The Greek scholar Archimedes (around 250 BC) is known for his work on levers. He is also credited with the invention of this simple machine that bears his name. It is likely that irrigation pumps based on this principle existed before Archimedes. This technology would even date from the time of the famous hanging gardens of Babylon (approximately 600 BC) but this is still a debate since the ruins of these gardens, which were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, could never be identified.
The Archimedean screw principle is still used today to evacuate water from the watringues or polders of northern Europe, or to move sand or grain with screw conveyors.