ANCIENT INVENTIONS by Peter James

ANCIENT INVENTIONS

KIRKUS REVIEW

 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. (Quality Paperback Book Club selection)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-345-36476-7
Page count: 704pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1994




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