The Archimedes' screw, also called the Archimedean screw or screwpump, is a machine historically used for transferring water from a low-lying body of water into irrigation ditches. The screw pump is commonly attributed to Archimedes on the occasion of his visit to Egypt, but this tradition may reflect only that the apparatus was unknown before Hellenistic times and introduced in his lifetime by unknown Greek engineers.
In the 3rd century BC, Archimedes invented the screw named after him. It was one of the first water pumps, a rotating corkscrew that pushed water up a tube. It transformed irrigation & remains in use today at many sewage-treatment plants. Atlantic magazine ranked it the 31st greatest breakthrough since the wheel.