Download e-book for iPad: Ancient Technology by John W. Humphrey

By John W. Humphrey

ISBN-10: 0313327637

ISBN-13: 9780313327636

Since precedent days, technological advances have elevated man's probabilities for survival. From the practicality of a Roman aqueduct to the paintings of the written be aware, guy has regularly tailored his surroundings to fulfill his wishes, and to supply himself with sustenance, convenience, convenience, rest, the next caliber of dwelling, and a thriving tradition. This concise reference resource takes a more in-depth examine six technological occasions that considerably impacted the evolution of civilization, from the Palaeolithic age to the peak of the Roman Empire. As he touches at the universal parts of historical technology—energy, machines, mining, metallurgy, ceramics, agriculture, engineering, transportation, and communication—Humphrey asks questions relevant to knowing the effect of old instruments at the sleek international: What activates swap? What cultural traditions inhibit swap? What impact do those adjustments have on their societies and civilization?

Humphrey explores applied sciences as either actual instruments and as extensions of the human physique, starting with the discovery of the Greek alphabet and together with such accomplishments as early Neolithic plant cultivation, the discovery of coinage, the development of the Parthenon, and Rome's city water approach. unique line drawings of instruments and machines make historical mechanics extra simply available. basic files, word list, biographies, and a timeline relationship from the Palaeolithic age to the Roman Empire around out the paintings, making this an excellent reference resource for knowing the instruments of the traditional world.

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Similarly with animals: those that exhibited juvenile characteristics were favored over the strong, and bred to eliminate their wild characteristics. This—the earliest form of genetic manipulation by humans—was eventually to make a significant portion of Mediterranean flora and fauna dependent on human assistance in reproduction and survival: at least as sobering an innovation as the genetic modification of foods that is being debated at the beginning of the twentyfirst century. Food Plants Cereals were the first cultivated food plants, and can be credited with making settled life possible.

Of cultivated crops, cereals were of the greatest economic importance in the Mediterranean region in antiquity, just as rice was the staple in East Asia, and maize and quinoa in the Americas. Since wild plants were Food and Clothing necessarily self-seeding for their survival, the early Neolithic farmers favored individual plants that had developed suicidal mutations that prevented the pod from opening naturally and scattering the seed. Thus they were able to harvest their crops without losing grains, and could later separate the seeds from the pods.

Encyclopedists. E. preserve many useful if often misunderstood facts; his Natural History in thirty-seven volumes treats such subjects as physics, geography and ethnology, human physiology, zoology and botany, and metallurgy and metalworking. Geographers. The Greek travelers Strabo and Pausanias have left us accounts of their journeys in the Mediterranean during the period of the Roman Empire, and offer detailed descriptions of important buildings and artifacts. Agricultural writers. ), and treating cultivation, livestock, farm equipment, and so on, generally from the viewpoint of the absentee landlord.

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Ancient Technology by John W. Humphrey

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