Last Watched

"Archaeology"  Sort by

Unlocking the Great Pyramid

   2008    History
When ancient architects completed construction on the Great Pyramid at Giza, they left behind the greatest riddle of the engineering world—how did builders lift limestone blocks weighing an average of two and a half tons 480 feet up onto the top of the Pyramid? For centuries, adventurers and Egyptologists have crawled through every passageway and chamber of the Pyramid, measuring and collecting data in an attempt to determine how it was built. For the first time, a revolutionary theory argues that the answer may be inside the Pyramid. Architect Jean-Pierre Houdin and Egyptologist Bob Brier use 3-D software to unlock the secret.

Atlantis End of a World Birth of a Legend

   2011    History
The documentary is to tell the dramatic story of the greatest natural disaster to shake the ancient world, a disaster that triggered the downfall of a civilisation and spawned a legend. Around 1620 BC a gigantic volcano in the Aegean Sea stirred from its 19,000-year slumber. The eruption tore the island of Thera apart, producing massive tsunamis that flooded the nearby island of Crete, the centre of Europe's first great civilisation – the Minoans. This apocalyptic event, many experts now believe, provided the inspiration for the legend of Atlantis. Based on the work of leading scientists, archaeologists and historians, this drama immerses viewers in the exotic world of the Minoans.

The Day Pictures Were Born

   2006    Art
Dr Nigel Spivey explores how art influences life by tracing the development of the image from cave paintings to our modern obsession with images. Dr. Spivey begins his investigation by travelling to the Cave of Altamira near the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain, where in 1879 a young girls exclamation of 'Papa, look, oxen!' to her father, local amateur archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, is explained to have meant that Maria had just become the first modern human to set eyes on the first gallery of prehistoric paintings ever to be discovered.
Series: How Art Made the World

Machu Picchu Decoded

   2009    History
Deep in the Andean mountains lays a mysterious ruin named Machu Picchu. For 400 years it sat abandoned on its misty cliff, the quintessential lost city in the jungle. Rediscovered in 1911, it contained no written records or carvings, nothing that could shed light on its history. For a century since, it has defied the endless scores of visitors and scientists who attempted to understand its purpose. Who were the mysterious people who built it and why did they build it here? Today an international team of archaeologists, engineers and scientists are finally piecing together the clues. Together they are discovering astonishing new burials, revealing the intricacies of its ingenious engineering and finally decoding the secrets of Machu Picchu.

The Story of China Ancestors

   2016    History
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
Series: The Story of China
The Crusades
The Crusades

   2012    History
Earth from Space
Earth from Space

   2019    Nature
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
Neanderthal
Neanderthal

      History
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Rotten
Rotten

   2018    Nature
The Story of God
The Story of God

   2016    Culture
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History