Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science - there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis. For Baghdad-born Al-Khalili, this is also a personal journey, and on his travels he uncovers a diverse and outward-looking culture, fascinated by learning and obsessed with science. From the great mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, who did much to establish the mathematical tradition we now know as algebra, to Ibn Sina, a pioneer of early medicine whose Canon of Medicine was still in use as recently as the 19th century, Al-Khalili pieces together a remarkable story of the often-overlooked achievements of the early medieval Islamic scientists.
Category:History Duration:58:38 Series: Science and Islam
Dan Snow uncovers the lost Vikings in America with space archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak. Sarah uses satellites 383 miles above the earth to spot ruins as small as 30cm buried beneath the surface. As Sarah searches for Viking sites from Britain to America, Dan explores how they voyaged thousands of miles when most ships never left the shoreline. He also tracks their expansion west, first as raiders and then as settlers and traders throughout Britain and beyond to Iceland and Greenland. In North America they excavate what could be the most westerly Viking settlement ever discovered.
Deep in the Andean mountains lays a mysterious ruin named Machu Picchu. For 400 years it sat abandoned on its misty cliff, the quintessential lost city in the jungle. Rediscovered in 1911, it contained no written records or carvings, nothing that could shed light on its history. For a century since, it has defied the endless scores of visitors and scientists who attempted to understand its purpose. Who were the mysterious people who built it and why did they build it here? Today an international team of archaeologists, engineers and scientists are finally piecing together the clues. Together they are discovering astonishing new burials, revealing the intricacies of its ingenious engineering and finally decoding the secrets of Machu Picchu.
Dr. Thomas Asbridge introduces the epic story of the Crusades – a tale of religious fanaticism and unspeakable brutality, of medieval knights and Jihadi warriors; of castles and kings; of heroism, betrayal, and sacrifice. He explains how, using fresh evidence, eye-witness testimonies and contemporary accounts – from both the Christian and Islamic worlds – we are able to re-examine this epic medieval drama, and how he has retraced the steps of the Crusaders from a small town in France to the magnificent cities of the Holy Land, bringing to life the human experience of the Crusades, and shedding new light on how it was that two of the world’s great religions waged war in the name of God.
Category:History Duration:58:25 Series: The Crusades
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