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Adam Hart-Davis, one of the nations favourite TV presenters, returns to our screens with a tour through the Top Ten developments of each of the great civilisations of the past. From the Egyptians to the Romans, Babylonians to the Arabs, Adam takes us on an epic history of the world, looking at some of the great legacies left to us by ancient cultures.

What the Past Did For Us accompanies a major 9-part new format autumn show, in which Adam is the anchorman who leads us through the history of inventions while testing some of these in the studio.

The accompanying book is an entertainingly written history of ancient cultures, capturing Adams enthusiasm for the subject. Adam tells the story of the Chinese inventors who came up with the mariners compass, paper money and gunpowder right through to the Ancient Indians who, according to Einstein taught us how to count as well as giving us the 12-month calendar year and 7-day week.

Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781409074526

    February 1, 2011

    BBC Digital

    240 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
  • Hardback

    9780563522072

    September 15, 2006

    BBC Books

    240 pages

    RRP $54.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory