Geophysics has been around for centuries. As far back as the fourth century BC, the ancient Sinhalese used Hydrology to build complex irrigation works in Sri Lanka, also known for invention of the Valve Pit which allowed construction of large fresh water reservoirs.
It is known that the magnetic compass existed in China as far back as the fourth century BC. It was used for feng shui as much as it was used for navigation on land. It was not until good steel needles could be forged that compasses were used for navigation at sea; before that, they could not retain their magnetism for long.
Fast forward to the 20th century to see how geophysical technology affects life today.