Ancient Egyptians Gave Us Bowling Game, Lock, Papyrus Sheets, Calendar

Fareeha Arshad
Photo by Jordan Grider on Unsplash

Ancient Egyptian society was one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Not just that, they were the world superpowers for a very long time. They gave the world some of the most remarkable inventions and advancements the world had ever known — from the legendary pyramids and mummified bodies, the ancient Egyptians gave the world its first wig, make-up items, accessories, toys, and games.

With their extraordinary inventions, the ancient Egyptians’ influence dominates almost all our lives, even today. Let’s have a look at some of their creations that are used even today.

1. Papyrus sheets

Yes, the Chinese were the first to invent paper around 150 B.C. However, the Egyptians had already beat them by designing writing sheets using papyrus a long time before that. Papyrus grew in abundance in marshy areas along the river Nile. From it, they derived sheets on which they wrote and stored them as scrolls.

Though deriving writing sheets was a time-consuming process, the Egyptians kept their manufacturing process a secret for a very long time. This allowed them to gain the upper hand for trading purposes. Their sheet production process from papyrus was rediscovered in 1965 by Dr Hassan Ragab.

2. Calendar

Imagine having to live without a calendar. You’d be lost and mixed up between when doctor’s appointment, next meeting, vacation, and the list is endless. However, for the ancient Egyptians, things were a bit different. Without a proper calendar to keep track of their yearly activities, they wouldn’t be able to distinguish between famine or flood.

The ancient Egyptian first started using a systematic calendar sometime during or before the Old Kingdom. Their calendar gave them an idea about their farming activities: flooding periods, sowing schedules, and harvesting time. They even added their seasonal festivals, feasts, public and religious holidays in their yearly calendar.

3. Bowling

When the Romans took over ancient Egypt during the first three centuries, the ancient Egyptians played a game closely resembling present-day bowling. Scientists have discovered a place in Narmoutheos with traces of lanes and several balls of different sizes. This could have been the first form of bowling.

The lanes were about thirteen feet long, eight-inch wide, and almost four inches deep. The routes also had a square opening at their centre. Archaeologists speculate that the game could have been a little different set of rules compared to the modern-day style. The bowlers would take turns and aim for the hold at the middle of the lane. At the same time, the opponents would also simultaneously roll the balls through the hole to knock off the player’s ball from the lane.

4. Lock

The first lock dated back to around 3000 B.C. and were simple pin-tumbler locks. These locks contained pins linked to a bolt on the door that could be opened using a key. When the key pressed the pins upward, they would separate from the bolt, and the door would get unlocked.

However, these locks were massive in size and shape — this hindered their practicality for daily usage. Regardless, these ancient Egyptian locks were more secure than most locks developed later by the Romans.

What are some of the other things the ancient Egyptians gave us? Do let us know in the comments section.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I mostly write about history and science.

Texas State

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