Science in _______ Series

Nowadays, most of us don't credit the ancient peoples with many lasting accomplishments besides their ability to maneuver large rocks into place to build large structures, mislead early doctors with the division of the body into "humors," treat sick people with "magical" plants (that just happened to have healing properties), and see animals in the stars. However, there are many scientific discoveries made by the ancients still in use today, such as our calendar, much anatomy and physiology, herbal remedies, medical treatments and surgical procedures, architectural principles, Arabic numbers (there's a biggie!), and so much more. For instance, did you know that the Romans were the first to have a public hospital, complete with wards, apothecary, kitchens, and a dining hall? Or that over 2,500 years ago, an ancient Indian philosopher first reasoned that matter is made up of tiny particles, very much the same as our own view of atoms? The Indians were also way ahead of the Greeks and Europeans with their belief that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system. Although largely overlooked by some historians, these civilizations made many amazing discoveries that we see only as "modern" developments. Unfortunately, often following a discovery, there was a failure to generate interest, as most people did not understand the value of such concepts. The history of science is an amazing aspect of the history of these civilizations, and a great way for us to appreciate their accomplishments. - Jess




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