5 Ancient Egyptian Inventions We Still Use Today

  • Temple Wadi El-Sebua

    A country that is rich in history, a land that has known great prosperity and despair, a world that is beautiful and full of life yet can be just as raw and difficult to survive in. Egypt is a place that holds the roots of humankind and secrets still undiscovered. Many of the objects we use every day and the use of certain everyday objects originated in Egypt. Objects such as the toothbrush, toothpaste, locks and keys, makeup, combs, wigs, deodorant and scissors. Makeup was used not for beauty but for skin-care; it was mainly used to protect people’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Let’s take a look at just five of those objects:

  • 1. The Condom

    Believed to be the oldest condom EVER.

    Did you know that even the idea of the condom originated in Egypt? It is said that as far back as 1000 BC, Egyptians used a linen sheath during
    intercourse for protection against diseases among other things! Amazing you say? Indeed!

  • 2. High-heel shoes

    Egyptian woman in Cairo wearing stilettos.

    Ah yes, high-heel shoes. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend but in reality most of us have a much larger shoe collection (especially heels) than a collection of diamonds to wear. Let’s face it, women (and men) LOVE heels! What is really cool about this sexy, sensual and yet sophisticated style of shoes is that they too originated from good ol’ Egypt! Imagine as far back as 3,500 B.C., when it is said these type of shoes were being worn by the higher classes.

    The lower classes who were able to wear them definitely saw it as a privilege considering most of them could not afford to wear such works of art. However, I’m sure that the heels in those days were pretty uncomfortable compared to our modern day versions. If the lower class people’s feet could have talked they probably would have thanked them!

  • 3. Paper

    The first “paper” invented

    Yes, you guessed it! Paper is believed to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians around 4,000 B.C., although the name was actually Papyrus. It was the first substance used to write on similar to the paper we use today. The Egyptians would take a woven mat of reeds and pound them together until it created a thin yet stiff sheet. The next invention couldn’t have been thought of unless Papyrus was invented first…

  • 4. The Pen

    Ancient Egyptian en and pencil cases

    We’re sure everyone has heard the saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword”, right? Well this pen is certainly mighty! It has survived through ages of humanity and is still in great shape! (Wish we could all say that for ourselves, eh?). Anyway, without Papyrus, these babies wouldn’t have been needed. The people of ancient Egypt could no longer use things such as bones, metal stick or sharp rocks to write on the sheet of Papyrus so they had to invent something more useful that wouldn’t break through; thus the almighty pen! Not only does this picture show you their version of the pen but these objects contained in the original pencil cases too!

  • 5. The Water Clock

    Ancient water clock in Athens, Greece

    This list is incredible, I know; however it must come to an end. The last everyday object to originate from ancient Egypt listed here is the water clock. Never heard of that? Now you have. And guess what? Water clocks are still used to this day!

    They are more commonly used for decoration and for others to admire these works of art. However, the invention they preceded, the clock itself, is of course still used to tell time. Interestingly enough, it was hard to find a picture of an ancient Egyptian water clock, so we’ll have to make do with this picture is of an ancient water clock in Athens, Greece. In this particular photo, the water would flow into another bowl, thus allowing people to time themselves.All in all, the Egyptians were a clever group of people. If the ancient civilization were to still live on today, they would be shocked to see how far many of their inventions have gone and how modernized they have become.

Adriana Morales
Adriana Morales
Scribol Staff
Anthropology and History
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