The characteristics of ancient Egyptians are indicated by a set of artifacts and customs that lasted for thousands of years. The Egyptians invented and used many basic machines, such as the ramp and the lever, to aid construction processes. They used rope trusses to stiffen the beam of ships. Egyptian paper, made from papyrus, and pottery was mass produced and exported throughout the Mediterranean basin. The wheel, however, did not arrive until foreign invaders introduced the chariot in the 16th century BC. The Egyptians also played an important role in developing Mediterranean maritime technology including ships and lighthouses.
Significant advances in ancient Egypt during the dynastic period include astronomy, mathematics, and medicine. Their geometry was a necessary outgrowth of surveying to preserve the layout and ownership of farmland, which was flooded annually by the Nile river. The 3,4,5 right triangle and other rules of thumb served to represent rectilinear structures, and the post and lintel architecture of Egypt. Egypt also was a center of alchemy research for much of the western world. Scenes depict scientists able to work in fields of alchemy, biology, chemistry, dentistry, anesthesiology, air flight, and more.