Where Was the Wheel Invented?

The wheel is one of man’s most important inventions, but no one knows for sure how, when, or where it was first developed. It is probable that early in man’s development, the idea came to someone of using a tree trunk as a huge roller for moving heavy objects. We do have proof that by … Read more

When Did Orchestras Begin?

We can probably trace the origin of the orchestra back to the origin of man, for we know that primitive people had crude instruments, and we can guess that they probably played together in groups. However, the idea of a real orchestra had to wait for the development of wind and bowed string instruments, as … Read more

How Was Music First Written Down?

Ancient works of art that have been uncovered show us that music goes back as early as 4000 B.C. But the earliest form of written music with symbols has been traced to the ancient Greeks who used letters of the alphabet to represent musical tones. This music was written down for choruses who sang and … Read more

How Were the First Drums Made?

People in Ancient Sumeria made drums as long ago as 3000 B.C. Although drums can be considered the oldest musical instrument, they were also used as a method of communication, a call to battle, and to keep a rhythmic beat in ceremonial dances. Drums can be grouped into three basic shapes and each is made … Read more

Who Wrote the First Songs?

Songs have been written and sung all through history. Egyptians sang songs as early as 4000 B.C.; Hebrews in 900 15.3.C. had songs and chants which appear in the Bible; and Greeks in 500 B.C. had choruses. For a long time, there was no universal method of recording words and music on paper. Songs were … Read more

How Long Have Bells Existed?

Bells have been used throughout history mainly to call worshippers to religious services. But they were also used to announce the arrival of fresh foods at ancient markets, to signal the time of day, to alert people to an enemy attack, to announce deaths, and to celebrate important dates. Bells originated in the 800s B.C. … Read more

When Did Books First Appear?

The oldest books known were baked clay tablets used about 3500 B.C. in Mesopotamia. They were deeds to land and other business records. By 25 B.C., the Egyptians had found a better way to produce books. They used papyrus, a reed-like plant, and pasted layers of its inner bark together, making a sheet. Sheets were … Read more

How Did Myths Begin?

Some historians believe that myths began as actual historical events which, when told and retold through the ages, became exaggerated. Other historians believe that ancient people created myths to explain how and why things which they didn’t understand could happen: how the earth was created, how man came to be, why the sun rises, why … Read more

When Did People Learn To Read?

All civilizations have had forms of writing and reading. People first used pictures as words. The Babylonians and ancient Egyptians passed beyond this stage and used hieroglyphics, which contained symbols along with pictures. In 1200 B.C., the Phoenicians, with their alphabet, were the first people to read sounds from letter symbols rather than from pictures. … Read more

Who Developed the Modern Alphabet?

Even though our modern 26 letter alphabet is called the Roman alphabet, the Romans did not invent it. They simply refined and polished a system of written language that had been developing for thousands of years in many nations. Most alphabet letters began as a simplified version of ancient drawings of animals, objects, or signs. … Read more

When Were Knives, Forks, and Spoons First Used?

There is no certain date for the first use of these utensils by humans. But we know that knives have been used from the time that cavemen began hunting. Any material that these primitive people found that was hard and sharp became a knife with which to skin animals and cut meat. These same cavemen … Read more

How Did Governments Begin?

Present day government grew out of the family and clan organization that made up ancient tribes. Some people working together to lead or control a group of others formed the beginnings of government. Primitive governments were tied in closely to religion, with the king or chief of a tribe also the high priest. As cultures … Read more

Who Established the First Calendars?

Primitive humans used the cycles of nature as their calendars. They noted day and night, the sprouting of leaves, heavy rainfalls, number of harvests, and, later, the changing position of the sun and moon among the stars. They used all these as time markers. These observations were the forerunners of the more elaborate calendars later … Read more

When Were the First Clocks Made?

People had many ways of telling time long before mechanical clocks were developed. Prehistoric man probably watched the movements of the sun and the changing shadows on the ground to measure time. Sundials, developed as early as 2000 B.C. in Babylon, were the earliest instruments for telling time. The sun’s movement from east to west … Read more

What Were the First Methods of Measurement?

Ancient people began to measure things animals, for example, by comparing them to the length of a stick or a stone. Then, measurements were made by comparing parts of the human body to the length or width of the object to be measured. The width of a man’s thumb was used to measure an inch. … Read more

How Did Names Begin?

Humans have used given, or first, names throughout recorded history. Even the most primitive societies gave each member a name. These names originated when early humans used specific cries and sounds to identify themselves. Each individual had a sound that named him. Names were later given by the tribe family or chosen by the individual: … Read more

How Were the First Paints Made?

Over 100,000 years ago, before the beginning of recorded history, people made paints from plants, from charcoal, from clay, from minerals in the soil, and from blood! These colors, or pigments, were ground up and mixed with water, oil, or animal fat, then made into a paste. Primitive man then either rubbed this paste on … Read more

Who Made the First Pottery?

In 5000 B.C., primitive people in Egypt and the Near East began making pottery to use as simple household utensils. They shaped clay cups by hand and baked them in the sun. Molds gave pots another shape; clay was smoothed inside a reed basket or a coarsely woven sack. The mold burned off as the … Read more

When Was Cloth First Made?

Silks, wool, cotton, and flax are among the first fibers used by humans to weave cloth. Wool was probably the first cloth used, dating back to 6000 B.C. in Turkey. Linen was woven from flax in Egypt in 5000 B.C. It was not only used for clothing, but also as a wrapping for mummies. Cotton … Read more

How Did People First Sew Clothes?

It is believed that people began sewing pieces of animal skins together to make clothes about 15,000 B.C. They used needles made of bone or wood. The basic design of the needle has not changed since it was first invented. A thread is run through a hole in one end of a straight or curved … Read more

When Were Animal Skins First Used As Clothes?

Since early humans traveled from place to place and from climate to climate, they discovered the need for skins as protection from the cold. Hunters might have first used animal skins in hunting to cover their scent or to disguise their appearance, thus allowing them to get closer to their game. Skins might have also … Read more

When Was Land First Bought and Owned?

In 5000 B.C., the idea of a person owning private property did not exist. People owned tools and houses, but no man owned the land. Since farmers had not yet developed techniques of fertilizing and rotating their crops, soil exhausted quickly and families moved on. When people learned how to keep nutrients for plants in … Read more

When Did People Begin To Build Homes?

Ten thousand years ago, after man had tamed animals, he began to build temporary settlements near rivers and streams, and in woods. His house was built of mud and reeds, and was rounded and roughly semicircular, as he attempted to duplicate the shape of the cave he had moved out of. These houses were fragile … Read more

When Did People First Use Addresses?

Because early rural communities were so small and because all communications were delivered by word of mouth, there was no need for any mailing addresses. People knew the whereabouts of their relatives and neighbors, and messages were easily directed to them. Then, as more of the common folk learned to read and write and as … Read more

When Did People First Begin To Separate into Families?

Social development came early to the new humans. At first, people lived in packs, with each member doing a job that served the whole group: finding and gathering food, caring for the young and ill, keeping the fire, building shelters, or locating caves to serve as shelters. A group could more easily defend itself against … Read more

When Was Food First Cooked?

For millions of years, humans ate the fish and meat they hunted and fruits and vegetables they grew in their natural state, raw. Gradually, they learned to improve the taste of food, to keep it from spoiling, and to make it useful in more ways by cooking it, drying it for later use, or milling … Read more

Were Humans Hunters or Farmers First?

Prehistoric people who first appeared on earth 2 1/4 million years ago depended on the hunt for their supply of food. They picked and ate wild grasses and plants, and hunted animals to use their skins as clothing and their meat as food. Gradually, man learned to make weapons with which to hunt and kill … Read more

When Was Fire First Used?

It is believed that the earliest humans first used fire for warmth, and later for cooking food, for shaping weapons and tools, for protection against wild animals, for changing clay into pottery, and for light. These early people got their fire from brush fires ignited by lightning, from the fire of volcanoes, from the heat … Read more

When Did Language Begin?

It is believed that human speech developed between the times of the Neanderthal Man (beginning in 100,000 B.C.) and the Cro-Magnon Man (beginning in 35,000 B.C.). The actual process of this development is unknown, but most theories claim that language developed either as an imitation of animal sounds, like grunts and barks, or as a … Read more

When Was History First Recorded?

The history of a prehistoric tribe of people was first passed on by word of mouth. Anything that was written upon, clay tablets, animal skins, or wood carvings, by early civilizations has vanished, worn away by time. However, one example of recorded primitive history which remains is the paintings of the Cro-Magnon Man on the … Read more

When Did Modern Man Appear on Earth?

It is believed that man developed from the same general grouping of animals as monkeys and apes, however, the ancestors of the human race were a separate group of animals which walked erect on two feet. It is thought that man, with his present build, was established by 25,000 B.C. The Neanderthal Man and Cro-Magnon … Read more

Where Does Soap Come From and Who Invented Soap?

History of Soap

Have you wondered how soap is made? The history of soap is actually quite interesting. Soap is made from combining fats and oils with an alkali. When mixed with water, soap loosens and attracts dirt, allowing it to be washed away. The earliest known soap-like material was found in the excavation of ancient Babylon and … Read more