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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.

Cannabis: The Evil Weed

   2009    Medicine
Cannabis is the world's favourite drug, but also one of the least understood. Can cannabis cause schizophrenia? Is it addictive? Can it lead you on to harder drugs? Or is it simply a herb, an undervalued medicine? Addiction specialist Dr John Marsden discovers that modern science is finally beginning to find answers to these questions. John traces the cannabis plants' birthplace in Kazakhstan; finds the origins of our sensitivity to cannabis in the simple sea squirt; and finds out just what it does to our brains. He meets people who have been changed by this drug in drastically different ways - from those whose lives have been shattered to those who lives have been revived.

The Brain: Mind Control

   2011    Medicine
Dr Michael Mosley traces the sinister ways the experimental psychology has used to try to control our minds. He finds that the pursuit of mind control has led to some truly horrific experiments and left many casualties in its wake. Extraordinary archive captures what happened - scientists systematically change the behaviour of children; law abiding citizens give fatal electric shocks; a gay man has electrodes implanted in his head in an attempt to turn his sexuality. Michael takes a hallucinogenic drug as part of a controlled experiment to try to understand how its mind-bending properties can change the brain. This is a scientific journey goes to the very heart of what we hold most dear - our free will, and our ability to control our own destiny.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

   2008    Culture
Americans define themselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. They reward above all else: winning – at sport, at business and at war. Metaphorically is a nation on steroids. Is it any wonder that so many of their heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? A film that unflinchingly explores our win-at-all-cost culture. Bigger, Stronger, Faster is a first-person narrative, including US Congressmen, professional athletes, medical experts and everyday gym rats. When you discover that your heroes have all broken the rules, do you follow the rules, or do you follow your heroes?

Pill Poppers

   2010    Medicine
Over a person's lifetime they are likely to be prescribed more than 14,000 pills. Antibiotics, cholesterol lowering tablets, anti-depressants, painkillers, even tablets to extend youth and improve performance in bed. These drugs perform minor miracles day after day, but how much is really known about them? Drug discovery often owes as much to serendipity as to science, and that means much is learnt about how medicines work, or even what they do, when they're taken. By investigating some of the most popular pills people pop, Horizon asks, how much can they be trusted to do what they are supposed to?
Earthflight
Earthflight

   2012    Nature
Earth, the Power of the Planet
Earth, the Power of the Planet

   2007    Nature
Life In Cold Blood
Life In Cold Blood

   2008    Nature
The Story of the Jews
The Story of the Jews

   2013    History
Enemies of Reason
Enemies of Reason

      Medicine
Generation Iron
Generation Iron

   2017    Culture
Cosmos
Cosmos

   1980    Science