It took Christopher Columbus over eight weeks to cross the Atlantic. Nowadays, we can do it in less than eight hours in a jumbo jet. What would Columbus or Archimedes have made of it? Well, it doesn't mean they were less intelligent than you or me. They were probably more intelligent. And maybe all this progress that modern man seems to be making is partly an illusion. Perhaps there are even things we can learn from the science and technology of ancient times. Take the city, for example. Cities seem so much the product of modern technology and yet, in fact, they are one of the most ancient of all 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.