(Last Updated On: July 16, 2023)
When Was the Ladder Invented?
It is not possible to announce the exact date of the invention of the staircase. After all, this is a very ancient structure, which originates from time immemorial, when there was no written language. When Was the Ladder Invented?
One thing is known; the stairs appeared during the Paleolithic era. In this historical period, houses in our understanding of the word have not yet been built. It was just that the most convenient and comfortable places for the night were selected, for example, caves. Additionally, to protect themselves from predators, the caves were chosen at a certain height. Consequently, unique niche shelves were made to climb height, which gradually transformed into a classic staircase.
Some scientists believe that goat trials prompted the idea of creating a ladder of man. Alternatively, a tilted tree whose knots played the role of improvised steps.
There is another exciting version: the prototype of the stairs was grass and tree branches tied in bunches.
Over the years, the staircase structure has been improved and changed. For example, transverse sticks were attached between the two side poles – this product is very similar to a modern ladder. Not far from Valencia, in the Spider Caves, a drawing was found showing a ladder and a man climbing along with it to a bee’s nest. The drawing dates back to around 6000 BC.
In Austria, ten years ago, a wooden staircase was found in an ancient salt mine. Six steps have survived. It is the oldest such structure found so far – it was built about 5 thousand years BC.
Written Mentions and Further Development:
The first written evidence of the staircase construction technology appeared among the ancient Egyptians. The records date back to the fourth millennium BC. Besides, the giant pyramids themselves constructively represent the stairs going up into the sky.
Staircase structures were also common in Assyrian architecture. For example, in the palace of Darius, built-in 520 BC, the walls of the stairs are decorated with drawings of bulls, warriors, prisoners. In addition, the stairs of the American Indians were decorated with interesting patterns.
Digging up the cities of the Greeks and Romans, we constantly find structures (temples, theaters, coliseums) with massive products made of steps. It is because ancient temples were built on a particular elevation, so they could not do without stairs.
In the early days, ladders were convenient. So it continued in the middle Ages. In these times, stairs were built to descend into dungeons and cellars and climb towers and other defensive structures. Thus, for example, to create a spiral staircase, it was required to carry out complex mathematical calculations and consider the convenience of defense. In this regard, notable guilds were created, which from generation to generation passed on the secrets of planning and building stairs.
Nevertheless, already in the Renaissance, these structures began to perform a practical function and an aesthetic one. Artisans created unique and graceful designs, bent them, decorated them with columns, sculptures, forged railings. In the days of Rococo, Classicism, Art Nouveau, Baroque, staircases acquired a clear imprint of the era. Become wider and less sloped, illuminated; designs left more headroom.
In general, with the rapid development of science, new materials, processing methods, decoration and the appearance of stairs, in general, were mastered.
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