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The Story of China Ancestors

   2016    History
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
Series: The Story of China

First Horse Warriors

   2019    History
Horses. Powerful, graceful, and thunderously fast. No animal has made a greater impact on society or given humans more freedom and mobility. In a spectacular adventure, the film unlocks the mystery of the first horse warriors on the vast, grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where horses still roam free, and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life.
Investigating clues from archaeology and genetics, researchers reveal vivid evidence of the very first horsemen. They also discover warriors who swept across Europe and turn out to be the ancestors of millions today.

Machu Picchu Decoded

   2009    History
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.

Petra: Lost City of Stone

   2015    History
More than 2,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices from the Arabian Gulf. They carved spectacular temple-tombs into its soaring cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple at its heart, and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains, and pools. But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra's unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly a thousand years. Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone. Meanwhile, scientists using remote sensors and hydraulic flumes uncover the vast city and its sophisticated water system. The race is on to discover how these nomads created this oasis of culture in one of the harshest climates on Earth.

Iceman Reborn

   2016    History
He was stalked, attacked and left to die alone. Murdered more than 5,000 years ago, Ötzi the Iceman is Europe’s oldest known natural mummy. Miraculously preserved in glacial ice, his remarkably intact remains continue to provide scientists, historians, and archeologists with ground-breaking discoveries about a crucial time in human history.
How Art Made the World
How Art Made the World

   2006    Art
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
The Normans
The Normans

   2010    History
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands

   2017    Nature
The Story of the Jews
The Story of the Jews

   2013    History
Elvis Presley: The Searcher
Elvis Presley: The Searcher

   2018    History
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture