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Prehistoric--Outline of prehistoric technology

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description: Note that the dates in the Paleolithic era are approximate and refer to the earliest discovered use of an invention, and are likely to change as more research is done and older sites are found. Simila ...
Note that the dates in the Paleolithic era are approximate and refer to the earliest discovered use of an invention, and are likely to change as more research is done and older sites are found. Similarly, the locations listed are for the site where the earliest example to date has been found, but in most cases there is little certainty how close that may be to where the invention actually first took place.

1.8 million years ago: Fire and then cooking [2]
500 thousand years ago (ka): Shelter construction[3]
400 ka: Pigments in Zambia[4]
400 ka: Spears in Germany[5]
200 ka: Glue in Italy[6]
160–40 ka: Burial[7]
110 ka: Beads in Israel[8]
77 ka: Bedding in South Africa[9]
64 ka: Arrowhead in South Africa[10]
61 ka: Sewing needle in South Africa[10]
60 ka: Bow[11]
36 ka: Cloth woven from flax fiber in Georgia[12][13]
35 ka: Flute in Germany[14]
28 ka: twisted rope[15]
16 ka: Pottery in China[16]
6000 BC: Kiln in Mesopotamia[17]
5000 - 4500 BC: Lacquer in China[18]
5000 - 4500 BC: Rowing oars in China.[19][20]
3630 BC: Sericulture in China [21]
3500 BC: the Wheel[22]
3200 BC: Sailing in ancient Egypt[23][24]
3000 BC: Cuneiform in Mesopotamia[25]
3000 BC: Bronze in Mesopotamia[26]
3000 BC: Papyrus in Egypt[27][28]
1st millennium BC

7th century BC
mid-7th century BC: Two-masted ships (foresail) by Etruscans in Italy[29]
6th century BC

With the Greco-Roman trispastos ("three-pulley-crane"), the simplest ancient crane, a single man tripled the weight he could lift than with his muscular strength alone.[30]
c. 515 BC: Crane in Ancient Greece[31]
5th century BC
5th century BC: Crank motion (rotary quern) in Celtiberian Spain[32][33]
5th century BC: Cast iron in Ancient China: Confirmed by archaeological evidence, the earliest cast iron was developed in China by the early 5th century BC during the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC), the oldest specimens found in a tomb of Luhe County in Jiangsu province.[34][35][36]
5th century BC: Crossbow in Ancient China and Ancient Greece: In Ancient China, the earliest evidence of bronze crossbow bolts dates as early as mid-5th century BC in Yutaishan, Hubei.[37] In Ancient Greece, the terminus ante quem of the gastraphetes is 421 BC.[38][39]
5th - 3rd century BC: Cupola furnace in Ancient China, built as early as the Warring States period (403–221 BC).[40] During the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), cupola furnace were used to remelt most, if not all, iron smelted in the blast furnace.[41][42]
5th - 4th century BC: Traction trebuchet in Ancient China between 5th - 4th century BC, appeared in the Mediterranean by the 6th century AD.[43]
Before 421 BC: Catapult in Ancient Greece (incl. Sicily)[38][39]
c. 480 BC: Spiral stairs (Temple A) in Selinunte, Sicily (see also List of ancient spiral stairs)[44][45]
408–6 BC: Wheelbarrow in Attica, Ancient Greece[46]
3rd century BC

An illustration depicting the papermaking process in Han Dynasty China.
Early 3rd century BC: Canal lock (possibly pound lock) in Ancient Suez Canal under Ptolemy II (283–246 BC) in Hellenistic Egypt[47][48][49]
3rd century BC: Valve Tower Sluice in Sri Lanka [50]
3rd century BC: Water wheel in Hellenistic kingdoms described by Philo of Byzantium (c. 280 – 220 BC)[51]
3rd - 2nd century BC: Blast furnace in Ancient China: The earliest discovered blast furnaces in China date to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, although most sites are from the later Han Dynasty.[34][52]
After 205 BC: Dry dock some time after Ptolemy IV (221–205 BC) in Hellenistic Egypt[53]
2nd century BC

The earliest fore-and-aft rigs, spritsails, appeared in the 2nd century BC in the Aegean Sea on small Greek craft.[54] Here a spritsail used on a Roman merchant ship (3rd century AD).
2nd century BC: Finery forge in Han Dynasty China, finery forges were used to make wrought iron at least by the 2nd century BC in ancient China, based on the archaeological findings of cast and pig iron fined into wrought iron and steel found at the early Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) site at Tieshengguo.[55]
2nd century BC: Paper in Han Dynasty China: Although it is recorded that the Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220) court eunuch Cai Lun (born c. 50 – AD 121) invented the pulp papermaking process and established the use of new raw materials used in making paper, ancient padding and wrapping paper artifacts dating to the 2nd century BC have been found in China, the oldest example of pulp papermaking being a map from Fangmatan, Gansu.[56]
1st century BC
1st century BC: Segmental arch bridge (e.g. Pont-Saint-Martin or Ponte San Lorenzo) in Italy, Roman Republic[57][58]
1st century BC: Arch dam (Glanum Dam) in Gallia Narbonensis, Roman Republic (see also List of Roman dams)[59][60][61][62][63]
150 BC Astrolabe invented in the Hellenistic world.
Before 71 BC (possibly 3rd century BC[64][65][66]): Watermill (grain mill) by Greek engineers in Eastern Mediterranean (see also List of ancient watermills)[67][68]
1st millennium AD

1st century
1st century: Buttress dam in Roman Empire[69]
2nd century
132: Seismometer in Han Dynasty China, built by Zhang Heng. It was a large metal urn-shaped instrument which employed either a suspended pendulum or inverted pendulum acting on inertia, like the ground tremors from earthquakes, to dislodge a metal ball by a lever trip device.[70][71]
2nd century: Crankshaft in Augusta Raurica, Roman Empire[72]
2nd century (or 1st century BC[73]): Lateen sail in Roman Empire[54][74][75]
2nd–3rd century: Arch-gravity dam (e.g. Puy Foradado Dam or Kasserine Dam) in Roman Empire[76][77]
3rd century

Schematic of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill. Dated to the 3rd century AD, it is the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.[78][79][80]
3rd century: Celadon in Six Dynasties China, said to have been a widely used ceramic by the Three Kingdoms era (220–265), although shards have been recovered from Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220) excavations in Zhejiang[81] and some historians argue that true celadon was not invented until the beginning of the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127).[82]
Late 3rd century: Crank and connecting rod (Hierapolis sawmill) in Asia Minor, Roman Empire[78][79][80]
Late 3rd–early 4th century: Turbine in Africa (province), Roman Empire[83][84][85]
c. 300: Noria in Roman Empire[86]
4th century
4th century: Field mill in Ancient China, first mentioned in the Yezhongji, or 'Record of Affairs at the Capital Ye of the Later Zhao Dynasty' written by Lu Hui in the 4th century, describing a field mill built by two engineers, Xie Fei and Wei Mengbian.[87]
4th century: Fishing reel in Ancient China, in literary records, the earliest evidence of the fishing reel comes from a 4th-century AD[88] work entitled Lives of Famous Immortals'.[89]
4th–5th century: Paddle wheel boat (in De rebus bellicis) in Roman Empire[90]
5th century
5th century: Horse collar in Southern and Northern Dynasties China: The horse collar as a fully developed collar harness was developed in Southern and Northern Dynasties China during the 5th century AD.[91] The earliest depiction of it is a Dunhuang cave mural from the Chinese Northern Wei Dynasty, the painting dated to 477–499.[92]
5th/6th century: Pointed arch bridge (Karamagara Bridge) in Cappadocia, Eastern Roman Empire[93][94]
6th century
563: Pendentive dome (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire[95]
589: Toilet paper in Sui Dynasty China, first mentioned by the official Yan Zhitui (531–591), with full evidence of continual use in subsequent dynasties.[96][97]
7th century
672: Greek fire in Constantinople, Byzantine Empire: Greek fire, an incendiary weapon likely based on petroleum or naphtha, was invented by Kallinikos, a Greek refugee to Constantinople, as described by Theophanes.[98] However, the historicity and exact chronology of this account is dubious,[99] and it could be that Kallinikos merely introduced an improved version of an established weapon.[100]
7th century: Banknote in Tang Dynasty China: The banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions.[101][102][103]
7th century: Wind furnaces in Sri Lanka for the production of steel, using monsoon winds blowing off the Indian Ocean[104] [105]
7th century: Porcelain in Tang Dynasty China: True porcelain was manufactured in northern China from roughly the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century, while true porcelain was not manufactured in southern China until about 300 years later, during the early 10th century.[106]
9th century

A Mongol bomb thrown against a charging Japanese samurai during the Mongol invasions of Japan after founding the Yuan Dynasty, 1281.
9th century: Gunpowder in Tang Dynasty China: Gunpowder was, according to prevailing academic consensus, discovered in the 9th century by Chinese alchemists searching for an elixir of immortality.[107] Evidence of gunpowder's first use in China comes from the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (618–907).[108] The earliest known recorded recipes for gunpowder were written by Zeng Gongliang, Ding Du, and Yang Weide in the Wujing Zongyao, a military manuscript compiled in 1044 during the Song Dynasty (960–1279).[109][110][111]
9th century: Playing cards in Tang Dynasty China: The first reference to the card game in world history dates no later than the 9th century, when the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang, written by Su E described players enjoying the "leaf game" in 868.[112][113]
9th century: Numerical zero in Ancient India: The concept of zero as a number, and not merely a symbol for separation is attributed to India.[114] In India, practical calculations were carried out using zero, which was treated like any other number by the 9th century, even in case of division.[114][115]
10th century
10th century: Fire lance in Song Dynasty China, developed in the 10th century with a tube of first bamboo and later on metal that shot a weak gunpowder blast of flame and shrapnel, its earliest depiction is a painting found at Dunhuang.[116]
10th century: Fireworks in Song Dynasty China: Fireworks first appeared in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279), in the early age of gunpowder. Fireworks could be purchased from market vendors; these were made of sticks of bamboo packed with gunpowder.[117]
2nd millennium

11th century
1088: Movable type in Song Dynasty China: The first record of a movable type system is in the Dream Pool Essays written in 1088, which attributed the invention of the movable type to Bi Sheng.[118][119][120][121] In the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg independently invented the modern movable type system in Europe.[122]
11th century: Fuel coke in Song Dynasty China: By the 11th century, to avoid excessive deforestation, the Song Chinese began using coke made from bituminous coal as fuel for their metallurgic furnaces instead of charcoal derived from wood.[123][124]
12th century
1119: Mariner's compass (wet compass) in Song Dynasty China: The earliest recorded use of magnetized needle for navigational purposes at sea is found in Zhu Yu's book Pingzhou Table Talks of 1119 (written from 1111 to 1117).[120][125][126][127][128][129][130] The typical Chinese navigational compass was in the form of a magnetic needle floating in a bowl of water.[131] The familiar mariner's dry compass which used a pivoting needle suspended above a compass-card in a glass box was invented in medieval Europe no later than 1300.[132]
13th century
1277: Land mine in Song Dynasty China: Textual evidence suggests that the first use of a land mine in history was by a Song Dynasty brigadier general known as Lou Qianxia, who used an 'enormous bomb' (huo pao) to kill Mongol soldiers invading Guangxi in 1277.[133]
1286: Eyeglasses in Italy[134]
13th century: Dominoes in Yuan Dynasty China: The earliest confirmed written mention of dominoes in China comes from the Former Events in Wulin written during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).[135] Dominoes first appeared in Italy during the 18th century, and although it is unknown how Chinese dominoes developed into the modern game, it is speculated that Italian missionaries in China may have brought the game to Europe.[136]
13th century: Explosive bomb in Jin Dynasty Manchuria: Explosive bombs were used in 1221 by the Jin Dynasty against a Song Dynasty city.[137] The first accounts of bombs made of cast iron shells packed with explosive gunpowder are documented in 13th century in China and were called "thunder-crash bombs,"[138] coined during a Jin Dynasty naval battle in 1231.[139]
13th century: Hand cannon in Yuan Dynasty China: The earliest hand cannon dates to the 13th century based on archaeological evidence from a Heilongjiang excavation. There is also written evidence in the Yuanshi (1370) on Li Tang, an ethnic Jurchen commander under the Yuan Dynasty who in 1288 suppressed the rebellion of the Christian prince Nayan with his "gun-soldiers" or chongzu, this being the earliest known event where this phrase was used.[140]
14th century
14th century: Naval mine in Ming Dynasty China: Mentioned in the Huolongjing military manuscript written by Jiao Yu (fl. 14th to early 15th century) and Liu Ji (1311–1375), describing naval mines used at sea or on rivers and lakes, made of wrought iron and enclosed in an ox bladder. A later model is documented in Song Yingxing's encyclopedia written in 1637.[141]
15th century

The oldest known parachute is depicted in this anonymous Italian manuscript dated to the 1470s.[142]
1420s: Brace in Flandres, Holy Roman Empire[142]
1439: Printing press in Mainz, Germany: The printing press was invented in the Holy Roman Empire by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, based on existing screw presses. The first confirmed record of a press appeared in a 1439 lawsuit against Gutenberg.[143]
1470s: Parachute (with frame) in Renaissance Italy[144]
1480s: Mariner's astrolabe on Portuguese circumnavigation of Africa[145]
1494: Double-entry bookkeeping system codified by Luca Pacioli
16th century
1560 Floating dock in Venice, Venetian Republic[146]
1569 Mercator Projection map created by Gerardus Mercator
17th century

A 1609 title page of the German Relation, the world's first newspaper (first published in 1605)[147][148]
1605: Newspaper (Relation): Johann Carolus in Strassburg, Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (see also List of the oldest newspapers)[147][148]
18th century
1709: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit invents the alcohol thermometer.
1712: Thomas Newcomen builds the first steam engine to pump water out of mines.[149] Newcomen's engine, unlike Thomas Savery's, used a piston.
1733: Stephen Hales takes measurements of blood pressure.[citation needed]
1742: Anders Celsius develops the Centigrade temperature scale.[citation needed]
1745: Musschenbroek and Kleist independently developed Leyden jar, an early form of capacitor.
1764: James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.
1769: James Watt invents the improved steam engine utilizing a separate condenser.
19th century
1800: Voltaic pile: an early form of battery by Alessandro Volta in Italy, based on previous works by Luigi Galvani.
1802: Arc lamp: Humphry Davy (exact date unclear; not practical as a light source until generators)[150]
1804: Morphine in Paderborn, Germany: Morphine was discovered as the first active alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy plant in December 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner.[151]
1804: Railway steam locomotive: Richard Trevithick[152]
1822: The pattern-tracing lathe (actually more like a shaper) is completed by Thomas Blanchard for the U.S. Ordnance Dept. The lathe could copy symmetrical shapes and was used for making gun stocks, and later, ax handles. The lathe's patent was in force for 42 years, the record for any U.S. patent.[153][154]
1826: Friction Match: John Walker[155]
1831: Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry independently of each other invented Electromagnetic induction.
1838: Samuel Morse invents Morse Code.
1839: James Nasmyth invents the steam hammer.
1856: Refrigeration: Using the principle of vapour compression, James Harrison produced the world's first practical ice making machine and refrigerator in Geelong, Australia.[156]
1873: Crookes radiometer: Invented by the chemist Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research.
1876: Telephone: A patent for the telephone is granted to Alexander Graham Bell. However, others inventors before Bell had worked on the development of the telephone and the invention had several pioneers.[157]
1877: The first working phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison.[158]
1878: Rebreather: Henry Fleuss was granted a patent for the first practical rebreather[159]
1879 Thomas Edison produced the first practical bulb and was granted a U.S. patent.
1886: Process for economically producing Aluminum invented by Charles Martin Hall and independently by Paul Héroult in 1886.
1888: Wind turbines for grid electricity invented by Charles F. Brush in 1888.
20th century
1903: First manually controlled, fixed wing, motorized aircraft takes place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina by Orville and Wilbur Wright. First modern fixed wing aircraft.
1915: The tank was invented by Ernest Swinton,[160] although the British Royal Commission on Awards recognised a South Australian named Lance de Mole who had submitted a proposal to the British War Office, for a 'chain-rail vehicle which could be easily steered and carry heavy loads over rough ground and trenches' complete with extensive drawings in 1912[161]
1928: Penicillin was first observed to exude antibiotic substances by Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming. Development of medicinal penicillin is attributed to a team of medics and scientists including Howard Walter Florey, Ernst Chain and Norman Heatley.
1938: Z1 built by Konrad Zuse was the first freely programmable computer in the world.
December 1947: The Transistor, used in almost all modern electronic products was invented in December 1947 by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain under the supervision of William Shockley. Subsequent transistors became steadily smaller, faster, more reliable, and cheaper to manufacture, leading to a revolution in computers, controls, and communication.
December 20, 1951: First use of nuclear power to produce electricity for households in Arco, Idaho[162][163]
1955: The intermodal container was developed by Malcom McLean.
1957: The first PC used by one person and controlled by a keyboard, the IBM 610 was invented in 1957 by IBM.
1958-59: Co-creation of the integrated circuit by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce.
1969: ARPANET first deployed via UCLA, SRI, UCSB, and The University of Utah.
1972: The first video game console, used primarily for playing video games on a TV, is the Magnavox Odyssey.[164]
1973: The first commercial graphical user interface was introduced in 1973 on the Xerox Alto. The modern GUI was later popularized by the Xerox Star and Apple Lisa.
1975: Altair 8800 was the spark that ignited the microcomputer revolution.
1973-75: The Internet protocol suite was developed by Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ARPANET, creating the basis for the modern Internet.
1977: Apple II introduced by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
1981: IBM-PC introduced
1981: MS-DOS introduced
1982: A CD-ROM (/ˌsiːˌdiːˈrɒm/, an acronym of "Compact Disc Read-only memory") is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 Yellow Book standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data.[165]
1984: Apple Macintosh introduced by Steve Jobs.
1990: World Wide Web by a British national in Geneva, Switzerland: The World Wide Web was first proposed on March 1989 by English engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, now the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium.[166] The project was publicly introduced in December 1990.[167]
1993: MOSAIC introduced
1995: DVD is an optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions.

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