Archimedes Screw is one of the first water pumps ever invented. It was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians in many diverse ways – taking water out of coal mines, raising water to high ground for irrigation ditches and even for sculptural/artistic purposes in The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. There was literally no limit to how high it could pump water –
It was usually powered by hand crank for smaller machines, larger ones however were sometimes powered by Oxen or Windmill.
Archimedes himself is still renowned as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, he is also the man who had the famous “Eureka” moment in the bathtub. He could be considered as a predecessor to Leonardo da Vinci – Archimedes is listed as a gifted mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. His mathematical formulas and principles are still used to this day by marine and civil engineers.
Supposedly he also built an array of mirrors that all directed their light to a single point, it is now called the Archimedes Death Ray, it was recently tested on Myth-busters and shown to work to some extent.
To see all of Archimedes inventions and discoveries including his mathematical discoveries, engineering and war machines i would recommend this book on this great man –
Below is a quick animation i created showing an Archimedes Screw in operation –