Machines of the Gods
Ancient Discoveries is an excellent, informative and educational series that looks at ancient machines from the ancient world from across the globe. They look at how machines were used in war, theater, temples and in daily life. The knowledge of physics that these past inventors possessed must have been astounding. Whether all these machines were actually created, whether they worked or were operational can be subject to speculation, but I think many were. This show even re-creates these machines and shows you how they would have been used. If you want to see the ancient world in a new light and from a different perspective, then Ancient Discoveries is the series for you to watch.
This episode of Ancient Discoveries takes a look at the temple machines of primarily ancient Greece and Egypt. Religion is one area that ancient machines were used extensively. They try to convey how temple priests used machines as a form of technical trickery to convey a certain realism and atmosphere in the temple. They wanted their unsuspecting worshippers to think that their gods were real through the use of technical special affects. These machines were able to replicate visual and audio affects that made the gods seem like they were there in the temple with the worshippers.
One way they did this is through devices that replicated the sound of a god’s voice and through the sound of thunder. These devices would evoke emotions of awe and fear in the worshippers. Devices such as these would definitely have been used in Temple of Zeus in Olympia where there was a huge and larger-than-life gold and ivory statue of Zeus. Although the statue no longer exists and was once considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the show shows you some beautiful statues that were part of the Temple of Zeus that have been reassembled and are now on display at the museum at Olympia. You can see an example of this in my Olympia pictures called the Battle of the Centaurs.
One of the most awe-inspiring inventions would have been the bleeding statue created by the Alexandrian inventors. It took the model creator a long while to get the statue to bleed, but he did. This goes to show that these ancient inventors had to have a good knowledge of how their inventions would work. They had to know exactly how long it would take for the statue to bleed otherwise the special affect would not work!
In summary, this series takes an innovative look at ancient machines that were once lost to time and using manuscripts and other sources, they re-create them to show you how and when these machines would have been used.