In the last of the series, Julian Richards uncovers new information from the battle in 1066 between Viking warlord Harald Hardrada and King Harold of England that marked the end of the Viking age in Britain. Results from a nationwide genetic survey show where in Britain the Vikings left a measurable contribution.
Category:History Duration:49:22 Series: Blood of the Vikings
Did you know that 1% of the white noise you see on old televisions is background radiation from The Big Bang? That the gold on a wedding ring comes from a star that exploded 5 billion years ago? And, that we're connected to the salt water of the first oceans through the water in our bodies? Our human story is actually 14 billion years old and the clues are all around us. This CGI-driven special will tell the history of our world in two hours, an ambitious story that will give surprising connections to our daily lives. From the formation of the earth and the emergence of life, to the advance of man and the growth of civilization, it’s a rapid-fire view of our unforgettable story.
This episode tells the tale of what's broadly considered China's most creative dynasty - the Song (960-1279). Michael Wood heads to the city of Kaifeng, the greatest city in the world before the 19th century. Here in Twin Dragon Alley, locals tell him the legend of the baby boys who became emperors. He explores the ideas and inventions that made the Song one of greatest eras in world culture, helped by China's most famous work of art, the Kaifeng scroll, which shows the life of the city in around 1120. A chef makes Michael a recipe from a Song cookbook, while a guide to 'how to live happy, healthy lives for old people', published in 1085 and still in print, is discussed with local women doing their morning exercises. The Song was also a great era for scientific advance in China. Michael steers a huge working replica of an astronomical clock, made by China's Leonardo da Vinci. Then at a crunch Chinese Premier League match, Michael tells us the Chinese invented football! The golden age of the northern Song ended in 1127, when invaders sacked Kaifeng, but they survived in the south. At their new capital, Hangzhou, Wood joins locals dancing by the West Lake, while in the countryside he meets Mr Xie with his records of 40 generations of ancestors. The final defeat of the Song took place in a naval battle in the estuary of the Pearl River in 1279. When all was lost, rather than surrender to the Mongols, a loyal minister jumped into the sea with the young boy emperor in his arms. 'So ended the glory of the Song', Wood concludes, 'but a new age would arise... as in China, it always has!'.
Category:History Duration: Series: The Story of China
Julian Richards recalls how, after years of raiding, England's resistance was so weakened that, in the early 11th century, the Vikings were finally able to seize the throne. In other parts of the British Isles however, they gained and maintained power by integration.
Category:History Duration:47:56 Series: Blood of the Vikings
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