When we think of engineering, we tend to think of modern, high-tech design. But many technological advances were made possible by the solid foundations of design and engineering of yesterday. Here are some of the most innovative engineering feats of their time:
Aqueducts: The Romans had access to public toilets, underground sewage systems, public baths, and more. These were made possible by the aqueduct. The aqueducts transported water through pipelines and into city centers. While the Romans did not invent the aqueduct, their aqueducts were so well built that some are still in use to this day.
Water Mills: The first known water mill is said to have been invented in Greece. Water mills were used for the purpose of shaping metal, agriculture, and most importantly, milling – specifically, to grind grain. This led to the production of cereals and flour. These mills are still used in many parts of the world today.
The Great Pyramid: The pyramids, and in particular, the Great Pyramid, were masterpieces of technical skill and engineering ability. The sides of the Great Pyramid are aligned perfectly with the four cardinal points of the compass. It is estimated that it took workers 10 years to complete construction of the Great Pyramid.
Highways: The Romans built a sophisticated system of roads. Roman engineers designed highways to allow for water drainage. The Romans built over 50,000 miles of road by 200 A.D. Highways allowed the Roman legion to travel as far as 25 miles per day. Stone mile markers and signs informed travelers of the distance to their destination, while soldiers acted as a kind of highway patrol.
The Great Wall of China: The Great Wall of China, at nearly 13,000 miles long, is the longest structure ever built. It was built over the course of 2,000 years. In addition to the actual wall, the structure includes 25,000 towers, castles, and other fortresses for soldiers to stay on alert against attack.