the first mechanical lock in history was as simple as it was fascinating and this video makes it clear

This is going to be embarrassing, but I have no choice but to admit that there are a lot of everyday items that I know almost nothing about. Neither how they are made, nor why they are the way they are, nor of course where they came from. And I don’t mean things like the rice cooker, the yogurt maker or the toilet mats, no. I mean things that I have been using throughout my life intensively and that have accompanied me in the most unlikely situations. I am talking, for example, of house keys.

Understand me. I have an intuitive idea about them and it goes without saying that I was relatively aware that in the community huts of adobe and reeds of the Upper Neolithic there must have been only a few more isolated latches, thinking to avoid surprises than to conscientiously close the rooms. . However, until I saw the first Egyptian lock, I think I had never wondered about its origin.

As simple as it is revolutionary

And it is that the misnamed Egyptian lock (everything seems to indicate that it was invented in Mesopotamia) is a small marvel of technology and, as far as the archaeological evidence goes, the first mechanical seal in history.

This mechanism consists of a key (a piece of medar with small teeth), a hollow pin with three holes and a lock with three metal bolts. The bolts of the lock enter the pin and unify the piece giving it stability and preventing the system from opening. The key is used to lift the bolts with its teeth and unlock the lock. As simple as it is revolutionary.

Egyptian Lock Mechanism UnlockedEgyptian Lock Mechanism Unlocked

Egyptian Lock Mechanism LockedEgyptian Lock Mechanism Locked

There are more versions of this system, obviously. Some replace the hollow pin with slightly more elaborate bolts. However, I find this very interesting because it is part of a tutorial where the Texan carpenter Andy Rawls explains step by step to do it. I am aware that it is very lowtech, but it is dizzying to think that today’s smart locks were built on this type of ideas and ingenuity.

Image | Imattsmart; Willh26