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Cobra Gypsies

   2015    Culture
Cobra Gypsies offers a contemporary and colorful window to the amazing ancient culture of the nomadic Kalbeliya tribe, living in rural Rajasthan, Northern India. Their name means 'those who love snakes'. The film explores their culture of eternal dance, syncopated music, snake charming, colorful fashion and the nomadic way of life of these exotic looking castoffs, ancestors to the modern Roma Gypsies living in Europe today.

Hidden Spain

   2020    Nature
Spain is found at the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, between Europe and Africa, resulting in diverse landscapes, ancient cultures and magnificent wildlife. It's a hidden Spain missed by many tourists who fail to venture outside the resorts. Worlds within worlds, the medieval towns, to farming communities, desert, mountains and forests with some of the most dramatic and diverse wildlife of the continent.

Hannibal March on Rome

   2020    History
Even 2,000 years after his death, General Hannibal's battle strategies are still studied today. But of all his military feats, perhaps his greatest was leading his massive Carthaginian army of men and three-dozen elephants across the Alps and into the heartland of Rome in 218 B.C. Until now, the route they took has been a matter of dispute, but thanks to modern-day technology, geomorphologist Bill Mahaney and microbiologist Chris Allen believe they've accurately traced this ancient journey.

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

From Pictures to Words

   2020    History
We take it for granted, but every time we pick up a pen or type on the keyboard, we are employing the most powerful technology ever invented: the technology of writing. Explore how the invention of writing gave humanity a history. From hieroglyphs to emojis, the series is an exploration of the way in which the technology of writing has shaped the world we live in.
The invention of writing about 5,000 years ago made civilization itself possible, and every innovation of the modern world is based on the foundation of the written word. But how and where did writing begin, and who began it? In From Pictures to Words, the first of three films about the history of writing, we uncover the hidden links between all the diverse writing systems in use today and trace the origin of our own alphabet to a turquoise mine in the Sinai Desert and a man riding a donkey whose name was Khebded.
Series: The Secret History of Writing
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Dangerous knowledge
Dangerous knowledge

   2007    Science
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Chased by Sea Monsters
Chased by Sea Monsters

   2003    Nature