Ultimate WeaponsAired on Jun 29, 2014
We think of weapons of mass destruction as a modern concept, but the ancients also created fearsome weapons of their own, some even more destructive than we can create today. Centuries before the widespread discovery of gunpowder, one ancient genius managed to build a cannon that could fire a projectile using the power of steam! We reveal an ancient troop ship mightier than an aircraft carrier, and death rays that could burn enemy ships. How were the ancients capable of creating seemingly impossible warfare technologies thousands of years before modern times?
Moving MountainsAired on Jul 06, 2014
How did the Ancients move impossibly huge objects? Why did the Roman forces at the siege of Masada decide to shift an entire mountain by hand? We reveal the ancient technology that allowed the Egyptians to move a 1,000 ton obelisk, and show how the Romans moved even heavier objects at the temples at Baalbek. As well as moving stone and earth, the ancients needed to move mountains of water, using technology we still find impressive today. Who were the most successful Mega Movers of the ancient world and how were they able to make the impossible…possible?
Monster MonumentsAired on Jul 13, 2014
A massive monument carved out of solid rock, a monster-sized super-dome that defies the laws of gravity. These awe inspiring feats of engineering defy explanation, yet they are not modern–they were actually built thousands of years ago. The Great Pyramid was the tallest structure on earth for over 4,000 years! But what techniques, materials and tools could ancient engineers have used to build it? Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious structures ever built, but could the secret to its construction ever be revealed? Abu Simbel is ancient Egypt’s greatest monument which even eclipses today’s Mount Rushmore. How did the ancient engineers make the seemingly impossible possible?
Warrior TechAired on Jul 20, 2014
Today, modern soldiers are equipped with all the latest battlefield technology. But what cutting edge weapons and defenses were the ancient warriors armed with? Could ancient warriors have had an early version of the machine gun, centuries before we ever imagined they could? Could the ancient Saxons have been armed with “super swords” made with steel as strong as any metal made today? And is it possible that the ancient Greeks invented an early version of a bullet proof vest during the time of Alexander the Great? We reveal how the fully equipped soldiers of today compare to the seemingly impossible warrior tech of the ancient world.
Ancient EinsteinsAired on Jul 27, 2014
Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, these are some of the most ingenious minds in history. But many of their accomplishments would never have been possible without some of the geniuses of the ancient world. The fact is that most of our modern world is possible because of the incredible minds that lived thousands of years ago. We show the amazing genius of Archimedes, who managed to make water flow uphill and pull a ship up a beach single handed! Meet Philon the genius behind the world’s first robot, and Ctesibius who was experimenting with pneumatics centuries before anyone else. As impossible as it sounds, Heron of Alexandria invented the world’s first steam engine, as well as automatic doors and vending machines! You’d be surprised to find out just how much of today’s technology would be impossible without these “Ancient Einsteins.”
Power ToolsAired on Aug 03, 2014
Powerful automated stone-cutting devices, incredible power drills capable of cutting through even the hardest granite, fire engines that can respond to and extinguish a fire anywhere in a city; even precise surgery tools so fine they are used on the human eye. These tools are not from the modern world, but are in fact thousands of years old. Most would be lost to time and not again for centuries. How was the ancient world able to create such incredible power tools? Why were they lost, and could there be even more advanced ancient power tools waiting to be discovered?
Greatest ShipsAired on Aug 10, 2014
Some of the greatest ships in history were actually designed, built and sailed thousands of years ago. Join us as we examine the greatest warship of the ancient world, the Greek Trireme. What made Triremes so deadly and fast? We also examine the most impossibly opulent ships ever created, the notorious sex ships, built by the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula. Ships built for pleasure which contained marine technology that would not be reinvented for centuries. We also explore what many believe may have been the world’s first ironclads the Korean Turtle Ships.
Biggest BuildsAired on Aug 17, 2014
A mega factory is a modern invention–wrong–the ancients were the first to build these thousands of years ago. What was the incredible 16 wheel Roman automated factory in the south of France which could feed 12,500 people a day? How did the ancient Egyptians produce hundreds of vehicles of war every month? How did the Romans forge enough iron to equip an army, and mine enough gold to keep an economy afloat? With today’s technology, this would be achievable, but how did the ancients do this thousands of years ago? We reveal the impossible ingenuity and techniques that made it possible for the ancients to have “Mega Factories” of their own.
Roman EmpireAired on Aug 24, 2014
The Roman Empire is known as one of the mightiest to ever rule the Earth. But the extent of their ingenuity, ambition and scale seems impossible to comprehend. One ambitious emperor built a colossal wall spanning an entire nation, while another built a road that stretched from one end of Europe all the way to Central Asia. We explore ancient texts to uncover amazing Roman technologies including a horse-drawn arrow shooter–possibly the world’s first tank? We reveal Emperor Nero’s Golden Palace; a building that contained more technology than any other in the ancient world including a revolving ceiling and elevators, but how was this technology possible 2000 years ago?
Extreme EngineeringAired on Sep 07, 2014
When faced with impossible situations, the ancients didn’t simply give up, they pursued the impossible. How did they get troops across a nearly 4,000 foot river? How do you get oil from the ground without the use of modern drilling techniques? And how did they build a water tank which contained 3 million cubic feet of water, enough to provide for an entire city? What ingenious techniques did Caesar use to assemble a bridge to cross the Rhine, in only 10 days? The ancients created incredible structures to overcome these obstacles, often taking on and beating nature, using engineering methods that seem more modern than you would imagine.