Archimedes’ screw is a brilliant device used for raising and transporting water. Archimedes is said to have invented it during his stay in Egypt, probably in view of farmers’ need to utilise Nile water for irrigation purposes.
It is essentially a hollow tube that contains a spiral or helix that winds its way up. When the lower end of the tube is placed in water and the screw is turned, either manually or mechanically, water trapped within its coils rises until it reaches the top of the tube and pours out into irrigation ditches. The invention is described by the Roman architect Vitruvius, while Diodorus Siculus says that it was also used for draining water from mines. For its simplicity and ingenuity, the device has been popular over time and is still used today in similar applications.
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