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Science and Technology

The ancient Greeks made a number of notable contributions in science and technology. The Greeks adopted, then expanded and refined, basic mathematical principles from Mesopotamia and Egypt. Archimedes was a Greek mathematician who wrote on the science of mechanics. During the Golden Age (600s B.C.), the Greeks applied the tenets of geometry and physics in their architecture. In addition, ancient Greeks studied astronomy and developed an understanding of planetary positions. Finally, the Greeks practiced theoretical science, constantly asking questions about the physical world and attempting to answer what seemed unexplainable, and thereby laid the foundation of Western science.

The Greeks also experimented in mining, preparation, and cupellation of silver ore. Athens was the only Greek city-state with the ability to exploit the earth for its wealth, until a new vein was discovered in Laurion, a region near the east coast of Attica, in 482 B.C. The Athenians then developed a fleet of triremes, or "state of the art" warships designed to cover long distances quickly under oar and sail, and in battle to ram enemy ships with devastating effect. The Greeks also focused on developing better ways to construct their massive buildings, and learned to use levers to move large stones.

Similarly, the ancient Egyptians also discovered ways to dominate the land and thus, made a number of strides in agricultural technology. The Egyptians developed a range of agricultural tools, such as hoes, rakes, scoops, sickles and plows, usually constructed from wood and stone. The Egyptians also learned to exploit animal labor, and frequently used pigs and sheep to trample the ground and soften it up. Donkeys were used to trample the harvested stalks and separate the grain. Perhaps their greatest achievement, however, was developing a carefully organized system of dikes and irrigation ditches with which they managed the annual flooding and silting of the Nile and thereby allowed to grow a rich bounty of grains.