What The Ancients Knew

Inventors of mass production. Innovators of steel. The modern world may pride itself on the advanced technology of cell phones, the Internet and indoor plumbing, but Discovery Civilization’s WHAT THE ANCIENTS KNEW celebrates the intellectual achievements of ancient societies and their scientific know-how that still resonates today. Premiering Friday, January 22 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, this six-part series explores the major developments and achievements of the Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, Japanese, Greeks and Indians uncovering the motivations behind their early inventions and scientific solutions.

Take an interactive journey through the wonders of the past as host Jack Turner, demonstrates just what advances ancient civilizations had wrought thousands of years ago. Featuring expert analysis, computer graphics and footage shot entirely on location, WHAT THE ANCIENTS KNEW counters the belief that ancient civilizations had little understanding of science – or even of themselves.

Find out how the Romans created the building block of all cities – cement. Discover how the ancient Greeks achieved surround-sound in their theatre design. Learn how the Egyptians built the pyramids with simple tools and vast numbers of labourers. Find out how innovative ceramics evolved from traditional Japanese clay-making. See what animal helped the Indians with heavy lifting in early construction projects involving steel beams. And discover which invention was mass-produced and ultimately enabled the Chinese agricultural revolution.

Long before the Western world was known, ancient civilizations provided us with our knowledge and innovations – but few know how profoundly they have shaped the modern world. WHAT THE ANCIENTS KNEW sheds new light on these invaluable contributions, teaching us that much of the science and technology we consider “modern” was in fact shaped by civilizations long ago.

Friday, January 22 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel

Technology helped shape the ancient world and examples of their scientific know-how still resonates today. Take an interactive journey through the wonders of the past by exploring the Roman Empire, Chinese Dynasties and the early Egyptians to understand their motivations behind early solutions and inventions.