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. Archaeologists 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 – well, 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.
This three-part series presents a fresh and highly original view of some of the ancient world's most remarkable inventions. Beginning with War and Conflict, Terry Jones takes us on an unconventional, myth-busting journey, discovering for example that the boomerang was once a weapon of war and that, surprisingly, cannons once had a lot in common with church bells! Continuing on this demystifying quest, Sex and Love sees Terry exploring the ancient use of make-up, along with the invention of the bikini right through to the introduction of the beauty parlour, all with active participation from Terry! In City Life we explore the origins of our now familiar environment, from the invention of concrete, to city grid plans and monumental high-rise buildings. It is soon made clear that the ancient world was every bit as inventive as our own.