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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

The Lost Gardens of Babylon

   2014    History
Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Garden of Babylon is the most elusive of these constructions of classical antiquity. While traces have been found of the Great Pyramid of Gaza, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, centuries of digging have turned up nothing about the lost gardens of Babylon – until now.
Why, in the nearly 3,000 years since the gardens were presumably built, has no archeological evidence ever been found to support their existence? Is the Hanging Garden of Babylon a myth or a mystery to be solved?
Travel with Dr. Stephanie Dalley of Oxford University’s Oriental Institute and author of The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon, to one of the most dangerous places on earth, as she sets out to answer these questions and prove not only that the gardens did exist, but also identify where they most likely were located, describe what they looked like and explain how they were constructed.
Series: Secrets of the Dead

The Incredible Human Journey: Europe

   2009    History
When our species first arrived in Europe, the peak of the Ice Age was approaching and the continent was already crawling with a rival: stronger, at home in the cold and even (contrary to their popular image) brainier than us. So how did the European pioneers survive first the Neanderthals and then the deep freeze as they pushed across the continent? Alice Roberts reconstructs the head of the 'first European' to come face to face with one of our ancestors; she discovers how art became crucial for survival in the face of Neanderthal competition; and what happened to change the skin colour of these European pioneers from black to white.
Series: The Incredible Human Journey

Ancient Aliens Debunked: Nazca Lines

       History
The Nazca Lines of Peru have been an important part of the Ancient Astronaut theory since its beginning. Originally Von Daniken claimed that the lines were kind of a UFO runway, or a type of alien airport, where the alien craft landed and took off. The idea that it was an airport makes no logical sense, and the symbols and rituals which were a huge part of the Nazcan culture more than explain the so called Nazca lines.
Series: Ancient Aliens

Building the Great Pyramid

       History
The Great Pyramid of Giza's construction is still shrouded in mystery, despite it being the only survivor among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In Building the Great Pyramid, travel back 4,500 years with the BBC as they re-create the circumstances under which it may have been built, as well as the daily life of the population at that time. Expert archaeologists, Egyptologists, and scholars share their latest theories on what may have happened. The film combines dramatic reconstruction, location shooting and state-of-the-art CGI computer effects. Directed and written by Jonathan Stamp.
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
Life in the Undergrowth
Life in the Undergrowth

   2005    Nature
Chased by Sea Monsters
Chased by Sea Monsters

   2003    Science
Enemies of Reason
Enemies of Reason

      Medicine
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History
Dinosaur Planet
Dinosaur Planet

   2003    Science
The Secrets of Quantum Physics
The Secrets of Quantum Physics

   2014    Science