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From Pictures to Words
We take it for granted, but every time we pick up a pen or type on the keyboard, we are employing the most powerful technology ever invented: the technology of writing. Explore how the invention of writing gave humanity a history. From hieroglyphs to emojis, the series is an exploration of the way in which the technology of writing has shaped the world we live in.
The invention of writing about 5,000 years ago made civilization itself possible, and every innovation of the modern world is based on the foundation of the written word. But how and where did writing begin, and who began it? In From Pictures to Words, the first of three films about the history of writing, we uncover the hidden links between all the diverse writing systems in use today and trace the origin of our own alphabet to a turquoise mine in the Sinai Desert and a man riding a donkey whose name was Khebded.
The Secret History of Writing
First Horse Warriors
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.
Siege of Masada
It's known as the Alamo of the ancient world, the story of a band of Jewish rebels and their final stand against the Roman Army. The siege of Masada, recorded nearly 2,000 years ago by Jewish military leader Flavius Josephus, is more than a tale of resistance against impossible odds. It's part of the founding narrative of Israel. But how much of it is true?
We take a look at the events that inspired the CBS television miniseries 'The Dovekeepers' and go to the site of the mountain fortress itself, uncovering new truths about this epic conflict.
A team of Australian and Chinese scientists discover mysterious ancient human remains from a remote cave in South West China. The bones are unlike any living human or any ancient human known to science, yet they were alive at the same time as humans of our own kind. Could they represent a new human species? And if so, what happened to these people?
Stonehenge is an icon of prehistoric British culture, an enigma that has seduced archaeologists and tourists for centuries. Why is it here? What is its significance? And which forces inspired its creators? Now a group of international archaeologists led by the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzman Institute in Vienna believe that a new state-of-the-art approach is the key to unlocking Stonehenge's secrets. For four years the team have surveyed and mapped every monument, both visible and invisible, across ten square kilometres of the sacred landscape to create the most complete digital picture of Stonehenge and the surrounding area over millennia. Known monuments have yielded more data than ever before, revealing hidden structures within, and new finds are revolutionising the very timeline of Stonehenge. The film takes the viewer on a prehistoric journey from 8000 BC to 2500 BC as the scientists uncover the very origins of Stonehenge, learning why this landscape is sacred, preserved and has been revered by following generations. Evidence of war and conflict, as well as the cultivation of ideas and industry, is explored to reveal complex communities with international trade links as far-reaching as Spain and central Europe.
George Harrison Living in the Material World
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The Secret History of Writing
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