This was originally written in 1962, and is therefore is a little dated. Sprague de Camp has written a book all about the different civilisations and the technologies that that invented or acquired from other neighbouring civilisations.The book is split into sections on each of the civilisations, so from Egypt to middle ages Europe. The technologies covered are boat building, wind and water power, construction, printing and warfare. Some of it is fascinating, but other parts of it are the authors opinion. He spent far too long on the historical context, necessary to a certain extent, but more could have been written on the innovations.