Most people believe that there were no significantly advanced technologies ancient people had. We tend to think of the advancement of humankind through the ages as
10. Vitrum Flexile
Also known as flexible glass, this supposed Roman era invention dates to the early part of the 1st century AD. The story claims that a craftsman had invented a shatter proof glass. He demonstrated its properties by presenting a glass bowl to the Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar. The Emperor then threw the bowl on the ground expecting it to break, but it would not shatter. Only dented, it was easily reworked by the artisan. The Emperor, clearly impressed, asked if any other knew the secrets of his invention. After assuring him that he alone possessed this knowledge, he was promptly beheaded. Tiberius Caesar had feared such an invention would become more valuable than gold and silver, thus jeopardizing the Emperors own fortunes.
Located mysteriously beneath Death Valley, California, is an amazing and totally inexplicable network of tunnels and rooms. This 5,000-year-old subterranean city was written about in Native American legend. The city below Death Valley was referred to as Shin-Au-Av. Stories have been shared in the 20th century, claiming actual discovery of Shin-Au-Av. It was claimed that chambers of perfectly preserved mummies clad in high-quality leather and adorned with gold and armed with spears were found. There were stone and golden tables and accents of gems and precious metals throughout. It was explained that the underground city was well lit by a network of subterranean gas vents. However to this day, none of this was ever proven. If such a place does exist, how could it have been constructed with primitive technological means? Surely, its residents would have possessed advanced technologies.
8. Damascus Steel
Epitomizing advanced technologies that ancient people had been Damascus steel, which is named after the city in modern day Syria. It was used primarily in sword making applications and was legendary for being both extremely hard and durable as well as acutely sharp. Swords made of this steel were said to be capable of cutting a single hair in two. It is identified by its characteristic surface appearance resembling a fingerprint or rippling of water. To this day, it is not entirely known how this steel was produced. It has never been successfully duplicated.
7. The Great Pyramid of Giza
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the great pyramid of Giza, was built around 2,500 BC and clearly had the function of serving as an extravagant tomb for ancient Egyptian royalty. However, with so much research surrounding the pyramids, there have been many other theories as to its real purpose. Its design and construction consisted of such profound mathematical and geometric precision. Additionally, the uncertain means with which ancient Egyptians would have assembled such a massive structure leads one to conclude that it was more than just a tomb. Some have said that Giza is a portal, a stargate, for ancient astronauts from a faraway galaxy which activates with particular alignments of the pyramids in conjunction with certain celestial bodies. Others have stated, through research, that the pyramid is part of an ancient clock which tracks, with great precision, the positioning of the stars in the sky over millennia.
6. Stradivari Violin
Antonio Stradivari, born in the mid-17th century, was a crafter of stringed instruments. In his time, he produced over 1,000 violins of which roughly half are still in existence. The violins he produced are reputed as the finest musical instruments ever made and are said to produce the highest quality and sweetest musical sound. Attempts to duplicate his designs have never successfully been done. They are so sought after by musicians and collectors that they have sold at auction for millions of dollars.
5. Nazca Lines of Peru
These ancient geoglyphs remain a mystery to this day. Located in southern Peru within the Nazca Desert, these phenomenal glyphs were made sometime between 500 BC and 500 AD. The patterns that they form, as seen from an aerial perspective, are those of wildlife such as birds, lizards, fish and monkeys. Were they simply some sort of historical record? Were they a monument? It’s not known for sure, however, it’s certainly worth asking; why go to all the trouble for such a simple purpose? It’s not even known today how such a feat was accomplished with such detail, without the use of modern technologies or even the advent of flight. Perhaps they did have another technological purpose. Some believe they were a means to communicate with ancient alien races that visited the Earth.
4. Crystal Skulls
These eerily detailed skull carvings were said to have been discovered amongst ruins of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican sites. The skulls are made of clear or milky quartz crystal. Although none of the skulls which have been tested scientifically have been proven authentic. Several authentic ones are said to be in existence and in private hands. The skulls are much talked about in the science fiction of television and film. There is much mystery surrounding their purpose. If real however, it has been reported that they exhibit supernatural abilities which enable the operator of the skull to communicate with worlds and realities beyond our own.
3. Archimedes Heat Ray
Archimedes was a Greek engineer and scientist living in the 3rd century BC. He is known famously as one of the founders of modern mathematics and calculus. He was a resident throughout his life, of Syracuse, Sicily. During the siege of Syracuse in the early part of his century, he is purported to have developed a network of parabolic mirrors which could compound and amplify the Sun’s energy. By aiming the mirrors he was said to have been able to readily set fire to approaching enemy ships. It is believed that metallic mirrors which were highly polished were used by Archimedes to build his Heat Ray device. This makes the Heat Ray definitely one of the simplest yet profoundly advanced technologies ancient people had that we don’t.
2. Roman Concrete
This miracle of construction in its day was used extensively throughout the Roman Empire. This concrete was a cement mixture of dry ingredients which when combined with water would react and set off an adhesive chemical process that would form a particulate that was not water soluble. This meant that Roman Concrete could be set in wet conditions, even underwater, and remain durable throughout its lifetime. The key ingredient in Roman Concrete was volcanic ash. Although not as strong as modern concrete, Roman-built structures are well known to have longer lifespans as they have intrinsic protections against nature’s elements.
1. Greek Fire
Greek Fire was a weapon of war developed by the Byzantine Empire in the late 7th century. The Byzantines were the eastern arm of the Roman Empire during that period in history. Historians believe it was primarily used during naval battle and was known at the time to be an extremely effective and much-feared tool of warfare. It was deployed as an incendiary weapon and by accounts resembled a burning stream of fluid which shot out of the Byzantine ship at its enemy. It would continue to burn for some time afterward, even while floating on the water’s surface. The flames could not be readily extinguished, thus, it became a death sentence to those wooden ships unfortunate to feel its wrath. To this day the material composition is not known and remains a mystery.