Archimedes’ Screw

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The creator of this screw was the Greek thinker Archimedes of Syracuse in the third century A.C. although there are hypothesis that say it was already used in ancient Egypt.

It is a helical gravimetric machine used for lifting water, flour, cereals or excavated material. The screw rotated within a hollow cylinder, located on an inclined plane, and that could raise the body or fluid located below the axis of rotation. Since its invention until now it has been used for pumping. Its infinite circuit is also called worm.

It can be used not only to transport water, for example in 2001, John Burland used it to correct the inclination of the Tower of Pisa, removing small amounts of water-saturated underground under the northern part of the tower. It can also be useful in the paper, sugar, washing water and foundry businesses.

In summary, the Archimedes screw has been an invention which after 24 centuries is still of great utility today.


By Sergio Hernández Rodríguez