Special Report

Alarm Clocks, Mints and Other Ancient Inventions We Still Use Today

Source: Proformabooks / Getty Images

11. Chocolate

Chocolate has been around for more than 3,000 years and we have the Maya, Aztec, Olmec, and Toltec civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica to thank. In 2007 in Honduras, anthropologists discovered pottery with cacao residue that had been fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Cacao made its way to Europe in the 16th century thanks to Spanish conquistadors who brought it back from the New World.

Source: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World / Wikimedia Commons

12. Concrete

Every building around us is built with at least some concrete. The important material dates back to 6500 B.C. in what is today Syria and Jordan. This is where the earliest concrete structures were recorded. Nabataea traders built concrete floors, houses as well as underground tanks. The Romans made the material mainstream around 600 B.C.

Source: Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons

13. Central heating

Greeks in ancient Rome developed central heating using radiant heat around 2500 B.C. Flues in the ground circulated heat produced by a fire, according to archeologists’ findings. Some buildings, baths, and upper-class homes in the Roman Empire had pipes under the floors through which hot air would pass and warm a room.

Source: Andreas Praefcke / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

14. Makeup

Ancient Egyptians invented makeup using copper and lead ore around 4000 B.C. Women applied the mix to their faces to add color and highlight facial features. They used a blend of burnt almonds, oxidized copper, and colored copper ores or ashes to enhance their eyes and make them almond shaped.

Source: saragoldsmith / Wikimedia Commons

15. Hot tub

When most people think of history and hot tubs in one sentence, they usually imagine ancient Romans relaxing in a spa. While the Romans did take the spa to a whole new level, hot tubs go as far back as 4,000 years ago when ancient Egyptians used them for therapeutic purposes. They are said to have bathed up to four times a day. The wealthy even had bathing chambers in their homes.

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