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The Lost Pyramids of Caral

   2002    History
The magnificent ancient city of pyramids at Caral in Peru is a thousand years older than the earliest known civilisation in the Americas and, at 2,627 BC, is as old as the pyramids of Egypt. Many now believe it is the fabled missing link of archaeology - a 'mother city'. If so, then these extraordinary findings could finally answer one of the great questions of archaeology: why did humans become civilised?" For over a century, archaeologists have been searching for what they call a mother city. Civilisation began in only six areas of the world: Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Peru and Central America. In each of these regions people moved from small family units to build cities of thousands of people. They crossed the historic divide, one of the great moments in human history. Why? To find the answer archaeologists needed to find a mother city - the first stage of city-building. Caral, is so much older than anything else in South America that it is a clear candidate to be the mother city. It also is in pristine condition. Nothing has been built on it at all. Instead laid out before the world is an elaborate complex of pyramids, temples, an amphitheatre and ordinary houses. Scientists developed a number of theories. Some said it was because of the development of trade, others that it was irrigation. Some even today believe it was all because of aliens. Gradually an uneasy consensus emerged. The key force common to all civilisations was warfare. Crucially, there is not the faintest trace of warfare at Caral; no battlements, no weapons, no mutilated bodies. Instead, Ruth's findings suggest it was a gentle society, built on commerce and pleasure. In one of the pyramids they uncovered beautiful flutes made from condor and pelican bones. They have also found evidence of a culture that took drugs and perhaps aphrodisiacs. Most stunning of all, they have found the remains of a baby, lovingly wrapped and buried with a precious necklace made of stone beads.

Himalaya with Michael Palin: North by Northwest

   2004    Culture
Intrepid adventurer Michael Palin travels through Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, starting on the Khyber Pass and ending five miles from K2 on the Pakistan/China border. He passes through Darra, visits a street dentist in Peshawar, goes bull racing with a Pakistani aristocrat and is almost trampled to death, and finally crosses over the Lowari Pass into the buffer state of Chitral.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin

Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie

   1995    Technology
An unsettling yet visually fascinating documentary presenting the history of nuclear weapons development and testing between 1945 until 1963. Narrated by William Shatner, features extremely rare film segments from top secret government archives and startling footage of nuclear bomb tests conducted by Great Britain and China, plus the largest atomic explosion ever created by Russia, and de-classified U.S. footage released to the public as recent as May, 2006. Whether being exploded under the ocean, suspended by a balloon, shot from a cannon or even detonated in space, these weapons are capable of devastating destruction - the quality of these images is as startling as are remarkable.

Fire

   2010    Culture
Iain explores man's relationship with fire. He begins by embarking on an extraordinary encounter with this terrifying force of nature - a walk right through the heart of a raging fire. Fire has long been our main source of energy and Iain shows how this meant that the planet played a crucial role in Britain's industrial revolution, whilst holding China's development back. Along the way he dives in a mysterious lake in Oregon, climbs a glacier of salt, crawls through an extraordinary cave in Iran and takes a therapeutic bath in crude oil.
Series: How Earth Made Us

Leaping Tigers Naked Nagas

   2004    Culture
Following the Yangtze along Tiger Leaping Gorge into Yunnan in China, Palin reaches the easternmost end of the Himalayas. He gets a medical check-up before exploring medieval Lijiang with the director of the local orchestra. Heading over Myanmar to Nagaland in India he rides the steam train to Tipong Coalmine. In Assam he rides an elephant and then stays in a strange monastery.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History
Mind Field Season 1
Mind Field Season 1

   2017    Medicine
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
Science and Islam
Science and Islam

   2017    History
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
Oceans
Oceans

   2009    Nature
Senna
Senna

   2010    Culture