What Are the Sources of Energy Used in Ancient Times?

In today’s world, we rely on a variety of energy sources to power our homes and businesses. However, in ancient times, people had to rely on much simpler forms of energy to meet their basic needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the sources of energy used in ancient times.


One of the most common sources of energy in ancient times was firewood. People would gather wood from nearby forests and use it to fuel their fires for cooking, heating, and lighting. Firewood was readily available and easy to transport, making it a convenient choice for many.

Animal Dung

Another surprising source of energy in ancient times was animal dung. In areas where wood was scarce or difficult to obtain, people would collect animal dung and dry it out to use as fuel. While not the most pleasant option, animal dung provided a reliable source of heat and could be found almost anywhere.


Coal has been used as a source of energy for thousands of years. In ancient China, coal was used to heat homes and power steam engines. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that coal became widely used as an industrial fuel source.

Wind Power

Wind power has been used for centuries to power sailboats and windmills. In fact, windmills were first developed in Persia around 500 AD and were used to grind grain into flour. Wind power is still widely used today as a renewable source of energy.

Water Power

Water power has also been used for centuries to power mills, saws, and other machines. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans built aqueducts and water wheels to harness the power of moving water. Today, hydroelectric dams are still used to generate electricity from flowing water.

Solar Power

While solar power may seem like a modern invention, it has actually been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans used magnifying glasses to concentrate sunlight and create fire. Today, solar power is used to generate electricity and heat water in homes and businesses around the world.


In conclusion, while the sources of energy used in ancient times may seem primitive by today’s standards, they were still effective in meeting people’s basic needs. From firewood to wind power, these sources of energy paved the way for the modern innovations we enjoy today.