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Late Bronze Age timeline: 2000 – 1000 BC

By | 2017-09-10T17:55:52+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Earliest known spoked wheels, from a grave in western Siberia When about 2000 BC the Central Asians invented better wheels with spokes, so you could fight from your chariot, a new wave of Indo-Europeans moved from Central Asia west to Greece, and Italy, or south into Egypt and Iran, and from Iran about 1500 BC to India. Some of [...]

Bronze Age timeline: 4000-2000 BC

By | 2017-09-10T17:45:55+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

A clay pot with a drawing of a wheeled cart from what is now Poland, about 3500 BC Around 4000 BC, there were enough people in West Asia, Egypt, China, and Peru for them to live in small cities (about 10,000-50,000 people). These places began to choose kings to govern them. Then they formed the first small empires. They built the [...]

History of engineering – transportation, cooking, metal

By | 2017-09-05T11:54:46+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Science|

A Neanderthal stone awl People have been using engineering to solve the problems of their daily lives since the first caveman picked up a rock and chipped away at it to make a handaxe. That was in the Paleolithic, about 70,000 years ago. It is impossible to list all of the inventions that people have made since then, [...]

Wheel and axle – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T10:52:53+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Central Asia, Physics|

An Egyptian potter uses a pottery wheel, about 2000 BC Wheels do not exist in nature, and no animals use them except people. Even people didn't use wheels until the early Bronze Age, around 3500 BC, much later than the other simple machines (the lever and the inclined plane). The earliest evidence for people using wheels comes from Sumeria (modern [...]

Pulley – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T10:02:22+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Clothesline pulley A pulley is really a kind of wheel, just as a screw is a kind of inclined plane. But pulleys are so important that people give them their own category. A pulley is a wheel with two raised edges. The raised edges are so that a rope or a string will run along the wheel [...]

Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T09:01:28+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics|

An example of a screw, a wedge, a wheel and axle, and a lever Machines are ways to make it easier to do work. Many plants and animals have evolved natural machines like arm muscles (a kind of lever) or teeth (a kind of wedge) or a bacteria's flagellum (a kind of screw). Many animals also make machines out of [...]

History of Bicycles

By | 2017-08-07T21:00:03+00:00 August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

A velocipede Bicycles were invented bit by bit in many different countries. They grew out of earlier inventions like wheels (from Central Asia) and wheelbarrows (from China), but Karl von Drais, a German inventor, built the first riding machine with two wheels, one in front of the other, that you had to balance on, in 1817. Like wheelbarrows, this [...]

Buddhism – Indian religion

By | 2017-07-21T08:15:31+00:00 July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Buddha In the 500s BC, during the later part of the Vedic period in India, the idea of reincarnation became very strong among Hindus. Most people believed that after you died, you would be reborn in another form, and then reborn again, and again, forever. But then people started to not like this idea. They didn't want [...]

Stone Age China – Early Chinese History

By | 2017-06-06T16:40:43+00:00 June 6th, 2017|China, History|

Jade dragon-pig from New Stone Age China The first people (leaving out Neanderthal-type pre-humans) seem to have reached China about 50,000 BC. They probably came from two directions: they came to North China across Central Asia, and to South China up the Pacific coast from Southeast Asia. This is about the same time as [...]