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Siege of Masada
It's known as the Alamo of the ancient world, the story of a band of Jewish rebels and their final stand against the Roman Army. The siege of Masada, recorded nearly 2,000 years ago by Jewish military leader Flavius Josephus, is more than a tale of resistance against impossible odds. It's part of the founding narrative of Israel. But how much of it is true?
We take a look at the events that inspired the CBS television miniseries 'The Dovekeepers' and go to the site of the mountain fortress itself, uncovering new truths about this epic conflict.
The Story of China Ancestors
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.
The Story of China
First Horse Warriors
Horses. Powerful, graceful, and thunderously fast. No animal has made a greater impact on society or given humans more freedom and mobility. In a spectacular adventure, the film unlocks the mystery of the first horse warriors on the vast, grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where horses still roam free, and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life.
Investigating clues from archaeology and genetics, researchers reveal vivid evidence of the very first horsemen. They also discover warriors who swept across Europe and turn out to be the ancestors of millions today.
Sodom and Gomorrah, a tale of two cities incinerated by a hail of fire and brimstone. Is this a fantastic fable, or could it be a near apocalyptic disaster from space? In this episode, we will check into the mysteries relating to the destruction of both cities. Were they astronomical events?
Newly discovered evidence might hold the secrets to one of the Bible's greatest mysteries.
The Universe Season 7
The Great Pyramids of Giza remain one of the enduring wonders of the ancient world. This mesmerizing monument have eluded astronomers and archeologists for centuries. Why and how the ancient pyramids of the pharaohs were built? Were they merely burial tombs, or a cosmic vehicle to the celestial world? What were the motives and methods behind the orientation of the pyramids to face the four cardinal directions with extreme accuracy?
The world's renowned Egyptologists, astronomers and engineers join forces to solve some of the long-held mysteries about the pyramids.
The Universe Season 7
Space Deepest Secrets
Mind Field Season 1
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