Etymology and History of Technology

  • The term 'technology' dates back to the early 17th century and means systematic treatment.
  • Derived from the Greek word 'tékhnē' (craft or art) and '-λογία' (study or knowledge).
  • In the 19th century, continental Europeans used 'Technik' or 'technique' to refer to a way of doing.
  • 'Technologie' referred to the academic discipline studying arts and crafts or the political discipline legislating on their functions.
  • In English, both 'Technik' and 'Technologie' were translated as 'technology'.
  • The history of technology explores the development of tools, techniques, and systems.
  • Prehistoric technology includes the development of stone tools, control of fire, and the invention of the wheel.
  • The Neolithic Revolution brought about agricultural innovations and increased social complexity.
  • Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome, and Iran showcased various technological advancements.

Prehistoric Technological Advances

  • Tools were initially developed through observation and trial and error by hominids.
  • The first stone tools were made around 2 million years ago.
  • Pressure flaking, a refinement of tool-making, emerged around 75,000 years ago.
  • The discovery and control of fire played a crucial role in human development.
  • Other technological advances during the Paleolithic era include clothing, shelter, and the construction of wood huts.

Neolithic Technological Advances

  • The Neolithic Revolution brought about accelerated technological innovation and increased social complexity.
  • The invention of the polished stone axe allowed large-scale forest clearance and farming.
  • Agriculture fed larger populations and enabled sedentism and labor specialization.
  • The transition to the first cities and civilizations involved hierarchical social structures, trade, and collective action.
  • The invention of writing facilitated the spread of cultural knowledge and the development of history, libraries, schools, and scientific research.

Ancient Technological Contributions

  • Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome, and Iran made significant technological contributions.
  • The wheel was invented around 4,000 BCE, enabling transportation and trade.
  • Wind power was utilized through sailing ships from around 7,000 BCE.
  • Egyptians used the annual flooding of the Nile for irrigation through canals and levees.
  • Advancements in metallurgy led to the discovery of alloys like bronze and brass, and the use of iron alloys like steel.

Modern Technological Advancements

  • Industrial Revolution in the 18th century led to discoveries in agriculture, manufacturing, and transport.
  • Second Industrial Revolution brought rapid scientific discovery, standardization, and mass production.
  • Inventions included sewage systems, electricity, light bulbs, railroads, automobiles, and airplanes.
  • 20th century saw advancements in nuclear power, computers, information technology, and space exploration.
  • Modern technology relies on training and education, with complex fields supporting their development.

Technology Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph