Archive for the 'ancient technology' Category

Modern Marvels: Ancient Discoveries

Today on Discovery Enterprise we continue our retrospective of past technologies. But, instead of taking a trip through time of just mere decades, our time odyssey will take us back more than two thousand years. And in the course of this temporal voyage we will examine the ancient antecedents of many technologies that many would consider modern.


Today’s video feature Modern Marvels: Ancient Discoveries, explores the question – Is it possible the ancients were so technologically advanced that they successfully designed the template for today’s computers, planes, trains, automobiles and other engineering marvels?

We will first examine a mysterious device that still baffles many of today’s experts – the Antikythera mechanism.

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900 from the Antikythera wreck, but its complexity and significance were not understood until decades later. It is now thought to have been built about 150–100 BCE. The degree of mechanical sophistication is comparable to late medieval Swiss watch making. Technological artefacts of similar complexity and workmanship did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks appeared in Europe.

Modern Marvels: Ancient Discoveries will also explore the forerunners of today’s modern rail service, super ships and flame throwers.

Modern Marvels: Ancient Discoveries

http://www.youtube.com/p/9587A966D2658074?hl=en_US&fs=1


Lost technology of the Ancients: Antibiotic Beer

A mug of golden beer with a white froth; again...Image via WikipediaHere’s a fascinating story. Apparently the ancient civilization of the Sudan had at least one technological advancement we don’t, antibiotic beer.

Chemical analysis of the bones of ancient Sudanese Nubians who lived nearly 2000 years ago shows they were ingesting the antibiotic tetracycline on a regular basis, likely from a special The find is the strongest yet that antibiotics were previously discovered by humans before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.

“I’m going to ask Alexander Fleming to hand back his Nobel Prize,” joked chemist Mark Nelson, who works on developing new tetracyclines at Paratek Pharmaceuticals and is lead author of the paper published June in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Nelson found large amounts of tetracycline in the bones tested from the ancient population, which lived in the Nubian kingdom (present day Sudan) between 250 A.D. and 550 A.D. and left no written record.

“The bones of these ancient people were saturated with tetracycline, showing that they had been taking it for a long time,” Nelson said in a press release August 30. “I’m convinced that they had the science of fermentation under control and were purposely producing the drug.”
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