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Ancient Discoveries

3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Jul 17, 2007)
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2
$399.99 $94.99

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Editorial Reviews

As seen on The History Channel , Ancient Discoveries unearths amazing technologies that we think of as modern, but which actually have their origins in antiquity. The series travels back in time to uncover remarkably sophisticated inventions, and to celebrate the ancient engineers whose ingenuity laid the foundations for today’s technology.
Shot on location in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, this six episode, 2 disc setfeatures 3D computer graphic and working recreations of ancient machines.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Phil Crowley, Christopher Kelly, Sean Barrett
  • Format: Classical, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PGTNDE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,226 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ancient Discoveries" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The History Channel has done a superb job in bringing ancient science to light in this breathtaking series of technological advances. Consider Archimedes' giant claws to capture foreign ships in the harbor or Chinese robots that always point to Beijing wherever they are taken, or skyscrapers built by the Egyptians in Alexandria. In some cases, computer graphics are used to illustrate the inventions..and in other cases detailed precise models of the inventions are made. I have found the series to be humbling and illuminating. Highly recommended.
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For whatever reason, Koch Entertainment chose to release the Australian TV version of Ancient Discoveries. When the US History Channel showed the first three episodes (which I recorded), the narrator was Michael Carroll. On the Aussie version, the narrator is Sean Barrett. Michael Carroll is the far superior narrator of the two, he avoids assuming a professorial tone. The US broadcast had closed captioning, something these DVDs lack. That absence is because for the hard of hearing Australian broadcasters use subtitles, not closed captioning.

It is too bad that Koch didn't use the US History Channel's narration track and closed captioning, the image quality on these DVDs is far superior to the broadcast version I recorded 4 years ago. For the price Koch is charging for these DVDs, it could have even sprung for an on/off English subtitle track instead of closed captioning. But the big flaw of Koch's version is that they used an Aussie actor with an affected irritating intonation to narrate a documentary meant only for the US NTSC market.

Most likely the reason for these shortcuts was cheapness, which also explains the commercials before the start of the DVD advertising two other Koch releases. At least you can chapter forward to dodge these promos to get to the menu. But dodging that irritating narrator is another story.
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This series was very well done. The visuals are very effectively displayed and cut and flow very well from scene to scene. The subject matter is very enjoyable for anyone interested in ancient Greek/Roman developments.

I have read other reviews were people were displeased with Sean Barrett's narration. I have not seen the U.S. version but I find no qualms with Barrett's narration. It is clear and enjoyable to listen to. Also, others have complained about the music being too loud over the scientist's voices, I have not had this problem. When I watch it the audio is very well balanced.

Another reviewer commented that the series uses subtitles (or hard captioning) instead of a closed captioning system. I prefer this for when a professional is speaking in French, Greek, or Arabic I am able to know what they're saying without having to turn subtitles on. This may be an annoyance for some depending on what needs you have but for the average person I think this setup it totally fine.

This series is perfect for history aficionados.
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The things that made an impact on me are, the detailed explanations and the high standard of the commentary. The quality of the computer reconstructions. The overall presentation, professionalism and quality is of the highest order. Not all the material presented is factual or proven. Speculation and reasonable assumptions have been employed in a responsible manner and are required to a certain degree because of the nature of the subjects being dealt with. All speculative content is sensetively introduced and appropriate within the context of these documentaries. Very worthwhile, a fine series, eye-opening and unique in many ways. You will see things here that you have never seen on any other ancient history documentary. A thourghly enjoyable, informative, quality doucmentary series.
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I remembered that I had seen a documentary about the Galen. I am in school to become a Medical Assistant, and we are studying medical history and ethics. My
oral project will be on Medical History - Galen. I had to do a little research,
and found that I could purchase the DVD here; little did I realize that someone
would be offer a second-hand version -- a real thrill. I couldn't order it
fast enough.... -I'll be able to watch this a few times before I have to
give my presentation later this month. Thanks, I really needed this and being
able to buy it second-hand is really cool...The product arrived and it is in
good condition --- Just what the doctor ordered......
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