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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

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.

Ancient Aliens Debunked: Anunnaki

       History
The word Anunnaki means "princely seed" or "princely blood". The idea is that the Anunnaki were direct creations of Anu, who was regarded as the father and king of the gods. Ancient Aliens: "In the ancient texts of Sumeria we have descriptions of these being descending from the sky called the Anunnaki. The term Anunnaki means 'those who from the heavens came."
Series: Ancient Aliens

Ancient Aliens Debunked: Nazca Lines

       History
The Nazca Lines of Peru have been an important part of the Ancient Astronaut theory since its beginning. Originally Von Daniken claimed that the lines were kind of a UFO runway, or a type of alien airport, where the alien craft landed and took off. The idea that it was an airport makes no logical sense, and the symbols and rituals which were a huge part of the Nazcan culture more than explain the so called Nazca lines.
Series: Ancient Aliens

Magical Egypt

       History
In this documentary we moved to Ancient Egypt to learn their vision of the world, life and death, gods and magic. For the ancient Egyptians, the Nile was the main connection between their lives and an infinite supply of provisions. But its waters hid an underworld of darkness and mystery for its first settlers. The Nile was one the spiritual paths that combined life and death, the real world and the underworld.
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
Frozen Planet
Frozen Planet

   2011    Nature
Magic Numbers
Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
Long Way Up
Long Way Up

   2020    Culture