Inventions: Do you want to know more about when things started than that smart-aleck who habitually occupies the next stool at the local imbibatorium? This is important stuff! Your reputation is on the line! Here's the scoop on what archeologists currently believe about when and where things were invented:

Fire -- 1.4 million BC, Africa

Angling (rod fishing) -- 38,000 BC, Africa

Hunting implements -- 30,000 BC, Africa

Art -- 28,000 BC, Lower Austria

Fuel extraction -- 17,000, Europe

Boats -- 8000 BC, Europe (although that doesn't explain how distant
    islands were populated earlier)

Pottery -- 7900 BC, China

Weaving -- 6500 BC, Judaea (Israel)

Intoxicants (alcohol) -- 5400 BC, Mesopotamia

Balance (scales) -- 5000 BC, Egypt

Metalwork -- 4500 BC, Egypt

Cosmetics -- 4000BC, Egypt

Carpentry -- 3500 BC, Egypt

Silk -- 3200 BC, China

Written language -- 3000 BC, Sumer

Glass -- 3000 BC, Phoenicia

Candles -- 3000 BC, Egypt, Crete

Soap -- 2800 BC, Babylon

Swimming pool, 2500 BC, Egypt

Ink -- 2500 BC, Egypt, China

Parasol -- 2400 BC, Mesopotamia

Irrigation/Canals -- 2400 BC, Sumer, China

Cartography -- 2300 BC, Mesopotamia

Sanitation (flushing toilets) -- 2000 BC, Crete

Paved roads -- 2000 BC, Crete

Corsets -- 1800 BC, Crete

Shoes -- 1500 BC, Egypt (but Otzi the Ice Man, found in the Alps a
    few years ago, was wearing shoes when he froze about 5,200 years ago)

Water taps -- 1500 BC, Egypt

Hinges -- 1500 BC, Egypt

Swords and Armor -- 1200 BC, Egypt / 1000 BC, China

False teeth -- 700 BC, Etruscans in Italy

Lighthouse -- 600 BC, the Mediterranean

Anchor -- 592 BC, Greece, by Anarcharsis

Catapult -- 400 BC, Greece

Mirror -- 400 BC, Lebanon

Ice cream -- 400 BC, Persia

Musical notation -- 250 BC, Greece

Horseshoe -- 200 BC, Rome

Book (bound codex) -- 180 BC, Greece

Central heating -- 150 BC, Rome

Screw press -- 150 BC, Rome

Astronomical calculator (a mechanical computer) -- 82 BC, Greece

Shorthand -- before 63 BC, Greece (first widely used system --
    63 BC, Rome, by Marcus Tullius Tiro, a slave of Cicero)

Calendar (the first reliable one) -- 45 BC, Rome, "Julian" calendar
    instigated by Julius Caesar

Some of the above are "first known examples" or "first documented uses" of manmade stuff. Fire, for example, was obviously known to primitive men, but they didn't know how to make their own. Pools or bowls of water made efficient mirrors long before the first "dry" mirror was invented. Some "first known examples", for example the astronomical calculator,  were sophisticated and complex machines, and there must have been earlier, more primitive versions -- it's unlikely that it represented the inventor's first effort. . . . Etc.

There is no real evidence that any of these things were delivered by little green men in flying saucers or by Greek or Roman gods, despite current or past mythologies.

Some interesting invention sites are at: and and there are many more. Just use your search engine to look for "inventions".

If you're a Ben Franklin fan, see, and at that site you can find links to America's other two greatest inventors, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

For info about J. S. Bach's inventions, see