Spread of Technology: From Prehistoric Times to the Present - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1474 Words
Date:  2023-02-24


The spread of technology dates back in the prehistoric period during the invention of tools and advanced techniques to handle daily activities. Since immemorial, Spread of technology has brought about globalization, thus making humanity reach higher levels that could otherwise not have been reached. Technological advancement represents the phase of economic growth and which impacts the manner in which people live. This paper provides a detailed discussion of the spread of technology at different historical periods.

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Early Turning Points

Indus Civilization

The Indus civilization existed around 2500 B.C.E. in the southwest part of Asia. Geographically, the region of this civilization spread along River Indus from what is modern-day northwest India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The enlightenment was the most extensive early civilizations along with prehistoric Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Indus Valley collapsed during the mid-second millennium B.C.E. and was only rediscovered in the 19th century. At its highest level, the Indus civilization is estimated to have a population of over five million.

Being one of Bronze Age societies, the civilization in Indus valley was by the adoption of new technology in different aspects of life. Some of the new science technologies adopted include metallurgy, which is working with bronze, copper, tin, and lead. Civilization is considered to be the origin of urban planning. The cities in the Indus Valley were built in a grid pattern that can today be compared to the great cities such as New York City. It is also from this civilization that the building technology of using baked bricks started and spread across the world. The building technology provided a great deal of protection from burglary, odors, and noise. The massive fortresses of the Indus valley provided protection from flooding and external attackers. The Indus Civilization represents the origin of the world's urban sanitation schemes. The cities in the Indus valley developed and used advanced drainage and sewerage systems throughout the region. The sanitation system in Indus civilization is considered to be much better when compared to that of some cities in the present world.

Individual households obtained water from boreholes, whereas waste water was channeled to the enclosed drainage streams on the boulevards. Almost every household was connected to the systems, a factor that contributed significantly to the cleanliness of the cities. The uniqueness and advanced nature of this sanitation made the technology spread not only in the Middle East but also across the world. The Indus civilization established advanced architectural technology with granaries, dockyards, protective walls, and warehouses. It is also a result of Indus civilization that a system of uniform measures and weights developed and spread across the globe. The civilization achieved a great deal of accuracy and preciseness in measuring time, length, and mass. The Indus engineers applied decimal divisions of measurements in almost every practical activities, including measuring mass and making of bricks of uniform size for construction purposes.

On the higher end, the Indus civilization brought about technological advancement in agricultural practices. It is under this civilization that new types of machinery were developed and spread all over the world. Some of the farming technologies invented during that period include the the plow and diversion schemes. The different agricultural techniques applied in the region was meant to boost agricultural production for the increasing populations. Moreover, the people of Indus developed and spread skills in seal curving and used the distinct seals to identify a property and put stamps on trade items.

Middle Turning Point

Silk Road

The Silk Road represented a network of technological, cultural, and commercial exchange routes that emerged from Central Asia. The routes provided a channel through which China could connect to the West countries. Chinese civilization on the Silk Road led the world to a reasonably extended period with significant contributions in science and technology, among other cultures.

It is through the activities on the Silk Road that brought about the invention of the compass in the 2nd century A.D. Compass invention was a significant milestone and which facilitated the navigation in the ocean. The compass technology played a crucial role in oceanic crossings that lead to the discovery of new maritime routes between Asia and Europe, marking the foundation of the Modern Age. The Silk Road brought about paper manufacturing and printing technology in 104 A.D. by Cai Lun. The technology then spread from Asia to Europe from the 7th century to the 12th century. At the initial stages, mechanical printing was the dominant technique based on wooden plates. Mobile models were later introduced in the 11th century. Paper technology played a huge role in promoting culture and knowledge development across the globe through information transmission.

The Silk Road also brought about the invention of gunpowder in the 9th century. From China, the gunpowder technology spread all over Asia and then found its way to Europe through the Silk Road in the 13th century. It is in Europe that gunpowder was used in military exercises, thus leading to the advancement in armament technology. Advancement in armament technology later spread across the globe through conquest activities by European nations. The iron technology is also associated with the Silk Road, whereby it facilitated the transition to Iron Age from Neolithic Age. Dynamite was used in revolutionizing weapons widely used in European conquests and warfare. The Alchemy technology invented by the Taoist religion in China spread through the Silk Road to the Arabic nations. The technology later formed the foundation on which the present-day chemistry is based.

Late Turning Point

Conquest of the New World

The conquest of the New World took place between the 14th and 18th-century lead by the Portuguese and Spanish nations. The desire to explore the world was influenced by three major factors and which include the spread of religion, conquering empires, and gaining material wealth. Some of the familiar places where conquests were prominent include Africa, Asia, and South America.

New Word Conquest saw the advancement and spread of navigational technology. The advancement in navigational technologies was the most critical element in empire conquering activities as it provided the basis for reaching overseas continents. Europeans developed new bigger and faster navigational technologies to facilitate sea travelling. The new world conquest activities also brought about technological inventions on weapons. Some new weapon machinery such as the machine guns were invented to strengthen the firepower necessary for conquest activities.

Conquest wars also were major contributors to the spread of aircraft fighting technology. New aircraft armories were invented and which could outdo other military powers in different parts of the world. As countries sought to outperform their rivals, they invested plenty of technological resources and spread the new technological systems across the globe. The conquest brought about the advancement and spread of new communication technologies, including the use of mails. New communication technologies were meant to oversee intercontinental communications between home countries and oversee empires.

The conquests brought a great deal in the spread of new transportation systems. New and advanced combat automobiles were developed to match the needs of the conquerors. It is through the conquest wars that the internal combustion engine was developed and is still used up to the present day. The military technology during the conquests also saw the spread of gunpowder technology across the globe as nations fought against each other. The gun powder was used in conjunction with guns and other fire weapons to overcome the resisting powers.


Different technological advancements in different corners of the world have found their way to an international level. People have learned to adapt and use technologies developed by other people in their own lives and also spread it to other regions. It is through technology that the world has evolved from the dark ages to the present information technology age. In the modern world, technology defines humanity in many aspects, and humans have the responsibility to ensure continuous advancement and spread for the sustenance of day to day activities.


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Hoffman, Philip T. "How Europe Conquered the World." Foreign Affairs. Last modified October 12, 2015. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2015-10-07/how-europe-conquered-world.

Khan Academy. "The Silk Road." Khan Academy. Last modified 2017. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/ancient-medieval/silk-road/a/the-silk-road.

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Lumen. "The Expansion of Europe | Boundless U.S. History." Lumen Learning - Simple Book Production. Accessed October 4, 2019. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-ushistory/chapter/the-expansion-of-europe/.

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Spread of Technology: From Prehistoric Times to the Present - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 24). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/spread-of-technology-from-prehistoric-times-to-the-present-essay-sample

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