A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both. A library's collection can include books, newspapers, films, prints, microform, CDs, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. In Latin and Greek, the idea of a bookcase is represented by Bibliotheca and Bibliothēkē: derivatives of these mean library in many modern languages, e.g. French bibliothèque; the first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing—the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC. Private or personal libraries made up of written books appeared in classical Greece in the 5th century BC. In the 6th century, at the close of the Classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world remained those of Constantinople and Alexandria.
A library is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. Public and institutional collections and services may be intended for use by people who choose not to—or cannot afford to—purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research. In addition to providing materials, libraries provide the services of librarians who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs. Libraries provide quiet areas for studying, they often offer common areas to facilitate group study and collaboration. Libraries provide public facilities for access to their electronic resources and the Internet. Modern libraries are being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources, they are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means, by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing large amounts of information with a variety of digital resources.
Libraries are becoming community hubs where programs are delivered and people engage in lifelong learning. As community centers, libraries are becoming important in helping communities mobilize and organize for their rights; the relationship between librarianship and human rights works to ensure that the rights of cultural minorities, the homeless, the disabled, LGBTQ community, as well as other marginalized groups are not infringed upon as protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing—the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in temple rooms in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC; these archives, which consisted of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, mark the end of prehistory and the start of history. Things were much the same in the temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt; the earliest discovered. There is evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing a library classification system.
Over 30,000 clay tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish known as the Epic of Creation, which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of creation; the tablets were stored in a variety of containers such as wooden boxes, woven baskets of reeds, or clay shelves. The "libraries" were cataloged using colophons, which are a publisher's imprint on the spine of a book, or in this case a tablet; the colophons stated the series name, the title of the tablet, any extra information the scribe needed to indicate. The clay tablets were organized by subject and size. Due to limited to bookshelf space, once more tablets were added to the library, older ones were removed, why some tablets are missing from the excavated cities in Mesopotamia. According to legend, mythical philosopher Laozi was keeper of books in the earliest library in China, which belonged to the Imperial Zhou dynasty.
Evidence of catalogues found in some destroyed ancient libraries illustrates the presence of librarians. Persia at the time of the Achaemenid Empire was home to some outstanding libraries; those libraries within the kingdom had two major functions: the first came from the need to keep the records of administrative documents including transactions, governmental orders, budget allocation within and between the Satrapies and the central ruling State. The second function was to collect precious resources on different subjects of science and set of principles e.g. medical science, histor
Botany called plant science, plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist; the term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder". Traditionally, botany has included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, 20,000 are bryophytes. Botany originated in prehistory as herbalism with the efforts of early humans to identify – and cultivate – edible and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science. Medieval physic gardens attached to monasteries, contained plants of medical importance, they were forerunners of the first botanical gardens attached to universities, founded from the 1540s onwards.
One of the earliest was the Padua botanical garden. These gardens facilitated the academic study of plants. Efforts to catalogue and describe their collections were the beginnings of plant taxonomy, led in 1753 to the binomial system of Carl Linnaeus that remains in use to this day. In the 19th and 20th centuries, new techniques were developed for the study of plants, including methods of optical microscopy and live cell imaging, electron microscopy, analysis of chromosome number, plant chemistry and the structure and function of enzymes and other proteins. In the last two decades of the 20th century, botanists exploited the techniques of molecular genetic analysis, including genomics and proteomics and DNA sequences to classify plants more accurately. Modern botany is a broad, multidisciplinary subject with inputs from most other areas of science and technology. Research topics include the study of plant structure and differentiation, reproduction and primary metabolism, chemical products, diseases, evolutionary relationships and plant taxonomy.
Dominant themes in 21st century plant science are molecular genetics and epigenetics, which are the mechanisms and control of gene expression during differentiation of plant cells and tissues. Botanical research has diverse applications in providing staple foods, materials such as timber, rubber and drugs, in modern horticulture and forestry, plant propagation and genetic modification, in the synthesis of chemicals and raw materials for construction and energy production, in environmental management, the maintenance of biodiversity. Botany originated as the study and use of plants for their medicinal properties. Many records of the Holocene period date early botanical knowledge as far back as 10,000 years ago; this early unrecorded knowledge of plants was discovered in ancient sites of human occupation within Tennessee, which make up much of the Cherokee land today. The early recorded history of botany includes many ancient writings and plant classifications. Examples of early botanical works have been found in ancient texts from India dating back to before 1100 BC, in archaic Avestan writings, in works from China before it was unified in 221 BC.
Modern botany traces its roots back to Ancient Greece to Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle who invented and described many of its principles and is regarded in the scientific community as the "Father of Botany". His major works, Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants, constitute the most important contributions to botanical science until the Middle Ages seventeen centuries later. Another work from Ancient Greece that made an early impact on botany is De Materia Medica, a five-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine written in the middle of the first century by Greek physician and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides. De Materia Medica was read for more than 1,500 years. Important contributions from the medieval Muslim world include Ibn Wahshiyya's Nabatean Agriculture, Abū Ḥanīfa Dīnawarī's the Book of Plants, Ibn Bassal's The Classification of Soils. In the early 13th century, Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, Ibn al-Baitar wrote on botany in a systematic and scientific manner. In the mid-16th century, "botanical gardens" were founded in a number of Italian universities – the Padua botanical garden in 1545 is considered to be the first, still in its original location.
These gardens continued the practical value of earlier "physic gardens" associated with monasteries, in which plants were cultivated for medical use. They supported the growth of botany as an academic subject. Lectures were given about the plants grown in the gardens and their medical uses demonstrated. Botanical gardens came much to northern Europe. Throughout this period, botany remained subordinate to medicine. German physician Leonhart Fuchs was one of "the three German fathers of botany", along with theologian Otto Brunfels and physician Hieronymus Bock. Fuchs and Brunfels broke away from the tradition of copying earlier works to make original observations of their own. Bock created his own system of plant classification. Physician Valerius Cordus authored a botanically and pharmacologically important herbal Historia Plantarum in 1544 and a pharmacopoeia of lasting importance, the Dispensatorium
Sociology is the scientific study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, culture of everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order and change or social evolution. While some sociologists conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, others focus on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure; the different traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, social mobility, secularization, sexuality and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has expanded its focus to other subjects, such as health, economy and penal institutions, the Internet, social capital, the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge.
The range of social scientific methods has expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of quantitative techniques; the linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-20th century led to interpretative and philosophic approaches towards the analysis of society. Conversely, the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s have seen the rise of new analytically and computationally rigorous techniques, such as agent-based modelling and social network analysis. Social research informs politicians and policy makers, planners, administrators, business magnates, social workers, non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, people interested in resolving social issues in general. There is a great deal of crossover between social research, market research, other statistical fields. Sociological reasoning predates the foundation of the discipline. Social analysis has origins in the common stock of Western knowledge and philosophy, has been carried out from as far back as the time of ancient Greek philosopher Plato, if not before.
The origin of the survey, i.e. the collection of information from a sample of individuals, can be traced back to at least the Domesday Book in 1086, while ancient philosophers such as Confucius wrote about the importance of social roles. There is evidence of early sociology in medieval Arab writings; some sources consider Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century Arab Islamic scholar from North Africa, to have been the first sociologist and father of sociology. The word sociology is derived from both Greek origins; the Latin word: socius, "companion". It was first coined in 1780 by the French essayist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès in an unpublished manuscript. Sociology was defined independently by the French philosopher of science, Auguste Comte in 1838 as a new way of looking at society. Comte had earlier used the term social physics, but that had subsequently been appropriated by others, most notably the Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet. Comte endeavoured to unify history and economics through the scientific understanding of the social realm.
Writing shortly after the malaise of the French Revolution, he proposed that social ills could be remedied through sociological positivism, an epistemological approach outlined in The Course in Positive Philosophy and A General View of Positivism. Comte believed a positivist stage would mark the final era, after conjectural theological and metaphysical phases, in the progression of human understanding. In observing the circular dependence of theory and observation in science, having classified the sciences, Comte may be regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. Comte gave a powerful impetus to the development of sociology, an impetus which bore fruit in the decades of the nineteenth century. To say this is not to claim that French sociologists such as Durkheim were devoted disciples of the high priest of positivism, but by insisting on the irreducibility of each of his basic sciences to the particular science of sciences which it presupposed in the hierarchy and by emphasizing the nature of sociology as the scientific study of social phenomena Comte put sociology on the map.
To be sure, beginnings can be traced back well beyond Montesquieu, for example, to Condorcet, not to speak of Saint-Simon, Comte's immediate predecessor. But Comte's clear recognition of sociology as a particular science, with a character of its own, justified Durkheim in regarding him as the father or founder of this science, in spite of the fact that Durkheim did not accept the idea of the three states and criticized Comte's approach to sociology. Both Auguste Comte and Karl Marx set out to develop scientifically justified systems in the wake of European industrialization and secularization, informed by various key movements in the philosophies of history and science. Marx rejected Comtean positivism but in attempting to develop a science of society came to be recognized as a founder of sociology as the word gained wider meaning. For Isaiah Berlin, Marx may be regarded as the "true father" of modern sociology, "in so far as anyone can claim the title."To have given clear and unified answers in familiar empirical terms to those theor
Technology is the collection of techniques, skills and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings. Systems applying technology by taking an input, changing it according to the system's use, producing an outcome are referred to as technology systems or technological systems; the simplest form of technology is the use of basic tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the Neolithic Revolution increased the available sources of food, the invention of the wheel helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, including the printing press, the telephone, the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact on a global scale. Technology has many effects, it has allowed the rise of a leisure class.
Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment. Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions in the ethics of technology. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, the challenges of bioethics. Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; the use of the term "technology" has changed over the last 200 years. Before the 20th century, the term was uncommon in English, it was used either to refer to the description or study of the useful arts or to allude to technical education, as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the term "technology" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the Second Industrial Revolution.
The term's meanings changed in the early 20th century when American social scientists, beginning with Thorstein Veblen, translated ideas from the German concept of Technik into "technology." In German and other European languages, a distinction exists between technik and technologie, absent in English, which translates both terms as "technology." By the 1930s, "technology" referred not only to the study of the industrial arts but to the industrial arts themselves. In 1937, the American sociologist Read Bain wrote that "technology includes all tools, utensils, instruments, clothing and transporting devices and the skills by which we produce and use them." Bain's definition remains common among scholars today social scientists. Scientists and engineers prefer to define technology as applied science, rather than as the things that people make and use. More scholars have borrowed from European philosophers of "technique" to extend the meaning of technology to various forms of instrumental reason, as in Foucault's work on technologies of the self.
Dictionaries and scholars have offered a variety of definitions. The Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary offers a definition of the term: "the use of science in industry, etc. to invent useful things or to solve problems" and "a machine, piece of equipment, etc., created by technology." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Real World of Technology" lecture, gave another definition of the concept. The term is used to imply a specific field of technology, or to refer to high technology or just consumer electronics, rather than technology as a whole. Bernard Stiegler, in Technics and Time, 1, defines technology in two ways: as "the pursuit of life by means other than life," and as "organized inorganic matter."Technology can be most broadly defined as the entities, both material and immaterial, created by the application of mental and physical effort in order to achieve some value. In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems, it is a far-reaching term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or more complex machines, such as a space station or particle accelerator.
Tools and machines need not be material. W. Brian Arthur defines technology in a broad way as "a means to fulfill a human purpose."The word "technology" can be used to refer to a collection of techniques. In this context, it is the current state of humanity's knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants; when combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space technology," it refers to the state of the respective field's knowledge and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" refers to the high technology available to humanity in any field. Technology can be viewed as an activity that changes culture. Additionally, technology is the application of math, science, an
A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, crocheting, knotting or tatting, felting, or braiding; the related words "fabric" and "cloth" and "material" are used in textile assembly trades as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized usage. A textile is any material made of interlacing fibres, including carpeting and geotextiles. A fabric is a material made through weaving, spreading, crocheting, or bonding that may be used in production of further goods. Cloth may be used synonymously with fabric but is a piece of fabric, processed; the word'textile' is from Latin, from the adjective textilis, meaning'woven', from textus, the past participle of the verb texere,'to weave'. The word'fabric' derives from Latin, most from the Middle French fabrique, or'building, thing made', earlier as the Latin fabrica'workshop.
The word'cloth' derives from the Old English clað, meaning a cloth, woven or felted material to wrap around one, from Proto-Germanic kalithaz. The first clothes, worn at least 70,000 years ago and much earlier, were made of animal skins and helped protect early humans from the ice ages. At some point people learned to weave plant fibers into textiles; the discovery of dyed flax fibres in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dated to 34,000 BCE suggests textile-like materials were made in prehistoric times. The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, for the main types of textiles, plain weave, twill, or satin weave, there is little difference between the ancient and modern methods. Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and for containers such as bags and baskets. In the household they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, coverings for tables and other flat surfaces, in art.
In the workplace they are used in scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, tents, handkerchiefs, cleaning rags, transportation devices such as balloons, kites and parachutes. Textiles are used in many traditional crafts such as sewing and embroidery. Textiles for industrial purposes, chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are referred to as technical textiles. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles, agrotextiles, protective clothing. In all these applications stringent performance requirements must be met. Woven of threads coated with zinc oxide nanowires, laboratory fabric has been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems" using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements. Textiles are made from many materials, with four main sources: animal, plant and synthetic; the first three are natural. In the 20th century, they were supplemented by artificial fibres made from petroleum.
Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest microfibre made of strands thinner than one denier to the sturdiest canvas. Textile manufacturing terminology has a wealth of descriptive terms, from light gauze-like gossamer to heavy grosgrain cloth and beyond. Animal textiles are made from hair, skin or silk. Wool refers to the hair of the domestic sheep or goat, distinguished from other types of animal hair in that the individual strands are coated with scales and crimped, the wool as a whole is coated with a wax mixture known as lanolin, waterproof and dirtproof. Woollen refers to a bulkier yarn produced from carded, non-parallel fibre, while worsted refers to a finer yarn spun from longer fibres which have been combed to be parallel. Wool is used for warm clothing. Cashmere, the hair of the Indian cashmere goat, mohair, the hair of the North African angora goat, are types of wool known for their softness. Other animal textiles which are made from hair or fur are alpaca wool, vicuña wool, llama wool, camel hair used in the production of coats, ponchos and other warm coverings.
Angora refers to the long, soft hair of the angora rabbit. Qiviut is the fine inner wool of the muskox. Wadmal is a coarse cloth made of wool, produced in Scandinavia 1000~1500 CE. Sea silk is an fine and valuable fabric, made from the silky filaments or byssus secreted by a gland in the foot of pen shells. Silk is an animal textile made from the fibres of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm, spun into a smooth fabric prized for its softness. There are two main ty
In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from applied art, which has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. The five main fine arts were painting, architecture and poetry, with performing arts including theatre and dance; the old master print and drawing were included as related forms to painting, just as prose forms of literature were to poetry. Today, the range of what would be considered fine arts includes additional modern forms, such as film, video production/editing and conceptual art. One definition of fine art is "a visual art considered to have been created for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness painting, drawing, watercolor and architecture." In that sense, there are conceptual differences between the applied arts. As conceived, as understood for much of the modern era, the perception of aesthetic qualities required a refined judgment referred to as having good taste, which differentiated fine art from popular art and entertainment.
The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline according to traditional Western European canons. Except in the case of architecture, where a practical utility was accepted, this definition excluded the "useful" applied or decorative arts, the products of what were regarded as crafts. In contemporary practice these distinctions and restrictions have become meaningless, as the concept or intention of the artist is given primacy, regardless of the means through which this is expressed. According to some writers the concept of a distinct category of fine art is an invention of the early modern period in the West. Larry Shiner in his The Invention of Art: A Cultural History locates the invention in the 18th century: "There was a traditional “system of the arts” in the West before the eighteenth century. In that system, an artist or artisan was a skilled maker or practitioner, a work of art was the useful product of skilled work, the appreciation of the arts was integrally connected with their role in the rest of life.
“Art”, in other words, meant the same thing as the Greek word techne, or in English “skill”, a sense that has survived in phrases like “the art of war”, “the art of love”, “the art of medicine.” Similar ideas have been expressed by Paul Oskar Kristeller, Pierre Bourdieu, Terry Eagleton, though the point of invention is placed earlier, in the Italian Renaissance. The decline of the concept of "fine art" is dated by George Kubler and others to around 1880, when it "fell out of fashion" as, by about 1900, folk art came to be regarded as of equal significance. ""fine art" was driven out of use by about 1920 by the exponents of industrial design... who opposed a double standard of judgment for works of art and for useful objects". This was among theoreticians; the separation of arts and crafts that exists in Europe and the US is not shared by all other cultures. In Japanese aesthetics, the activities of everyday life are depicted by integrating not only art with craft but man-made with nature. Traditional Chinese art distinguished within Chinese painting between the landscape literati painting of scholar gentlemen and the artisans of the schools of court painting and sculpture.
A high status was given to many things that would be seen as craft objects in the West, in particular ceramics, jade carving and embroidery. Latin American art was dominated by European colonialism until the 20th-century, when indigenous art began to reassert itself inspired by the Constructivist Movement, which reunited arts with crafts based upon socialist principles. In Africa, Yoruba art has a political and spiritual function; as with the art of the Chinese, the art of the Yoruba is often composed of what would ordinarily be considered in the West to be craft production. Some of its most admired manifestations, such as sculpture and textiles, fall in this category. Drawing is one of the major forms of the visual arts. Common instruments include: graphite pencils and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, charcoals, pastels, stylus, or various metals like silverpoint. There are a number including cartooning and creating comics. There remains debate whether the following is considered a part of “drawing” as “fine art”: "doodling", drawing in the fog a shower and leaving an imprint on the bathroom mirror, or the surrealist method of "entopic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, the lines are made between the dots.
Mosaics are images formed with small pieces of glass, called tesserae. They can be functional. An artist who designs and makes mosaics is called a mosaicist. Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing on paper. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, called a print; each print is considered an original, as opposed to a copy. The reasoning behind this is that the print is not a reproduction of another work of art in a different medium — for instance, a painting — but rather an image designed from inception as a print. An individual print is referred to as an impression. Prints ar
Engineering is the application of knowledge in the form of science and empirical evidence, to the innovation, construction and maintenance of structures, materials, devices, systems and organizations. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied mathematics, applied science, types of application. See glossary of engineering; the term engineering is derived from the Latin ingenium, meaning "cleverness" and ingeniare, meaning "to contrive, devise". The American Engineers' Council for Professional Development has defined "engineering" as: The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination. Engineering has existed since ancient times, when humans devised inventions such as the wedge, lever and pulley; the term engineering is derived from the word engineer, which itself dates back to 1390 when an engine'er referred to "a constructor of military engines."
In this context, now obsolete, an "engine" referred to a military machine, i.e. a mechanical contraption used in war. Notable examples of the obsolete usage which have survived to the present day are military engineering corps, e.g. the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers; the word "engine" itself is of older origin deriving from the Latin ingenium, meaning "innate quality mental power, hence a clever invention."Later, as the design of civilian structures, such as bridges and buildings, matured as a technical discipline, the term civil engineering entered the lexicon as a way to distinguish between those specializing in the construction of such non-military projects and those involved in the discipline of military engineering. The pyramids in Egypt, the Acropolis and the Parthenon in Greece, the Roman aqueducts, Via Appia and the Colosseum, Teotihuacán, the Brihadeeswarar Temple of Thanjavur, among many others, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient civil and military engineers.
Other monuments, no longer standing, such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Pharos of Alexandria were important engineering achievements of their time and were considered among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The earliest civil engineer known by name is Imhotep; as one of the officials of the Pharaoh, Djosèr, he designed and supervised the construction of the Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara in Egypt around 2630–2611 BC. Ancient Greece developed machines in both military domains; the Antikythera mechanism, the first known mechanical computer, the mechanical inventions of Archimedes are examples of early mechanical engineering. Some of Archimedes' inventions as well as the Antikythera mechanism required sophisticated knowledge of differential gearing or epicyclic gearing, two key principles in machine theory that helped design the gear trains of the Industrial Revolution, are still used today in diverse fields such as robotics and automotive engineering. Ancient Chinese, Greek and Hungarian armies employed military machines and inventions such as artillery, developed by the Greeks around the 4th century BC, the trireme, the ballista and the catapult.
In the Middle Ages, the trebuchet was developed. Before the development of modern engineering, mathematics was used by artisans and craftsmen, such as millwrights, clock makers, instrument makers and surveyors. Aside from these professions, universities were not believed to have had much practical significance to technology. A standard reference for the state of mechanical arts during the Renaissance is given in the mining engineering treatise De re metallica, which contains sections on geology and chemistry. De re metallica was the standard chemistry reference for the next 180 years; the science of classical mechanics, sometimes called Newtonian mechanics, formed the scientific basis of much of modern engineering. With the rise of engineering as a profession in the 18th century, the term became more narrowly applied to fields in which mathematics and science were applied to these ends. In addition to military and civil engineering, the fields known as the mechanic arts became incorporated into engineering.
Canal building was an important engineering work during the early phases of the Industrial Revolution. John Smeaton was the first self-proclaimed civil engineer and is regarded as the "father" of civil engineering, he was an English civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals and lighthouses. He was a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. Using a model water wheel, Smeaton conducted experiments for seven years, determining ways to increase efficiency. Smeaton introduced iron gears to water wheels. Smeaton made mechanical improvements to the Newcomen steam engine. Smeaton designed the third Eddystone Lighthouse where he pioneered the use of'hydraulic lime' and developed a technique involving dovetailed blocks of granite in the building of the lighthouse, he is important in the history, rediscovery of, development of modern cement, because he identified the compositional requirements needed to obtain "hydraulicity" in lime.