeping devices
Different forms of timekeeping devices occurring at different time periods, civilizations and with varying technologies are known from the ancient world. Many ancient civilizations observed astronomical bodies to determine times, dates, and seasons. The present-day sexagesimal system of time keeping dates to about 2000 BC, in Sumer. The Ancient Egyptians divided the day into two 12-hour periods and used large columns to track the movement of the Sun. They also developed water clocks, which were probably first used in the area of Amun-Re. The water clocks were later used outside Egypt as well, most known case being of the Ancient Greeks who used to call them as clepsydrae. The Shang Dynasty also used the outflow water clock near about the same time as such devices are known to have been present in Mesopotamia as early as 2000 BC. The invention of various timekeeping devices was an important event in the history of human civilization. Being able to keep accurate record of time and season, humans advanced significantly in the field of agriculture.
Compass has its own place in the history of human civilization. It was a significant discovery from mankind. Ancient seafarers were directed by the stars but the method was inefficient as it didn’t work during the day and also cloudy nights. The invention of compass is credited to China, sometime during the Han Dynasty between 2nd century BC and 1st century AD. The first compasses were made of loadstones. Ancient Chinese people found that if a loadstone was suspended to turn freely, it would always point in the same direction, that of the magnetic poles. Early compasses were particularly used for the search of gems and the selection of appropriate housing sites. But during the Song Dynasty in the 11th century, Chinese extended their use to navigation. Compass benefited humans a lot as with it, travel and explore became much easier.
Agriculture was another significant discovery made by human civilization. There are many theories explaining the historical origins of agriculture. Evidences from south west Asia and China suggest that societies transitioned from hunter-gatherer to agricultural. The crops grown initially were not intentionally domesticated ones but in fact the wild ones. The earliest known domestic crops were emmer and einkorn wheat that were domesticated well into the Neolithic period. Ancient cultivated rice took 3000 years to become domesticated. Agriculture is a notable discovery in human history because after it was started, humans no more had to wander like nomads searching for food and they began to live in a more organized manner, at a fixed place.