In the 3rd century BC, Archimedes invented the screw named after him. It was one of the first water pumps, a rotating corkscrew that pushed water up a tube. It transformed irrigation & remains in use today at many sewage-treatment plants. Atlantic magazine ranked it the 31st greatest breakthrough since the wheel.
2. Archimedes Screw, c.700BC Purportedly devised by the ancient Greek physicist Archimedes of Syracuse in the 3rd century BC to expel bilge water from creaking ships, the screw that bears his name in fact predates Archimedes by about 400 years. Recent digs have established that earlier screws, which are capable of shifting water "uphill", were used in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the 7th century BC. So effective was the device, it is still used today in several irrigation ditches.