Ancient Inventions

Front Cover
Ballantine Books, 1994 - Reference - 672 pages
2 Reviews
"IT'S CHOCKABLOCK WITH CURIOUS LORE....[James and Thorpe] have amassed scores of persuasive testimonials of primeval ingenuity."
--The Boston Globe
We in the twentieth century tend to assume that our era has a monopoly on the inventions of clever machines, labor-saving devices, feats of engineering, and advanced technology. But as the authors of this fascinating and eye-opening book reveal, some of humankind's most important and most amazing inventions actually date back thousands of years.
Historian Peter James and archaeologist Nick Thorpe have pooled their expertise in amassing this compendium of human ingenuity through the ages. Together they conclusively prove that our ancestors, however long ago they lived and whatever part of the globe they occupied, were brilliant problem-solvers. Written with the pure joy of discovery, Ancient Inventions reveals that:
* Medieval Baghdad had an efficient postal service, banks, and a paper mill.
* Rudimentary calendars were being used in France as early as 13,000 B.C.
* Apartment condominiums rose in deserts of the American Southwest a
thousand years ago.
* The ancient Greeks used an early form of computer.
* Plastic surgery was being performed in India by the first century B.C.
* The Egyptians knew about effective contraceptives.
* Flamethrowers were used in battles waged in tenth-century China.
Brimming with odd facts and entertaining curiosities, written with zest and humor, comprehensive and fun to read, Ancient Inventions is a wonderful celebration of the endless inventiveness of the human mind.
"This presentation of the discoveries and innovations of the ancients will fascinate."
--Booklist
"Thoroughly researched...It is doubtful that anyone could examine [this book] without coming away enlightened in one of its broadly ranging areas."
--Library Journal
AN ALTERNATE SELECTION OF THE QUALITY PAPERBACK BOOK CLUB AND THE NATURAL SCIENCE BOOK CLUB

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarthaJeanne - LibraryThing

Before using any of this information, check it somewhere reliable. I found some obvious mistakes, and several other very questionable claims. It also gets boring fast if you try to read through. The jumps from one culture and time to another make it hard to really get a feel for things. Read full review

ANCIENT INVENTIONS

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Not just an inventory of gizmos and whatsits, this is a responsible attempt by two British archaeologists (Centuries of Darkness, not reviewed) to construct an overview of science and technology in ... Read full review

Contents

IV
2
V
11
VI
18
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Peter James was born in Brighton, England on August 22, 1948. He graduated from Ravensbourne Film School and worked as screen writer and film producer for several years. He began his writing career in 1979 and has written over 25 books including Dead Letter Drop, Twilight, Host, Alchemist, The Perfect Murder, Perfect People, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series.

Nick Thorpe is an award-winning writer and journalist. A contributor to The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Scotsman", and BBC Radio 4", among others, he has covered stories ranging from Russian presidential elections to the coca wars of Bolivia, for which he was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

Thorpe, an archeologist in prehistory, studied at Reading and London Universities and is presently Lecturer in Archeology at King Alfred's College, Winchester. He is the Director of research projects in Britain and Denmark.

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