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The Lost Pyramids of Caral

   2002    History
The magnificent ancient city of pyramids at Caral in Peru is a thousand years older than the earliest known civilisation in the Americas and, at 2,627 BC, is as old as the pyramids of Egypt. Many now believe it is the fabled missing link of archaeology - a 'mother city'. If so, then these extraordinary findings could finally answer one of the great questions of archaeology: why did humans become civilised?" For over a century, archaeologists have been searching for what they call a mother city. Civilisation began in only six areas of the world: Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Peru and Central America. In each of these regions people moved from small family units to build cities of thousands of people. They crossed the historic divide, one of the great moments in human history. Why? To find the answer archaeologists needed to find a mother city - the first stage of city-building. Caral, is so much older than anything else in South America that it is a clear candidate to be the mother city. It also is in pristine condition. Nothing has been built on it at all. Instead laid out before the world is an elaborate complex of pyramids, temples, an amphitheatre and ordinary houses. Scientists developed a number of theories. Some said it was because of the development of trade, others that it was irrigation. Some even today believe it was all because of aliens. Gradually an uneasy consensus emerged. The key force common to all civilisations was warfare. Crucially, there is not the faintest trace of warfare at Caral; no battlements, no weapons, no mutilated bodies. Instead, Ruth's findings suggest it was a gentle society, built on commerce and pleasure. In one of the pyramids they uncovered beautiful flutes made from condor and pelican bones. They have also found evidence of a culture that took drugs and perhaps aphrodisiacs. Most stunning of all, they have found the remains of a baby, lovingly wrapped and buried with a precious necklace made of stone beads.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: Son of God

   1997    History
In 335 BC Alexander of Macedonia set off on an expedition to conqueror the world. The voyage of Alexander the Great covered more than 22,000 miles in ten years, from Greece to India and back, through some of the most difficult and unforgiving terrain. Michael Wood was hot on his trail, following, as closely as possible, in the footsteps of Alexander and the army that he drove to achieve the impossible. In this programme: the Lebanese city of Tyre, scene of Alexander's most desperate battle; the Palestinian legend of `Two-Horned Alexander'; and the Egyptian oasis of Siwa, where Alexander was proclaimed pharaoh and son of God.
Series: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Across the Hindu Kush

   1997    History
Wood travels through war-torn Afghanistan, crossing the Oxus River into Central Asia and the Silk Road city of Samarkand where, in a drunken brawl, Alexander killed the friend who had previously saved his life.
Series: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

To the Ends of the World

   1997    History
The final leg takes him from the Khyber Pass through Pakistan to the Punjab, where Alexander's army mutinied and he was forced to return across the Makran Desert to Babylon, where he died at only 32 years of age.
Series: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Cosmos Carl Sagan: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

   1980    Science
Carl Sagan opens the program with a description of the cosmos and the Spaceship of the Imagination. The ship journeys through the universe's hundred billion galaxies, the Local Group, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, our Solar System, and finally the planet Earth. Eratosthenes' successful calculation of the circumference of Earth leads to a description of the ancient Library of Alexandria. Finally, the Ages of Science are described, before pulling back to the full span of the Cosmic Calendar.
Series: Cosmos
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
The Story of China
The Story of China

   2016    History
Depeche Mode: Live in Berlin
Depeche Mode: Live in Berlin

   2014    Art
Coldplay Live
Coldplay Live

   2012    Art
Life of a Universe
Life of a Universe

   2017    Science
The Making of the Mob
The Making of the Mob

   2016    History
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature