What have we achieved over the last 4000 years?

"Lion of Delos" at the Apollon sanctuary on the island of Delos, Greece

"Lion of Delos" at the Apollon sanctuary on the island of Delos, Greece


I am currently travelling on the Cycladic islands of Greece. Although I have been in Greece for more than 15 times, this time I somehow started thinking about the great achievements even the archaic greek people had made. Visiting the excavations and museums of Delos and Naxos really lets you wonder what kind of important achievement mankind had made since these days.

Once you start learning about historic Greece, the cradle of Europe, you will quickly see how far progressed the greek culture has been thousands of years ago. The remains of the ancient Apollon sanctuary for example which have been excavated on the island of Delos date back to the years of 2.500 to 2.000 B.C.!

Just to list some of their achievements, they had a working states organisation. They were able to build nationwide monuments like the sanctuary of Delos. And Greece had prospering trading relations with all parts of the at that time “known world”. Some scientists even claim that Greece was trading good with China.

Also from an engineering point of view the state of their skills is amazing! They built ships which allowed them to travel all the mediterranean seas and farther oceans. They could cut huge blocks of marble. And even more astonishing they had the tools to move tons of rock and even massive cranes to lift them and build solid buildings and monuments.

Looking at the ancient greek artwork reveals a similar fascinating image. The mosaics and wall paintings excavated in all areas of Greece are stunning. Not to talk about the beauty and realism of their statues. But what is impressing me the most is their goldsmith work! Once you have the chance to see the treasures from their big kings graves do not miss to see them. The details and fineness of these pieces are almost unbelievable to me. If you compare them with todays necklaces etc. it is hard to believe that they are thousands of years old.

In front of this huge history one could really wonder what we have achieved in the past 4000 years since then. OK, we developed the concepts of industrial production. Also we made some good improvements in our medical knowledge. We can fly to the moon.

But how relevant is all this compared to the state which has been their already thousands of years ago?
My wife was even joking “maybe the iPad is the only relevant development since the ancient greek”.

OK, maybe this point of view is a bit extreme. But looking back should at least make us think about our daily work. Maybe not everything is as serious and as relevant as it looks like today…

About oliverbuerkler

I am an engineering professional from Germany. Currently working as Product Manager for 3D Laser Scanner and the related software products at FARO. Apart from culture, nature and delicious food, I am interested in modern technologies. Focussing on topics which are related to the keywords "3D", "Imaging", "Modern Technologies" and "Computers" I try to figure out what is making technology a success. What is needed to make things accepted by people? Why are many fascinating products failing while similar gadgets are achieving record sales.
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