Ancient inventions

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Ballantine Books, Nov 1, 1994 - Reference - 672 pages
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. Written with the pure joy of discovery, Ancient Inventions is a treasure trove of the triumphs and marvels of applied science, from the stone tools hewn by the earliest prehistoric people to the dawn of the modern era in 1492. Historian and archaeologist team Peter James and 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. Organized thematically, Ancient Inventions covers everything from medicine to communication, from high-tech devices to city life, from military equipment to sports and leisure, from transportation to human sexuality. 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.

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User Review  - Mapguy314 -

There's nothing new under the sun. This book recounts the earliest beginnings of almost everything today that we think of as modern, and some will truly amaze you as to how far back they go.. Read full review


User Review  - 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



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About the author (1994)

James is a horticulturist and expert gardener and penstemon fans.

Thorpe, an award-winning travel and feature writer, began his career as a reporter on the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotsman newspapers and has since worked for The Times (London), The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and a range of other media, including the BBC World Service. He has won Travel Story of the Year Award from the Foreign Press Association, the British Telecom Feature Writer of the Year Award, and the Tavelex Travel Writing Award.

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