From today’s Mars missions to Smart phones and the Internet, ours is a high-tech society. Starting in the early 1950’s, innovation and invention have dominated our thought processes with the goals of finding ways to “build a better mousetrap,” increase speed and efficiency and make living easier. As a result, most people today cannot imagine life without their computers, Satellite GPS and fast foods.
AntiquityNOW sees parallels between the past and the present. For example, the Egyptian Pharaohs streamlined the building of the Pyramids by having their slaves assigned certain construction tasks. Compare this to Ford’s assembly line for building cars.
What we rarely consider is that every luxury and gadget we enjoy was not suddenly invented out of thin air. Genuine inventions came about because of the patient trial and error of previous generations who wanted to create a better world for their children. Every civilization had its thinkers and tinkerers, and we—thousands of years later—are the beneficiaries.
Technologies that are mainstays of today’s life often had their start in antiquity. China brought us the abacus and the “shadow clock,” the compass, gunpowder, the solid-fuel rocket, papermaking and printing. The Egyptians invented a number of simple machines, such as the ramp and the lever, to speed up construction. In Africa, the Haya people of Tanzania invented a high-temperature blast furnace. The Greeks brought us the steam engine, catapults, crossbows, cranes, the mechanism for music keyboards, differential gears, screws and even dry docks for storing boats. The Romans engineered arches, amphitheaters, aqueducts and public baths.
Explore these technological wonders with AntiquityNOW as we take you on a journey into the past to see life through the eyes of ancient people and learn more about their incredible inventions. Then come back to the present to integrate that truth into a fresh perspective on today’s technologies. Finally, brainstorm with us as to where that insight will take us tomorrow.
THE HEALING ARTS
For many years modern medicine tried to heal people with only the most cutting edge pharmaceuticals and therapies. This gave us tremendous advances in cancer and diabetes research, heart health and surgery. Ignoring the past, however, leaves a gaping hole in the treatment of patients because not everyone responds sufficiently to laboratory-based medicine.
More recently, there has been a move by both medical experts and patients to explore natural medicine and ancient healing arts. Moreover, integrative doctors—doctors who are trained in both modern and alternative medicines—are being sought out by patients who want the best of both worlds.
The medical therapies pioneered by the Egyptians, Persians and Romans are well documented, so we can get a peek into what their doctors used to treat their patients. Ancient peoples were very creative in coming up with natural medicines to cure what ailed them. An Egyptian doctor, for example, used moldy bread as an antibiotic long before Fleming discovered penicillin. The Egyptians also fed their workers radishes, garlic and onions, which we now know act as antibiotics in the body.
As more and more ancient remedies are being given a second look by medical experts, we are finding that some of the natural support for optimum health that we are seeking today can often be found in the natural foods and herbs of yesterday. Alternative medicines that have been used for centuries, even millennia, are taking their rightful place in today’s medical arena.
In AntiquityNOW’s blogs and articles, you can explore how ancient healing arts have an undeniable connection with today’s medicine. Also watch for culinary delights that harken back to ancient times when natural, healthy foods were harvested and stirred into tempting recipes that you can try at home!