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Ancient Inventions - Peter James

Paperback

Published: 31st October 1995
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"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

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 various cultures before 1492. The book, they say, has "one simple message: Our ancestors, however long ago they may have lived and whatever part of the globe they may have occupied, were no idiots." Among the 12 chapter headings are Medicine ("The medical writings of Cornelius Celsus, who lived under the Emperor Tiberius...include a detailed description of a cataract operation"); Transportation (more than 2,000 years ago the Chinese "were making miniature hot-air balloons from empty eggshells"); and Sex Life ("Ancient Greek dildos were often made to measure from bread"). With drawings and photographs. (Kirkus Reviews)

ISBN: 9780345401021
ISBN-10: 0345401026
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 31st October 1995
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 19.0  x 3.7
Weight (kg): 0.93

Peter James

Peter James is one of the UK’s most popular crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold more than one and a half million in the UK alone and six million worldwide in total. The series is now translated into 34 languages and his latest novel, Dead Like You, went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller lists at no 1 in both hardback and paperback.

His novella, The Perfect Murder, went to No 1 on iBooks and has spent 40 consecutive weeks in the iBooks Top 10. Peter has developed a close working relationship with the Sussex Police over many years, spending an average of one day a week with them, and his writing reveals a unique insight into the reality of modern day police work. He has carried out extensive research with police in Moscow, Munich, Paris, Melbourne, Sweden, New York and Romania, and regularly attends international police conferences to ensure he is at the cutting-edge of investigative police work.

Born and brought up in Brighton, Peter divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and on the South Downs near Lewes in Sussex. An established film producer and script writer, he has produced numerous films, including The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with Peter overseeing all aspects, including the scriptwriting. In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community.

Visit Peter James's Booktopia Author Page