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Mystery of the Black Mirror

   2021    History
The Obsidian Mirror is a mysterious artefact crafted from volcanic rock, and it's said to be a device used to communicate with supernatural beings; experts use cutting-edge tech to discover who made this strange relic and why.
A golden disc can answer the biggest mystery of all: Are we alone in the universe? The Voynich manuscript is one enormous puzzle. What secrets are hidden in this bizarre 600 year old book that nobody can read?
Series: Strangest Things

The Secret File of Marco Polo

   2018    Historia
Did Marco Polo, the most illustrious traveller in history, ever go to China? To this day doubt lingers, among some scholars, as to whether the Venetian’s book is a personal account of China’s 13th-century Middle Kingdom and its marvels. Scientists, western scholars and Chinese historians have uncovered striking new evidence that the son of Venetian merchants actually had been to China. Explore the mysteries of the historical figure in this featured documentary.

The Story of German Beer

   2021    Technology
Beer, as popular today as ever. Beer, an ever present in changing times. German beer, protected for 500 years, it's a mark of quality and an export success the world over. This documentary looks at the history of beer starting with the Sumerians, who invented it 5.000 years ago, to the Middle Ages and to the new trend of the future: craft beer. Prost!

Out of the Darkness

       History
The third assault on the tattered remains of Roman civilization came from even further North, where the melting glacial ice had created immense sheltered fjords, leaving its inhabitants little choice but the sea. These fearless navigators understood that dominion over the oceans was the key to their ambitions.
Where the Romans expanded incrementally, the Vikings adopted a bolder, more aggressive approach. So was it the Dark Age which failed Europe, or the stifling uniformity of the great Roman experiment? Were the lost tribes more victim than failure? Richard Rudgley will hope to shed new light on the real secrets of the so-called Dark Age.
Series: Barbarians: Secrets of the Dark Ages

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

   2016    History
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Cosmos: Possible Worlds

   2020    Science
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Clash of the Gods
Clash of the Gods

   2009    History
Engineering the Future
Engineering the Future

   2020    Technology