Seventy Great Inventions of the Ancient World

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Overview

The origins of technologies that shape the world around us, illustrated with hundreds of evocative photographs and specially commissioned diagrams, reconstructions, and plans.

Stone choppers, eyed needles, camel saddles, chariots, and contraceptives: the past is paved with remarkable inventions. The latest book in this popular series takes us on an eye-opening and unusual journey through early human innovations—some fundamental and others intriguing or bizarre. An international ...

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Overview

The origins of technologies that shape the world around us, illustrated with hundreds of evocative photographs and specially commissioned diagrams, reconstructions, and plans.

Stone choppers, eyed needles, camel saddles, chariots, and contraceptives: the past is paved with remarkable inventions. The latest book in this popular series takes us on an eye-opening and unusual journey through early human innovations—some fundamental and others intriguing or bizarre. An international team of scientists, archaeologists, and historians reveals seventy of the most extraordinary inventions, from two-and-a-half million years ago up to the early medieval period.

The book begins with the basic technologies of stone, fire, woodworking, ceramics, metallurgy, glass, and weaving. We watch Stone Age flint-knappers at work and look over the shoulders of early metalworkers as they fabricate glittering ornaments in copper and gold. Some of the most fundamental questions of the past are addressed. How and where did agriculture evolve? How did Romans and others heat and plumb their dwellings? What roles did cooking, food preservation, and fermentation play in the development of ancient cuisine? How did the wheel and cart change human life? When did the first roads appear, and when did long-distance seafaring begin?

Later sections look at the origins of hunting, war and sport, art and science, and personal adornment. Weapons of war evolved from spears, bows, and arrows to swords, shields, catapults, and crossbows. The book examines the earliest human art traditions—body painting and tattooing—and traces the beginning of writing, the early use of codes and ciphers, and the origins ofcalendars and astronomy. 515 illustrations, 250 in color.

Author Biography: Brian M. Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a foremost authority on world prehistory. Among his many books are The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Ancient World.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500051306
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 10.54 (h) x 1.34 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    History about the real civilizing of the world

    This book describes the ways in which people attained civilization. For once, we don't hear of the wars and conquering kings which actually was only a tiny part of the whole real history. Our modern civilization is so strong and safe because of inventions, not from government, their regulations and their wars. The author covers all aspects of invention. There was much more innovation than you might havethought was necessary to make civilization. For example, the author proves that the sewing needle was the most important invention of all time because the clothing it enabled made the expansion to the cold regions possible.<BR/>The text is easy to understand and the pictures are colorful and descriptive.<BR/><BR/>If you want to learn why civilization arose, and be inspired to build more in the present day, this book is for you.

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