23 Ancient Origins of Commonplace Items Still Used Today • MetDaan

23 Ancient Origins of Commonplace Items Still Used Today


Some people have difficulties tossing old stuff out. Whether it’s an emotional attachment or just pure laziness, our homes are often cluttered with stuff we never use, but we still keep “just in case.”

But let’s go further than that. Let’s go back in the past to the origins of some very common items we still use every day.

1. Flushing toilets

Flushing toilets

Toilets, in the beginning, were just a little more than holes in the ground, sometimes accompanied by running water. But remnants of the first flushing system have been discovered in Crete, and they date from 2800 BC! The Greeks sure were ahead of the times…

2. Surgical tools

Surgical tools

Immagine living 5000 years ago and someone operating on you with that monstrosity! Luckily, it’s not used in surgical procedures anymore.

3. Purses

This stylish looking purse

While the ancients might have thought a purse covered in dog’s teeth looked fancy, I sure am glad it’s not a trend that has stayed to this day.


4. Prosthetics


The Egyptians were the first to invent the technology of prosthetics. For example, this photo shows a prosthetic toe that seems to have been functional. And it was made more than 3000 years ago.

5. Coins


It would be any coin collector’s dream to own a 2,700-year-old coin like this one.

6. Road signs

Road signs

The Romans were the first to use milestones as a way to note directions or distances. Noting the distance I get, but why the direction? I thought all roads led to Rome…

7. Bras


Not even the ladies of the ancient times were spared the necessity of using a bra, judging by this sample manufactured around 1,390 AD.

8. Musical Instruments

Musical Instruments

Music has a way of taking us to a happy place. Musical instruments have been around for 40,000 years! Here is a flute made from vulture bones!

9. Shoes


Do you need arch support? Well, maybe this 5,500 years old shoe isn’t for you, but considering when it was made it offers an interesting glimpse into the past. And you know how it was preserved to this day? Two words. Sheep. Dung.

10. Socks


Egyptians apparently are also the pioneers of socks, as well. They’ve been using socks at least since 2,500 years ago as a way to protect their feet from the wooden splinters from their shoes.

11. Sculpture


Worshipping the statues of deities is a tradition as old as time. This one is the Venus of Hohle and it probably is a representation of the goddess of fertility.

12. Bound books

Bound books

Books might just be the greatest treasure in the world, and thanks to the Romans who started binding them with leather, we now know a lot more about our past.

13. Pants


These are the oldest discovered pants. They are 3,000 years old and belonged to a tribe of horse riders from Central Asia. And look at those decorations! Such attention to detail.

14. Chewing gum

Chewing gum

People have been chewing gum in many forms since the Stone Age, whether it was beech bark or tobacco leaves. This is a photo of a sample that is more than 5,000 years old.

15. Recipes


This is a clay tablet which contains the first recorded recipes. It shows how to make beer. The Sumerians believed their god Enki bestowed this recipe upon them and beer was the national beverage of Sumer!

16. Globes


This is a globe carved on two halves of ostrich eggs then joined together. Its origin is uncertain, but it is believed it might have been manufactured in Florence, and maybe even in Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop.

17. Sunglasses


Well, technically they are snow goggles. Made by the Inuit almost 2,000 years ago, they serve to reduce the light reflected by the snow.

18. Calendars


These are remains of the Fasti Praenestini, the original Roman calendar. It dates from some time at the beginning of the Common Era.

19. Roads


Roads were necessary to facilitate the movement of troops and the exchange of goods. The Roman roads were so well made, that some of them can still be used today.

20. Sheet music

Sheet Music

The ancients also had ways of writing down music. This is a sheet music from 3,400 years ago. The song is called Hymn of Nikal. I guess they weren’t really the rocky kind of people.

21. Sewers


It is to the Romans that we owe thanks for this great invention. I can’t even imagine how awful it would be having no sewers…

22. Newspapers


Who knows how many front doors were busted down by paperboys delivering the morning paper.

23. Concrete


Concrete was first discovered by the Romans. It was used to rebuild Rome after Nero burned it down. You’ll notice the Roman teens were much better behaved than the present ones since no one’s graffitied this concrete wall.

So how about you? Do you have a relic of the ancient times? Something passed down from generation to generation? Do tell!

Source: auntyacid

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