Adam Hart-Davis, one of the nation's 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 Adam's enthusiasm for the subject.
Adam tells the story of the Chinese inventors who came up with the mariner's 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.