Download Ancient Technology by John W. Humphrey PDF

By John W. Humphrey

Since precedent days, technological advances have elevated man's probabilities for survival. From the practicality of a Roman aqueduct to the artwork of the written notice, guy has continually tailored his surroundings to fulfill his wishes, and to supply himself with sustenance, convenience, convenience, relaxation, a better caliber of residing, 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 primary to figuring out the effect of historic instruments at the smooth international: What activates swap? What cultural traditions inhibit switch? What influence 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 method. distinctive line drawings of instruments and machines make historical mechanics extra simply available. basic files, thesaurus, biographies, and a timeline courting from the Palaeolithic age to the Roman Empire around out the paintings, making this an awesome reference resource for figuring out the instruments of the traditional world.

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Historical and Technological Overview Moving water as a source of energy was never widespread in the ancient world: such a power supply requires a year-round and regular flow of considerable speed and quantity, something that is not common in most of the Mediterranean region. , when Vitruvius described the wheel used to raise buckets on a chain and—through toothed gear wheels—to grind grain. 50 hp; the more efficient but costly ‘‘overshot’’ wheel could put out perhaps 2 hp. Neither wind power nor steam power was taken seriously in the ancient world.

Who established the famous Museum and Library in his capital, Alexandria, which became a productive state-sponsored research center that produced inventive scholars like Ctesibius and Hero. But there was little hope that such a politically fragmented and competitive region could long survive: the smaller states like Rhodes and Pergamon made defensive treaties with the Romans, who by now were recognized as a world power following their successful wars against Carthage in the West. Thanks largely to its geographical position—surrounded by easily defensible hills, at the head of navigation on the Tiber, with a midstream island that made it possible to ford the river, and in control of the salt beds at the river’s mouth—Rome prospered and gradually acquired control of surrounding territories and, by the mid-third century, most of the Italian peninsula.

Woven fabrics are found from the Neolithic period on, probably having been developed from Mesolithic fishing nets and lines, as well as from early basketry; but textiles are so perishable that few examples have survived. We depend for our information largely on documentary sources and on the ancient Greeks’ penchant for decorating their pots with domestic scenes, both real and mythological: the wifely duties of spinning and weaving were favorite motifs in both milieus. While we do have some 29 30 ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY Figure 6.

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