The documentary is to tell the dramatic story of the greatest natural disaster to shake the ancient world, a disaster that triggered the downfall of a civilisation and spawned a legend. Around 1620 BC a gigantic volcano in the Aegean Sea stirred from its 19,000-year slumber. The eruption tore the island of Thera apart, producing massive tsunamis that flooded the nearby island of Crete, the centre of Europe's first great civilisation – the Minoans. This apocalyptic event, many experts now believe, provided the inspiration for the legend of Atlantis. Based on the work of leading scientists, archaeologists and historians, this drama immerses viewers in the exotic world of the Minoans.
This documentary attempts to make history by finding the lost city of Atlantis once and for all. Adventurer-geologist Dr. Martin Pepper sets out to prove his theory – that the true Atlantis existed on the Greek island of Santorini, and was destroyed in the biggest volcanic eruption in human history". In order to achieve his goal, Pepper will use new scientific evidence gathered using state-of-the-art sonar scans of the sea bed and microscopic analysis of the ancient landscape. One of the challenges he faces is that he must also match Santorini to a series of key clues embedded in the first ever description of Atlantis by the Greek philosopher Plato – from the lost city’s strange ring-shaped design, to the role Egyptian priests played in recording the legend in the first place. His journey will take him across the Mediterranean and out into the Atlantic Ocean. By the end of the program, he reveals the stunning findings which may pinpoint the city and show exactly what it looked like.
In the days of the Mayas, cenotes – deep, natural pits on the Yucatan peninsula - provided the only means of obtaining drinking water. But in the mythology of this advanced civilisation, these waterholes and caves were also the entrance to Xibalba – the underworld. All deceased were obliged to pass through Xibalba and wait there until they were called into heaven. It was a place in which one made sacrifices to the gods – objects of daily life, as well as bloody, human sacrifices. To this day, the relics of these acts are still in place preserved underwater for more than a thousand years. The entrance to the underworld begins at a dirty waterhole in the middle of the Mexican jungle overgrown and barely recognisable. But immediately after entry, a hall of breath-taking dimensions and beauty is revealed. As if they were sculptures, stalactites and stalagmites lend the underwater cave an almost sacred ambience. By now, one has succumbed to the fascination emanated by the world’s largest underwater cave system. We accompany four professional research divers to Yucatan – a team of specialists, able to squeeze their bodies through crevices and holes, barely larger than their bodies and who master dives that would push even the most experienced divers to their limits. With them, we penetrate worlds only a few people have ever ventured into. We encounter the remains of human victims, prehistoric fireplaces and primeval animal skeletons and undertake a dive, which takes us from the primeval forest to the open sea. We then enter Xibalba – the place of myths and the dead. In the days of the Mayas - a voyage of no return. Today, this is one of the greatest challenges one can face as a diver – the hidden world of the underwater caves of Yucatan – all filmed in 3D.
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama explores the history of the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day. This programme begins the tale 3,000 years ago, with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their extraordinary book, the Hebrew Bible, a chronicle of their stormy relationship with a faceless, formless, jealous God. It was loyalty to this 'God of Words' that defined the distinct identity of the ancient Jews and preserved it despite all that history could throw their way". The story unfolds with a dazzling cast of historical characters: Sigmund Freud dying in exile in London; Victorian evangelicals and explorers following 'in the footsteps' of Moses; Jewish mercenaries living, prospering and intermarrying in the pagan land of Egypt; Messianic Jews dreaming of the Apocalypse; and a Jewish historian, Josephus, who witnessed first-hand the moment when the apocalypse finally came and the Romans destroyed the Jewish High Temple in Jerusalem.
Category:History Duration:59:00 Series: The Story of the Jews
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