Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Video: What the Ancients Knew

I'm not sure what the legalities of this are, but someone's posted 6 episodes of the show What the Ancients Knew. A friend pointed me to episode 2, China.

I’ve only seen the one episode so far but it was fascinating. I learned a lot from it. While I knew the Chinese discovered gunpowder quite early and used it for fireworks, I didn’t realize they had rocket arrows (with a pocket of gunpowder to propel them further). Nor did I realize they used the North Pole as an axis point when examining the heavens and created armillary spheres significantly earlier than European scientists. They also had a mechanical waterclock, crossbows, steel… Very interesting video. Can’t wait to watch the rest of this series.

There is a scene where an old Chinese emperor examines a cob of corn, which is anachronistic. I’m really confused over why they did that. But that reenactment scene aside, the show seemed quite accurate.

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