T he first self-igniting match was invented in 1805 by Jean Chancel, a French chemist. Yet, in Babylon, 3,600 years before, identical sulfur matches were in common use. On the Panchavarnaswamy Temple in India, built millennia ago, there is a detailed carving of a man clearly shown on a bicycle, yet the bicycle wasn’t invented in the modern world until 1817. These inventions are only two examples of technology lost in the Dark Ages. Exploring the sophisticated tech achieved by ancient civilizations hundreds and thousands of years ago, Frank Joseph examines evidence of robotics and other forms of artificial intelligence, manned flight (such as hot-air balloons and gliders) and military science, including flamethrowers, biological war- fare, poison gas and solar-powered cannons.
He reveals how ancient construction engineers excavated subterranean cities, turned stone walls into glass, lifted 100-ton blocks of granite, illuminated underground temples and pyramids, and stored their food in massive air- cooled refrigerators. Examples explored in this book include the first known alarm clock, invented by Plato in 4th century B.C. Greece, 600-year-old Aztec whistles that reproduce animal sounds and human voices with un- canny accuracy, stone age jewelry from Siberia worked by a high- speed drill, primitive robots in ancient Troy, Greece and China, ancient Egyptian aircraft and India’s Iron Pillar—exposed to 1,600 years of monsoons, but still standing rust- free.
The author also explores evidence of advanced medicine in ancient times, particularly in Egypt and China, from brain surgery, optometry and prosthetics to dentistry, magnet therapy and even possible cancer cures. By examining the achievements of our ancient ancestors, we cannot only reverse-engineer their inventions, but also learn from their civilizational mistakes, enabling us to avoid more “dark ages.” Imagine how scientifically advanced humanity would be if our early achievements had escaped destruction and been allowed to develop? Softcover, 336 pages, #888.