History of technology
The history of technology is the history of the invention of tools and techniques and is one of the categories of the history of humanity. Technology can refer to methods ranging from as simple as stone tools to the complex genetic engineering and information technology that has emerged since the 1980s; the term technology comes from the Greek word techne, meaning art and craft, the word logos, meaning word and speech. It was first used to describe applied arts, but it is now used to described advancements and changes which affect the environment around us. New knowledge has enabled people to create new things, conversely, many scientific endeavors are made possible by technologies which assist humans in traveling to places they could not reach, by scientific instruments by which we study nature in more detail than our natural senses allow. Since much of technology is applied science, technical history is connected to the history of science. Since technology uses resources, technical history is connected to economic history.
From those resources, technology produces other resources, including technological artifacts used in everyday life. Technological change affects and is affected by, a society's cultural traditions, it is a force for economic growth and a means to develop and project economic, military power and wealth. Many sociologists and anthropologists have created social theories dealing with social and cultural evolution. Some, like Lewis H. Morgan, Leslie White, Gerhard Lenski have declared technological progress to be the primary factor driving the development of human civilization. Morgan's concept of three major stages of social evolution can be divided by technological milestones, such as fire. White argued. For White, "the primary function of culture" is to "harness and control energy." White differentiates between five stages of human development: In the first, people use the energy of their own muscles. In the second, they use the energy of domesticated animals. In the third, they use the energy of plants.
In the fourth, they learn to use the energy of natural resources: coal, gas. In the fifth, they harness nuclear energy. White introduced a formula P=E*T, where E is a measure of energy consumed, T is the measure of the efficiency of technical factors using the energy. In his own words, "culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year is increased, or as the efficiency of the instrumental means of putting the energy to work is increased". Nikolai Kardashev extrapolated his theory, creating the Kardashev scale, which categorizes the energy use of advanced civilizations. Lenski's approach focuses on information; the more information and knowledge a given society has, the more advanced. He identifies four stages of human development, based on advances in the history of communication. In the first stage, information is passed by genes. In the second, when humans gain sentience, they can pass information through experience. In the third, the humans start develop logic. In the fourth, they can develop language and writing.
Advancements in communications technology translate into advancements in the economic system and political system, distribution of wealth, social inequality and other spheres of social life. He differentiates societies based on their level of technology and economy: hunter-gatherer, simple agricultural, advanced agricultural, special. In economics, productivity is a measure of technological progress. Productivity increases. Another indicator of technological progress is the development of new products and services, necessary to offset unemployment that would otherwise result as labor inputs are reduced. In developed countries productivity growth has been slowing since the late 1970s. For example, employment in manufacturing in the United States declined from over 30% in the 1940s to just over 10% 70 years later. Similar changes occurred in other developed countries; this stage is referred to as post-industrial. In the late 1970s sociologists and anthropologists like Alvin Toffler, Daniel Bell and John Naisbitt have approached the theories of post-industrial societies, arguing that the current era of industrial society is coming to an end, services and information are becoming more important than industry and goods.
Some extreme visions of the post-industrial society in fiction, are strikingly similar to the visions of near and post-Singularity societies. The following is a summary of the history of technology by time period and geography: During most of the Paleolithic – the bulk of the Stone Age – all humans had a lifestyle which involved limited tools and few permanent settlements; the first major technologies were tied to survival and food preparation. Stone tools and weapons and clothing were technological developments of major importance during this period. Human ancestors have been using stone and other tools since long before the emergence of Homo sapiens 200,000 years ago; the earliest methods of stone tool making, known as the Oldowan "industry", date back to at least 2.3 million years ago, with the earliest direct evidence of tool usage found in Ethiopia within the Great Rift Valley, dating back to 2.5 million years ago. This era of stone tool use is called the Paleolithic
An arrow is a fin-stabilized projectile, launched via a bow, consists of a long straight stiff shaft with stabilizers called fletchings, as well as a weighty arrowhead attached to the front end, a slot at the rear end called the nock for engaging the bowstring. The use of bows and arrows by humans is common to most cultures. A craftsman who makes arrows is a fletcher, one that makes arrowheads is an arrowsmith; the oldest evidence of stone-tipped projectiles, which may or may not have been propelled by a bow, dating to c. 64,000 years ago, were found in Sibudu Cave, current South Africa. The oldest evidence of the use of bows to shoot arrows dates to about 10,000 years ago, they had shallow grooves on the base. The oldest bow so far recovered is about 8,000 years old. Archery seems to have arrived in the Americas with the Arctic small tool tradition, about 4,500 years ago. Arrow sizes vary across cultures, ranging from eighteen inches to six feet. However, most modern arrows are 75 centimetres to 96 centimetres.
Short arrows have been used, shot through a guide attached either to the bow or to the archer's wrist. These may fly farther than heavier arrows, an enemy without suitable equipment may find himself unable to return them; the shaft is the primary structural element of the arrow, to which the other components are attached. Traditional arrow shafts are made from strong, lightweight wood, bamboo or reeds, while modern shafts may be made from aluminium, carbon fibre reinforced plastic, or a combination of materials; such shafts are made from an aluminium core wrapped with a carbon fibre outer. A traditional premium material is Port Orford Cedar; the stiffness of the shaft is known as its spine, referring to how little the shaft bends when compressed, hence an arrow which bends less is said to have more spine. In order to strike a group of arrows must be spined. "Center-shot" bows, in which the arrow passes through the central vertical axis of the bow riser, may obtain consistent results from arrows with a wide range of spines.
However, most traditional bows are not center-shot and the arrow has to deflect around the handle in the archer's paradox. Bows with higher draw weight will require stiffer arrows, with more spine to give the correct amount of flex when shot; the weight of an arrow shaft can be expressed in GPI. The length of a shaft in inches multiplied by its GPI rating gives the weight of the shaft in grains. For example, a shaft, 30 inches long and has a GPI of 9.5 weighs 285 grains, or about 18 grams. This does not include the other elements of a finished arrow, so a complete arrow will be heavier than the shaft alone. Sometimes a shaft will be made of two different types of wood fastened together, resulting in what is known as a footed arrow. Known by some as the finest of wood arrows, footed arrows were used both by early Europeans and Native Americans. Footed arrows will consist of a short length of hardwood near the head of the arrow, with the remainder of the shaft consisting of softwood. By reinforcing the area most to break, the arrow is more to survive impact, while maintaining overall flexibility and lighter weight.
A barreled arrow shaft is one. This allows for an arrow that retains enough strength to resist flex. A Qing dynasty arrow shaft was examined by archery enthusiast Peter Dekker and found to exhibit the following qualities: Total shaft length: 944mm Thickness at waist line: 8.5mm Thickness at end of feather: 11mm Thickness 530mm from end: 12mm Thickness 300mm from end: 12mm Thickness 218mm from end: 11mm Thickness 78mm from end: 10mm Thickness at end: 9mmThe resultant point-of-balance of the arrow shaft was thus 38.5% of the length of the arrow from the tip. Barreled arrow shafts are considered the zenith of pre-industrial archery technology, reaching their peak design among the Ottomans; the arrowhead or projectile point is the primary functional part of the arrow, plays the largest role in determining its purpose. Some arrows may use a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but it is far more common for separate arrowheads to be made from metal, horn, or some other hard material. Arrowheads are separated by function: Bodkin points are short, rigid points with a small cross-section.
They were made of unhardened iron and may have been used for better or longer flight, or for cheaper production. It has been mistakenly suggested that the bodkin came into its own as a means of penetrating armour, but research has found no hardened bodkin points, so it is that it was first designed either to extend range or as a cheaper and simpler alternative to the broadhead. In a modern test, a direct hit from a hard steel bodkin point penetrated Damascus chain armour. However, archery was not effective against plate armour, which became available to knights of modest means by the late 14th century. Blunts are unsharpened arrowheads used for types of target shooting, for shooting at stumps or other targets of opportunity, or hunting small game when the goal is to concuss the target without penetration. Blunts are made of metal or hard rubber, they may stun, occ
A sickle, bagging hook or reaping-hook, is a hand-held agricultural tool designed with variously curved blades and used for harvesting, or reaping, grain crops or cutting succulent forage chiefly for feeding livestock, either freshly cut or dried as hay. Falx was a synonym but was used to mean any of a number of tools that had a curved blade, sharp on the inside edge such as a scythe. Since the beginning of the Iron Age hundreds of region-specific variants of the sickle have evolved of iron and steel; this great diversity of sickle types across many cultures can be divided into smooth or serrated blades, both of which can be used for cutting either green grass or mature cereals using different techniques. The serrated blade that originated in prehistoric sickles still dominates in the reaping of grain and is found in modern grain-harvesting machines and in some kitchen knives; the development of the sickle in Mesopotamia can be traced back to times that pre-date the Neolithic Era. Large quantities of sickle blades have been excavated in sites surrounding Israel that have been dated to the Epipaleolithic era.
Formal digs in Wadi Ziqlab, Jordan have unearthed various forms of early sickle blades. The artifacts possessed a jagged edge; this intricate ‘tooth-like’ design showed a greater degree of design and manufacturing credence than most of the other artifacts that were discovered. Sickle blades found during this time were made of flint and used in more of a sawing motion than with the more modern curved design. Flints from these sickles have been discovered near Mt. Carmel, which suggest the harvesting of grains from the area about 10,000 years ago; the sickle had a profound impact on the Agricultural Revolution by assisting in the transition to farming and crop based lifestyle. It is now accepted that the use of sickles led directly to the domestication of Near Eastern Wild grasses. Research on domestication rates of wild cereals under primitive cultivation found that the use of the sickle in harvesting was critical to the people of early Mesopotamia; the narrow growing season in the area and the critical role of grain in the late Neolithic Era promoted a larger investment in the design and manufacture of sickle over other tools.
Standardization to an extent was done on the measurements of the sickle so that replacement or repair could be more immediate. It was important that the grain be harvested at the appropriate time at one elevation so that the next elevation could be reaped at the proper time; the sickle provided a more efficient option in collecting the grain and sped up the developments of early agriculture. The sickle remained common both in the Ancient Near East and in Europe. Numerous sickles have been found deposited in hoards in the context of the European Urnfield culture, suggesting a symbolic or religious significance attached to the artifact. In archaeological terminology, Bronze Age sickles are classified by the method of attaching the handle. E.g. the knob-sickle is so called because of a protruding knob at the base of the blade which served to stabilize the attachment of the blade to the handle. The sickle played a prominent role in the Druids' Ritual of oak and mistletoe as described from a single passage in Pliny the Elder's Natural History: Due to this passage, despite the fact that Pliny does not indicate the source on which he based this account, some branches of modern Druidry have adopted the sickle as a ritual tool.
The sickle has been discovered in southwest North America with a unique structure. These sickles are said to have originated from the Far East. There is evidence that Kodiak islanders had for cutting grass “sickles made of a sharpened animal shoulder blade”; the artifacts found in present-day Arizona and New Mexico resemble curved tools that were made from the horns of mountain sheep. A similar site discovered sickles made from other material such as the Caddo Sickle, made from a deer mandible. Scripture from early natives document the use of these sickles in the cutting of grass; the instruments ranged from 13 to 16 inches tip to tip. Several other digs in eastern Arizona uncovered wooden sickles that were shaped in a similar fashion; the handles of the tools help describe how the tool was held in such a way so that the inner portion that contained the cutting surface could serve as a gathering surface for the grain. Sickles were sharpened by scraping a shape beveled edge with a coarse tool; this action has left marks on artifacts.
The sharpening process was necessary to keep the cutting edge from being dulled after extended use. The edge is seen to be quite polished, which in part proves that the instrument was used to cut grass. After collection, the grass was used as material to create bedding; the sickle in general provided the convenience of cutting the grass as well as gathering in one step. In South America, the sickle is used as a tool to harvest rice. Rice clusters are left to dry in the sun; the genealogy of sickles with serrated edge reaches back to the Stone Age, when individual pieces of flint were first attached to a “blade body” of wood or bone. Teeth have been cut with hand-held chisels into iron, steel-bladed sickles for a long time. In many countries on the African continent and South America as well as the Near and Far East this is still the case in the regions within these large geographies where the traditional village blacksmith remains alive and well. En
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 cairn is a human-made pile of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn. Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present. In modern times, cairns are erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times. However, since prehistory, they have been built and used as burial monuments. Cairns are used as trail markers in many parts of the world, in uplands, on moorland, on mountaintops, near waterways and on sea cliffs, as well as in barren deserts and tundra, they vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, in complexity from loose conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, whether for increased visibility or for religious reasons. An ancient example is the inuksuk, used by the Inuit, Kalaallit and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. Inuksuit are found from Alaska to Greenland; this region, above the Arctic Circle, is dominated by the tundra biome and has areas with few natural landmarks.
Different types of cairns exist from rough piles of stones to interlocking dry stone round cylinders. The most important cairns used around the world are interlocking stone survey cairns constructed around a central survey mark about every 30 km on the tallest peaks across a nation; these physical survey mark cairn systems are the basis for national survey grids to interconnect individual land survey measurements for entire nations. On occasion these permanent interlocking stone cairns are taken down reconstructed to re-mark measurements to increase the accuracy of the national survey grid, they can be used in unpopulated countries as emergency location points. In North America and Northern Europe any type of cairn can be used to mark mountain bike and hiking trail]]s and other cross-country trail blazing in mountain regions at or above the tree line. For example, the extensive trail network maintained by the DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association, extensively uses cairns in conjunction with T-painted rock faces to mark trails.
Other examples of these can be seen in the lava fields of Volcanoes National Park to mark several hikes. Placed at regular intervals, a series of cairns can be used to indicate a path across stony or barren terrain across glaciers; such cairns are placed at junctions or in places where the trail direction is not obvious. They may be used to indicate an obscured danger such as a sudden drop, or a noteworthy point such as the summit of a mountain. Most trail cairns are small being a foot or less in height. However, they may be built taller so as to protrude through a layer of snow. Hikers passing by add a stone, as a small bit of maintenance to counteract the erosive effects of severe weather. North American trail marks are sometimes called "ducks" or "duckies", because they sometimes have a "beak" pointing in the direction of the route; the expression "two rocks do not make a duck" reminds hikers that just one rock resting upon another could be the result of accident or nature rather than intentional trail marking.
The building of cairns for recreational purposes along trails, to mark one's personal passage through the area, can result in an overabundance of rock piles. This distracts from cairns used as genuine navigational guides, conflicts with the Leave No Trace ethic; this ethic of outdoor practice advocates for leaving the outdoors undisturbed and in its natural condition. Coastal cairns, or "sea marks", are common in the northern latitudes in the island-strewn waters of Scandinavia and eastern Canada. Indicated on navigation charts, they may be painted white or lit as beacons for greater visibility offshore. Modern cairns may be erected for historical or memorial commemoration or for decorative or artistic reasons. One example is a series of many cairns marking British soldiers' mass graves at the site of the Battle of Isandlwana, South Africa. Another is the Matthew Flinders Cairn on the side of Arthur's Seat, a small mountain on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Australia. A large cairn referred to as "the igloo" by the locals, was built atop a hill next to the I-476 highway in Radnor, Pennsylvania and is a part of a series of large rock sculptures initiated in 1988 to symbolize the township's Welsh heritage and to beautify the visual imagery along the highway.
Some are places where farmers have collected stones removed from a field. These can be seen in the Catskill Mountains, North America where there is a strong Scottish heritage, may represent places where livestock were lost. In locales exhibiting fantastic rock formations, such as the Grand Canyon, tourists construct simple cairns in reverence of the larger counterparts. By contrast, cairns may have a strong aesthetic purpose, for example in the art of Andy Goldsworthy. Norwegian authorities said in 2015 that illegal cairns are being built each year, to a large degree by tourists to Norway; the building of cairns for various purposes goes back into prehistory in Eurasia, ranging in size from small rock sculptures to substantial man-made hills of stone. The latter are relatively massive Bronze Age or earlier structures which, like kistvaens and dolmens contain burials.
Long barrows known as chambered tombs, were a style of monument constructed across Western Europe in the fifth and fourth millennia BCE, during the Early Neolithic period. Constructed from earth and either timber or stone, those using the latter material represent the oldest widespread tradition of stone construction in the world; the long barrows consist of an earthen tumulus, or "barrow", sometimes with a timber or stone chamber in one end. These monuments contained human remains interred within their chambers, as a result, are interpreted as tombs, although there are some examples where this appears not to have happened; the choice of whether to use timber or stone may have had more to do with the availability of local materials than any cultural differences. The earliest examples developed in Iberia and western France during the mid-fifth millennium BCE; the tradition spread northwards, into the British Isles and the Low Countries and Southern Scandinavia. Each area developed its own regional variations of the long barrow tradition exhibiting their own architectural innovations.
The purpose and meaning of such barrows remains an issue of debate among archaeologists. One argument is that they are religious sites erected as part of a system of ancestor veneration or as a religion spread by missionaries or settlers. An alternative explanation views them in economic terms, as territorial markers delineating the areas controlled by different communities as they transitioned toward farming. Around 40,000 chambered long barrows survive today. Many have been excavated by archaeologists. Given their dispersal across Western Europe, long barrows have been given different names in the various different languages of this region; the term "barrow" is a southern English dialect word for an earthen tumulus, was adopted as a scholarly term for such monuments by the 17th century English antiquarian John Aubrey. Synonyms found in other parts of Britain included low in Cheshire and Derbyshire, tump in Gloucestershire and Hereford, howe in Northern England and Scotland, cairn in Scotland.
Another term to have achieved international usage has been "dolmen", a Breton word meaning "table-stone". The historian Ronald Hutton suggested that such sites could be termed "tomb-shrines" to reflect the fact that they appear to have been used both to house the remains of the dead and to have been used in ritualised activities; the decision as to whether a long barrow used wood or stone appears to have been based on the availability of resources. Some of the long barrows contained stone-lined chambers within them. Early 20th century archaeologists began to call these monuments chambered tombs; the archaeologists Roy and Lesley Adkins referred to these monuments as megalithic long barrows. In most cases, local stone was used; the style of the chamber falls into two categories. One form, known as grottes sepulchrales artificielles in French archaeology, are dug into the earth; the second form, more widespread, are known as cryptes dolmeniques in French archaeology and involved the chamber being erected above ground.
Many chambered long barrows contained side chambers within them producing a cruciform shape. Others had no such side alcoves; the term earthen long barrow was coined by the British archaeologist Stuart Piggott. These long barrows might have used timber; the construction of long barrows in the Early Neolithic would have required the co-operation of a number of different individuals and would have represented an important investment in time and resources. Many were restyled over their long period of use. Ascertaining at what date a chambered long barrow was constructed is difficult for archaeologists as a result of the various modifications that were made to the monument during the Early Neolithic. Both modifications and damage can make it difficult to determine the nature of the original long barrow design. Enviro-archaeological studies have demonstrated that many of the long barrows were erected in wooded landscapes. In Britain, these chambered long barrows are located on prominent hills and slopes, in particular being located above rivers and inlets and overlooking valleys.
In Britain, long barrows were often constructed near to causewayed enclosures, a form of earthen monument. Across Europe, about 40,000 long barrows are known to survive from the Early Neolithic, they are found across much of Western Europe. The long barrows are not the world's oldest known structures using stone—they are predated by Göbekli Tepe in modern Turkey—but they do represent the oldest widespread tradition of using stone in construction; the archaeologist Frances Lynch has described them as "the oldest built structures in Europe" to survive. Although found across this large area, they can be subdivided into clear regionalised traditions based on architectural differences. Excavation has revealed that some of the long barrows in the area of modern Spain and western France were erected in the mid-fifth millennium BCE, making these older than those long barrows further north. Although the general area in which the oldest long barrows were built is therefore known, archaeologists do not know where the tradition started nor which long barrows are the first ones to have been built.
It therefore appears that the architectural tradition developed in this southern area of Western Europe before spreading north