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A spinning wheel and knitting. They had drop spindles and looms, but spinning wheels are far more efficient.
More thread means more cloth. Not only do you have more clothing and linens, but you can make sails. Imagine the economic potential.
As for knitting, it only goes back about a thousand years. It's a stretch fabric, useful for socks and cuffs, mittens, and hats.
I wonder when nets where invented. Knowing how to knit could advance a fishing society pretty quickly.
Netting is actually an entirely different fabric structure, with individual knots securing each opening. If a net tears, it will not unravel, but can be repaired in place. If an opening is stressed by a fish trying to escape, the fish cannot work the hole larger.
Knitting, on the other hand, has no knots. If you work your finger or the tip of a pen into a gap between stitches, you can enlarge it significantly. If you break the yarn, you can force the hole quite large.
Additionally, knitting is nearly always done at a much tighter gauge than netting, and the effects of loosening are exacerbated when the knitting starts out at a very loose, open gauge. The fabric loses stability.
tl;dr net and knit are good for different things
this was so informative and concise thank you
There is an entire book on this: How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North. (It goes back farther than 2000 BC.)
I could "invent" how to go on long sea voyages without everyone dying from scurvy.
That's a great book. The history about how much time we (as a species) wasted trying to invent basic things, or invented/lost/re-invented/lost again/re-re-invented, was was fascinating...if not a little depressing.
Like how we just forgot the fucking cure for scurvy?
Whats the cure? Citrus?
Yes, but for sea voyages citrus is the practical answer until you reach a technical level where vitamin supplements are viable.
Peppers would be even more practical! And I assume other foods that have even more vC that Idk about
Could peppers be preserved to last long enough? That was the major concern, as scurvy wasn't typically a problem as long as people had access to fresh foodstuffs. Citrus as a cure for scurvy (as a source of vitamin C) was an important discovery because the juice would last almost indefinitely, and could be carried as a ration on long sea voyages.
AKA ascorbic acid, named after the disease it prevents after they finally made the scientific link 100 years ago. Ascorbic basically translates to "of scurvy"
Ohhhh, I would invent a keel boat with bermuda rigged sails for the ability to sail upwind and faster than everybody else.
I had no idea what a Bermuda sail was so I went to Wikipedia
The cunningham tightens the luff of a boom-footed sail by pulling downward on a cringle in the luff of a mainsail above the tack.
I still have no idea
Ya see, you pull down on the cringle, not up. I think that’s what’s getting you tripped up. They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.
Oh you're right... they basically only had bathtubs with square rigs didn't they? I'm no naval engineer, but I do sail. I could probably come up with any number of concepts to revolutionize sailing. Naval conquest, here I come! We'll be the Mongols of the seas!
Or I could start the
America's Egypt's cup a few millenniums early.
Same here. No engineer or expert, but even with just the basic concepts of hull shape + keel, rudder on the transom, lateen sails, battens, and a few thoughts on rigging I'd be able to advance sailing by a millenium or more.
Heck, with enough experimentation I might even be able to conjure up a primitive version of copper anti-fouling paint.
I've often wondered about this. If I awoke in 2000 BC what practical knowledge could I provide. I could talk about all of the advancements (I might get stoned for being crazy) but I could actually produce very little, modern tools are not yet available, I have no knowledge of smelting, etc.. I would probably just be the weird old guy who talks crazy.
I think you underestimate your education... you have some really basic concepts taken for granted that simply didn't exist back then... just a watermill would be a jump centuries in tech. Hell, selective crop breeding might not have been a thing at that point either or understood (some monk much later than 2000BC was the one that figured that out more properly)... algebra didnt even exist for thousands of years after that point... i think you would quickly see tons of things in day-to-day that you would be able to vastly improve... the real trick is finding the resources (including ppl) to actually get some of them working and useful
I've been thinking about this for a few hours, and holy shit, compared to people back then, I know a lot, A LOT of shit. I could single handedly advance mathematics by so much. I'd be the world's best physicist, I could change the way food is grown.
Wow, people are fucking insanely smart.
its kinda crazy how our collective knowledge slowly progresses over time to go so far (and very rapidly lately thanks to better storage, search and retrieval now)
Yeah the internet has made it to the point where we have essentially one giant pool of information accumulated over millennia. All of the collective thoughts, beliefs, and information from nearly every single person who has ever lived is condensed into a tiny device in our pockets.
In terms of taking over the world, this might have the greatest impact of any comment so far. It makes a tremendous difference to mounted warfare.
That's an underrated answer right there. How about a saddle horn?
I would write that special S letter in different places.
I just lol’d. Just think...archaeologist finding that shit and being like, “Damn, those people were woke AF.”
I could draw a world map. People wouldn't be able to pull that off properly for at least 3000 more years
Could you right now from memory without looking up anything on Google? I honestly don't know if I could get the Mediterranean correct to the extent that they would believe anything else I had to say.
I mean id make mistakes, but the map would be much much better than what people could draw then.
Take a look at maps from the 1500's and so. I think most modern people should be able to get the continents roughly right enough to convey the size of the world. Then from there maybe create continental maps.
But what could you do to actually prove it? It's not a technological innovation that demonstrably works or something like math that can be proven implicitly. You'd just be thought of as another insane person with odd ideas about the world unless you could demonstrate you already have useful knowledge on the smaller scale that at least fits with what is known. Here's a reconstructed map of the Mediterranean from 2500 years ago. Could you show people you knew at least as much as they did and have them believe you?
I could "invent" a shit ton of board games.
Can you imagine how fucking amped some roman peasants would be to play Dungeons & Dragons?
Imagining trying to explain certain games.
You: So it's really not about Robots
Them: about what?
You: Forget it... it's really about farming
Them: about what?
A massive plague from all the diseases I carry that didn't exist back then
The plagues would kill everyone around you, but then you would be isolated and dead within a few days/weeks, and all other cities would be safe, as plagues could only exist when cities started to grow fast enough (otherwise it could kill all its hosts too fast).
Nope. The plague he spread isn't like a nuclear bomb leaving him isolated. You're mixing up how plagues are created vs how they spread. They require cities and animals and people to begin, that is true. However to spread they just need a carrier. There is a difference. That's why the native americans were decimated vs European cities having flare ups of disease.
Washing your hands and not dumping waste in rivers you drink from
You'd have to come up with an alternative for dumping that waste though. Running water was the best way to carry shit away from settlements, so I hope you know your plumbing.
boiling water would be a good move as well.
Double entry accounting.
Fuck. Thanks for reminding me of my financial accounting exam on Tuesday.
Teach them how to smelt iron, start the Iron Age early.
whoever smelt it dealt it
Whoever made the casting did the blasting
EDIT: Gold for a fart joke? No wayyyy :D
..Do you know how to smelt iron?? Let alone knowing where to find the materials and the tools needed to extract and purify it?
Make it really hot and punch it into submission
That's my favorite sexual technique
hey I watched the Primitive Technology youtube channel a couple times so you could say I'm something of a metallurgical expert.
one time i watched him melt some mud with some wood charcoal and got about 1/2 gram of metal. i'd say that makes we an expert.
If you found an area rich in coal or trees, a place with bogs that would probably have a decent iron ore vein, and access to good body clay, I have the knowledge I could probably smelt you some iron within a reasonable amount of time.
But you cant just make iron anywhere.
Bogs are pretty good for raw iron. Look for what looks like an oil slick on top of the water. Especially spots it seems to be blooming from.
That indicates a certain type of bacteria that incorperates iron into itself. When they die they sink to the bottom and fuse onto other dead bacteria. If youre able to retrieve some of these clumps you have get a relatively high iron to slag ration of your finished smelt.
Hook up your smelter to some bellows and hook those to a water wheel. Then just keep adding baked bog iron and coal/charcoal to the top of your smelter. Soon enough you have a nice sized bloom at the bottom. Bonus points if you find other smelting minerals to make a collected bloom easier.
Dumb question, but how would you find iron ore? I Googled it and know precisely how... In Minecraft.
Bog iron. Deposits of iron ore frequently form in bogs from iron dissolved in the water.
“Sirs and madams, I present you...THE WHEEL!” “Yea, we’ve had that forever.” “We’ll until you reinvent the internet that’s about all I got.”
"Wouldn't it work better if the wheel was more... round?"
"It's my invention, we do it my way!"
That guy from primitive technology would have a field day with this one. Actually, I'm not even sure he would realize he woke up in 2,000 BC for a few months.
how far has he gotten though? Last i checked he was smelting ores into purer metals.
Well, he's made it to the Moon, now he's building a base there.
In Australia? I reckon he might notice the abundance of wildlife and whole bunch of people who know a shit tonne more about living in the bush. He'd do really well with the tiling and light smelting I reckon.
Well, I don't need to name it, but lets just say the neighbors better keep us more than 300 meters away if they don't want to be the recipient of 90kg projectiles.
Ah yes, the superior siege engine
I see you are a man of culture
trebucheck yoself before I trebuwreck.... yoself.. :(
You can trebusay that again
The beauty of counterweights
as an artist, i would leave some crazy shit for future people to find... like the airplane/ufo artifacts and the perfect spheres in SA. could do rubber fairly easily, depending on region. smithing, chemistry, and physics tricks... probably get tried as a witch
If she weighs the same as a duck...
she's made of wood.
A duck! A duck! - Here's a duck.
We shall use my largest scales!
A pulley system. That's about all Im capable of; I'm not Dr. Stone.
MLMs, I'd be the richest con man in the land! In whatever they use to value wealth back then.
Imagine running the first ponzi scheme. Wealth for generations!
The effect of which would be...it wouldn't be a ponzi scheme anymore. Since it was named for the first serious practitioner. It would be, e.g., a Rust Dawg scheme.
Hey #BossBabes! 😎❤😎 I just got my financial 🌽🌽 freedom! As of today I'm starting a business from the comfort of my own mud-brick home! 🏠😍 You can get your starter kit too, for only 30 bushels of wheat and 3 camels, what a steal (Don't tell Mentuhotep 🤫)! 😍😍 This kit contains 3 types of essential, all natural muds that will get your skin sparkling 🤩 more than Hathor's! 🎉Order today!🎉
And then you can pay the local town crier to tell everyone about how you and the other mom-preneurs were taken off to a beautiful all expenses paid holiiday in Alexandria where you did some great networking with other very sucessful people.
Sand based water filters and seed drills. As well as extolling the virtues of tea (to promote boiling water before you drink it).
Having almost completed a PhD in Chemistry I would probably start by teaching the extraction of metals from ore and teach people how to blow glass, both of which I have never done but with some assistance could probably get it done after a few months of work.
Once we had a collection of glass vessels, I would start trying to do simple chemistry such as the saponification of fatty acids to make things like soap.
From there I would try and demonstrate stuff like the extraction of natural products from anything around us to try and make drugs.
I would do all this while trying to educate the people around me so I could start building up a group to do research. A lot of what I know requires the purchase of materials from a supplier and even getting those would be difficult. But with a large group of people trained with the ability to perform research and think about the results could produce some very rapid advances in only a few years time.
You’re a chemist and you’d rather make pharmaceuticals over explosives? You’re a better person than I am, that’s for sure.
Pharmaceuticals will keep your army healthier than the opposing army, at which point you can simply walk over them with superior numbers. If you can treat infections and common diseases and your enemies can't, warfare becomes that much easier. Plus, your society as a whole would advance much faster than the neighboring village that gets constantly ravaged by illness.
But explosions are cool.
Kind of sucks to say, but I don’t think I could create anything. That says a lot lol.
Most of us would be in that same boat, unless you had some highly specific training/certifications/schooling.
Yeah, someone might know a lot about cars and have been a mechanic for 20 years, but would they be able to build a transmission from scratch? Fuck no, they wouldn't.
You'd be able to build simple things and apply some known concepts to assist in some day-to-day things (cooking recipes, very basic chemisty/science, understanding basic mathematics, communication/speech skills etc.), but there's no possible way you'd be able to build a computer/car/air conditioning etc from scratch.
They already had basic math and written languages by 2000 bc. Hell, the Great Pyramid of Giza was already 500 years old by this point in history and that required extensive engineering knowledge to construct properly. It would remain the tallest building in the word for almost 4,000 years.
Or the Pythagorean theorem or Quadratic Formula. Those are two things people could reasonable have remembered from school.
Or they did and it was lost with time.
I find it hard to believe the Egyptians could build the Pyramids without knowing the Pythagorean theorem. Even if their version wasn't as simplicity.
The Knowledge: How to Recreate Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell is probably a good read for you then.
A langstroth bee hive. Just need to find a wood worker to help me. We'd corner the market in honey prodcution as we'd be way more productive than any contemporary bee keepers. Surely my hovel would be nicer than that of my neighbors.
Assuming I was somehow able to communicate with the people around me, I could certainly recreate a printing press.
Actually wait, 2000 BC is really far back. I could basically become Jesus by teaching Maths.
Or be murdered for being a math knowing witch...
Only if he weighs less than a duck
Don't give them the math to figure that one out and you're all good.
The whole, "burning witches" thing was mostly a reformation thing.
While there was some here or there beforehand (though the vast majority of it post-Christianization), it didn't really get it's start until the late 15th century and didn't REALLY catch fire until the reformation happened and religious schisms erupted across Europe.
OP is over 2000 years before Christianity was even a glint in Judaism's eye, almost 2500 years before it became a majority of the population, and about 3500 years before burning witches became a thing in earnest.
If you know calculus you could blow their minds, but most math up through high-school geometry would have been known since Euclid (although the Cartesian coordinate system we use would be new to them).
However, good education would have been rare, so they might assume you were royalty of some kind
Edit: my bad. I read it as 2000 years ago, not 2000 BC, so you'd be way before the time of Euclid. While geometry was probably already around in 2000 BC it wouldn't have been nearly as rigorous
Euclid was 300 BC. I would have a 1,700 year head start on him.
Also, calculus would definitely not be mind-blowing, because the applications for it would not be nearly as clear. There is a lot of understanding of math necessary to reach why calculus is powerful.
If I were to do this, I would actually teach from the concept of economics.
If I were to do this, I would actually teach from the concept of economics.
Better yet, teach them just enough economics to understand why they should invest in your Ponzi scheme, but not enough to understand why they shouldn't.
Profit, run like hell, rinse and repeat in the next city over.
"So I lay on top of you, and put your genitals in my mouth... and then my genitals line up with your mouth! By Horus! You're a genius!"
I guarantee that idea had already been around for several hundred thousand years.
Yeah people were doing that before they were making fires.
Mead, maybe iron working, and definitely mass extinction as a result of modern diseases.
Oh man, I could invent so much stuff, let's see... There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.
the concept of washing your hands, aquaponics, scientific process, maybe try to create a standard form of measurement. Oh and not using lead kettles and such
You’d really need some form of globalization before a standard form of measurement would take off.
there's some basic engineering I could crib. I wouldn't be able to do well at all, but even basic engineering is pure absolute wizardry in the 20th century BCE.
-I can create the watermill. big ol' water wheel, connect it to a tree branch, bring in some big ol' stones to attach to the ends. congratulations, the basis of industrialized agriculture just happened.
-I can create a furnace capable of smelting iron from ore. tower style, use charcoal, air flow from the bottom aided by bellows. congratulations, we just jumped the iron age forward like a thousand years.
-I'm not amazing at math, but I know pi to 5 digits, which is more than enough for any calculation I'd need at that point, and there are better ways to calculate it we can deal with after I've died as the god of architecture and knowledge.
-I'm not sure, but I think I can create some very primitive batteries using citric acid and lye. however, that might be too far ahead of its time, as I'm not sure I can think of a good use for electricity without much more efficient storage mechanisms, and I don't know how to make any of those.
-I can invent the printing press, which is really much more of a clever idea than an invention. hello, widespread literacy.
-while I'm at it I can invent paper, because I don't believe wood pulp paper had been invented at that point.
-I have the vague notion of 4 field crop rotation. if I experiment around with it for a few years, I can eliminate fallow fields altogether. can i get an "adequate nutrition is the primary factor in improving IQ and driving societal progress" up in here?
-clearly I'm shooting for the economic victory here, but I do need to spend a few points in the military as well. On the one hand, my guys will have access to iron weapons, so we're basically super soldiers already. on the other hand, if I can figure out how to create saltpeter (a big if, I don't really know how to do it), saltpeter + sulfur + charcoal = the death of my enemies.
EDIT: germ theory! I know enough optics to create a crude microscope. As I recall, penicillium mold is actually fairly common, and I know how to identify it when I find it. At this point I’m clearly a king, so I can enact sweeping sanitation laws and introduce cultured penicillin to the nation’s doctors. Penicillin is basically a miracle drug that wipes out like 50% of the ailments people get.
-I can teach the principles of vaccination, but it’s not going to be a quick fix. I’ll honestly probably be old by the time we jointly advance lensmaking to the point where we’re creating powerful enough microscopes to identify and culture viruses (which are significantly smaller than bacteria or molds).
EDIT2: because a LOT of people keep mentioning it: antibiotic resistance is something that’s going to develop while antibiotics are in use. Waiting to start using them serves no purpose, as resistance will become a thing eventually regardless. All the people who die of infectious diseases after they’ve become immune to penicillin are offset by all the people who don’t die because I wasn’t holding out on them. In point of fact, resistance will take significantly longer to occur in this scenario because we don’t have a way to produce it at the kind of mass quantities needed for antibiotic resistance to become a significant beneficial trait all the time. The primary driver of resistance in the modern world is the use of preventative antibiotics in livestock (livestock spend essentially their entire lives on antibiotics in order to prevent outbreaks from happening, because they would spread like wildfire in the closed in conditions they’re kept in).
Don't forget that a huge percentage of army deaths at this point in time are from disease and infected wounds. So with the basics of hygiene/sterilization, your iron-wielding super-soldiers now also possess super-regenerative powers relative to any other army of the age.
Take your water wheel stick a magnet on the end of the axle next to a folded iron rod wrapped in copper and you have an alternator.
Spin it around and run some trial and error and you just invented the electric motor. Possibilities are limitless at that point.
Move into lead acid batteries and you're fucking mobile with this madness.
stick a magnet
You need to find a rare earth magnet first though.
yep. if I can generate electricity through a crude battery I can create a weak electromagnet. however, I can't make one portable enough to go looking for rare earth magnets. I could, however, magnetize some iron. the core issue, though, is that I don't have all that much I can do with the electricity once I have it. electricity is pretty far outside my wheelhouse, I don't think I could create even a simple filament light on my own.
Take me with you! I'm a chemist. I can solve a lot of your issues.
I would create Reddit. If somebody shares an idea we don’t agree with, we throw things at them because they should know better.
I would be really nervous to introduce something "super technical" like explaining the solar systems lay out. You think flat-earthers get heated now on Reddit? 2000 years ago those mother-fuckers would kill you.
4000 years ago, but your point still stands.
The Sumerians and Egyptians had calculated the circumference of the earth to within a couple of hundred miles. Doubt they'd mind.
A lot of people in this thread are underestimating how advanced 2000 B.C. was.
And overestimating how easy it is, in the absence of advanced optical tools, to prove things like a heliocentric solar system. Things like the Ptolemaic system didn’t exist for as long as it did for any reason other than it fit the observable evidence and there was no way to disprove it.
Gun powder. They'll love it.
Do you actually know how to make gunpowder? Like... could you do it from scratch in the bronze age?
Shout insults at some sand and make it angry
Take a gun and grind it up into powder duh
I read blood meridian once... The real process takes longer than shown in the book but the basics are there.
Wood ash, Bat guano for nitre, and sulfur crystals.
It would be very hard. Think of all the necessary prerequisites. You know how to make an internal combustion engine? Great. Where are you going to find steel? Steel, what's that? There are so many steps you would have to go back, that even a walking encyclopedia probably wouldn't be able to accomplish that much.
Here's a good one. Credit! Start a bank and give out bad loans that make you shit loads of money.
Nothing because I’m an idiot