Ancient Inventions City Life

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Join Monty Python’s Terry Jones on a tour of the ingenuity of our ancestors. Take a humorous yet factual look at inventions we think of as unique to modern times when really they have been around for centuries and many even longer. Some of the amazing discoveries include: automatic doors, first designed over 2000 years ago, accurate pregnancy tests, a regular feature of ancient Babylon, and tanks, actually devised by the Assyrians in 8 B.C. Clearly the ancient world was every bit as inventive as our own.
Episode War and Conflict – Julius Caesar never used a mobile phone, Socrates never consulted a digital watch, and Alexander the Great never flushed the lavatory. But that doesn’t mean they were stupid. Archeologists tell us the human brain is the same size now as it was 60,000 years ago, and our ancestors were every bit as intelligent as we are today, so we shouldn’t assume that the scientists and inventors of the past have nothing to teach us. In fact, when it comes to weapon’s technology none of it is as new as we think it is. Guided missiles, flame throwers, chemical weapons, tanks, even the theory of the atom bomb, they’re all ancient inventions.
Episode Sex and Love – No one invented sex or love, but they’ve always been one of the greatest spurs to human inventiveness. Making ourselves sexually attractive is not just a modern obsession. Our ancient ancestors were just as obsessed with inventing new ways of looking good and turning each other on as we are today. For example, Pharaoh’s slaves once went on strike because they ran out of makeup. And, fashionable Roman women used to smear themselves with gladiator sweat. And, when it comes to finding ways to improve our sex lives, our ancestors came up with a good many inventions modern Man has only just rediscovered. The female condom, the pregnancy tester, yes, and even the oral contraceptive. Believe it or not, they’re all ancient inventions.
Episode City Life – It took Christopher Columbus over eight weeks to cross the Atlantic. Nowadays, we can do it in less than eight hours in a jumbo jet. What would Columbus or Archimedes have made of it? Well, it doesn’t mean they were less intelligent than you or me. They were probably more intelligent. And maybe all this progress that modern man seems to be making is partly an illusion. Perhaps there are even things we can learn from the science and technology of ancient times. Take the city, for example. Cities seem so much the product of modern technology and yet, in fact, they are one of the most ancient of all inventions.