Is it possible to conceive why humankind has sat for so much time? If we convert all human civilization into a single day, we will sit for just 0.1% of it, approximately 200 years after the beginning of time. The need was once innovative, though, seems obvious when we look back, like ‘how to get self tanner off hands’ 1000 years from now. Was sitting down discovered, or was it present in a previous form? When was sitting down discovered? Let’s find out with Eatnlivewell.
The Early Day
The origins of sitting are indeed lost in the past. However, history shows numerous references to sitting down and instances where we were entailed over long periods of time. Activity Chairs Archaeological discoveries show a need to stop moving as far back as 50-100 thousand years old where faint scratches on the ground line up with poles they were tied onto and rock outcroppings they could rest their heads on.
In fact, it is a speculation that the first activity chair was not meant for a break (since there were no words for ‘break’) but rather needed a place to put their heads while sleeping, unlike modern activity chairs which we use as temporary replacements for alternate positions to prevent back damage. Instead when human’s moved onto earth from trees, due to soft ground, sharp plant growth, and lack of comprehensive coordination that trees offered, sitting down became a necessity.
This remained true for hundreds of thousands of years. Then chairs were created. The increased human population caused a need to do more than the most simple hunting, fishing, and gathering. It became necessary to work their living space to increase efficiency – including their dwellings. The first housing demanded a seat. The only way to pick weeds was to sit down and lean over them.
As humans used more area and populations grew, it became more inefficient to move around, using up unnecessary energy continually. Then, sitting slowly became commonplace over common sense. As a result of having little focus on side tools, tools are not thought of as an early invention related to sitting down, although spears may encourage sit-downs. Spearfishing 25-50 thousand years old has been suggested as a period where forcing fish together in schools made it helpful in sitting someone down next to them.
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Who Invented Sitting?
Various theories have been proposed for ‘who invented’ and ‘When was sitting down discovered?’. In China, art from the T’ang dynasty depicts seated citizens, though the earliest framed chairs weren’t used until 500 hundred years later, during the Middle Ages in Europe.
Interestingly, the idea to use seats for rest is possibly related to the Biblical story about the Garden of Eden: Adam sat under a tree when he woke up and saw Eve with him. It was part of the first sin (Adam and Eve ate unauthorized fruit from the Tree of Knowledge). Knowledge regarding the effects of sedentary lifestyles was the critical factor. Having furniture that supports your body reduces stress and keeps joints fluid, meaning you avoid pain and diseases that originate from physical problems. (Ex: back pain).
CS Lewis pictures an angel providing Adam with a special seat, who then gives this advice: “Adam, you’ve been chosen…to attend meetings.” Further examination led to Eugene Thuillier’s words that: “the awkwardness of sitting comes with civilization”; or Gene Roddenberry’s thoughts on STOIDs: Those who sit upright exhibit a strict discipline known only by apes. All wild animals are horizontal – predators as well as prey”.
On the other hand, it could have been invented through human imitation. An influence from natural evolution, not just technical innovation, said erect animal posture seen since prehistoric times in hunting primates hunting animals. We want DIY everything by nature, like ‘nail designs with lines’ for women.
Another theory is that sitting is not a new development in the world but part of the evolution of humanity. The fact that people can sit comfortably on a chair instead of kneeling and crawling makes their modern lifestyle possible.
Meeting someone and getting up is more civilized than grabbing bread or meat when you sit down at your table by slipping and leaning on an old stick or holding your plate with one hand while eating something with another. We can find evidence that Ancient Egyptians lived a hunter-gatherer life because they were mere cave dwellers, unable to make use of agricultural tools like plows, and therefore used no chairs until very recently in history.
Later on, chairs became even more regularly used in the entirety of what we term civilized societies instead of simply erecting a pile of wood with open holes in the middle allowing the occupant to put their feet on it and move themselves around while they sit down.
When Were Chairs Invented?
Even the dark ages and medieval period were preceded by simple chair design, the first use of chair legs, turning them bigger into chairs. After that, chairs started being taken more seriously as a means to travel without getting tired or stiff. Some living practices defined at that time involved sitting around several times a day, even with different personalities represented in medieval society. Roman emperors were using chairs well, probably as much as Europeans two thousand years before that, even though they didn’t have any written proofs of it yet enough anyway.
However, it wasn’t until the end of the 15th century that chairs became an essential part of history. Suppose we take our knowledge back to the 15th century. We have about 300 years (brief though this date is for chair history), which is more than enough time for many advancements during that time period shown above being invented, especially steps like oven bricks when they just started taking unusual shapes.
The furniture first appeared in Italy rather than Germany or France, but then again, it depended on what ‘Italian’ referred to when the Lombards came to power in Italy. Still, if you refer back, you will notice that nothing of letters or patents dwells around chairs, mainly because, according to inscriptions, chairs were hardly figured out room decorations until 1722.
Final Words On ‘When Was Sitting Down Discovered?’
As we hope you may acknowledge that sitting is an important piece of our human evolution. You should also realize how deeply it’s been embedded in our society. Its history spans a few millennia, and its use has never faded, like ‘slick back braided ponytail’ for women.