How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifacts, a series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general. Episode 1 A Brush with Wisdom – Enter the hidden world of Chinese painting. In China, they say to understand painting you need to understand calligraphy – the art of writing Chinese characters with a brush.
In 1570 BC, Rome was no more than a soggy marsh and the Acropolis was just an empty rock, but Egypt was already 1,000 years old, awaiting its New Kingdom, an empire forged by conquest and remembered for eons. The sophisticated, civilized society that we call the New Kingdom was led by a remarkable succession of kings. Between them, they liberated their country, conquered their neighbors and built. Episode 3 The Last Great Pharaoh – The reign of Ramesses II , known as Ramesses the Great, marked the high point of the New Kingdom and the high point of Egyptian culture. But like any highpoint, it was all downhill as the New Kingdom gradually fell into ruin.
Winding roughly 6,700 kilometers through undulating mountains, grasslands, and desert, its vastness seems beyond the realm of human possibility. A wonder of the ancient world, the Great Wall of China is one of mankind’s most massive building achievements. Yet contrary to popular belief, there is no single wall of China, but rather a series of walls built for different reasons at different times. Modern Marvels series embarks on a journey of discovery, investigating the mysterious history surrounding this cultural marvel. Historians and modern engineers discuss the planning, construction, and function of various segments while extensive location footage illuminates the stunning majesty of its architecture. Legend claims that the wall is a wellspring of warfare, madness, and death, can this be true? From ancient China onwards, this documentary explores the incredible history of The Great Wall of China.
2012 The Final Prophecy What if the Maya were right about the end of humanity as we know it? Would fire pour from the sky, buildings shatter, floods destroy Washington DC and Los Angeles slide into the Pacific? That’s how Hollywood has interpreted December 21, 2012, in the movie 2012 with John Cusack. The Maya believed that everything including creation and destruction occurred in cycles. Some believe the end of the current cycle on December 21, 2012, is an apocalyptic sign. And those who see a connection between the complex and incredibly accurate Maya calendar and a prophecy that the world will end in 2012 point to an unexpected discovery made in 2003. This captivating documentary looks for the truth behind the compelling myth is there evidence of global upheaval on a massive scale? We follow scientist Adam Maloof to three continents on a detective story that spans eons, with clues embedded in the oldest rocks on the planet.
Since the invasion of Tibet over 50 years ago, China has systematically destroyed the Tibetan culture. One of the most profound losses is the tradition of the great master yogis. The entire system which supported these fascinating mind masters has been inexorably eliminated. In order to record these mystical practitioners for posterity, the filmmakers were given permission to film heretofore secret demonstrations and to conduct interviews on subject matter rarely discussed. This profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners.
Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, first hand accounts and theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago? Episode 6 Aliens and Ancient Engineers – Might the tools and technology of ancient builders have come from distant galaxies? If the ancient builders did use advanced technology, could it prove that aliens visited Earth thousands of years ago?
For more than 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the eye of the entire world – the origin of great literature, fine art and modern government. Heir to Greece and Rome, it was the first Christian empire, spanning 11 centuries and three continents. In the end, plundered and sacked by invaders, Byzantium nearly became extinct. Episode 2 Heaven on Earth – You can’t have Jesus king of the world unless he looks like a king. Christians zre getting their iconography from – straight from the pagan faith. But When Christianity took over the Roman Empire, it attacked and swept away all these signs. Now these signs were as old as man himself, and Christianity was pretty poorly supplied with alternatives. After all, it was a language of books and words. But unless it was to fail, it had to develop and develop quickly a whole new set of images for the world.
Michael Wood goes in search of four of the world’s most famous myths. These gripping adventures take the viewer to some of the most extraordinary places on earth, exploring stories that have captivated the world for thousands of years. The Search for Shangri-La – Wood’s search for Shangri-La takes him on a thrilling trek through India, Nepal and Tibet. The tale of the magical hidden valley of Shangri-La was popularized in the 1930s by James Hilton in his novel, Lost Horizon. But, the story of a lost kingdom behind the Himalayas free from war and suffering is descended from a much older Indian myth. When Europeans first caught wind of the tale back in the 16th Century, they set about trying to discover it. To find the truth behind the legend, Michael follows their track on foot through the Maoist controlled lands of Western Nepal and then on into Tibet. On the way he visits Mount Kailash
After thousands of years of debate and question this series explores many of the greatest tales of Scripture. Filmed on location throughout the Holy Land and utilizing modern scientific techniques and newly found archaeological discoveries Mysteries of the Bible reveals surprising facts and theories behind the legendary figures and fabled stories of the Bible. The acclaimed A and E series Mysteries of the Bible provide a wealth of astonishing discoveries and unforgettable revelations. Episode Love and Sex in the Hebrew Bible – On the sixth day of Creation, God pronounced the sexual union between husband and wife “very good”. The Hebrew Bible is rich in stories of love and marriage, as well as rape, prostitution, adultery, and polygamy.
The archaeology is naked. The archaeologist is clothed. The Naked Archaeologist hosted and prepared by the Emmy Award winning journalist, amateur archaeologist, and enthusiast Simcha Jacobovici together with Avri Gilad. The naked archaeologist is an entertaining and eye opening journey into the fascinating archaeology of the ancient world. This is not meant to be an exhaustive presentation of all sides of often controversial topics, instead it is an accessible history, science, and archaeology series meant to spark interest that viewers can explore further on their own. Season 1 2005 Episode 24 Who Wrote the Bible? – The Bible is made up of dozens of books, but tradition has it that the first five books were dictated to Moses, by God. But could Moses have really written down the words that God spoke, including the Ten Commandments? The Bible says that millions of people witnessed this event – but what does archaeology say?
A man thinks he knows the location of the biblical ark. 3000 years ago in the holy city of Jerusalem King Solomon ordered the construction of a magnificent temple. Its purpose was to house one of the holiest objects of the old testament faith. A golden chest known as the ark of the covenant and the stones upon which the 10 commandments were reportedly engraved. According to the Bible these stones had unimaginable supernatural powers. For centuries the stones lay safe inside Solomons temple but then the chest and the stone tablets disappear from history. What happened to the chest and the stones is one of the greatest Mysteries of the Bible. Now one man thinks he knows where the stones are this is his story
Over 2000 years ago the now stark sprawling ruin of Alexandria, Egypt was probably the most important center for learning in the world. The seeds of the west’s present day culture were sewn in it’s old gallery rooms. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the library at Alexandria is that it lasted for over 6 centuries and yet ruins may be all that remains. Founding of the Library at Alexandria has been called the beginning of modern history. More than just a library, it was the first world research center. For hundreds of years Alexandria invited dignitaries from around the world to study in it’s library halls Resident scholars could live, eat learn and work with visitors who brought important new information to Alexandria.
Egypt is the title of a BBC television drama serial about various archaeological discoveries taking place in that country’s history, with the occasional “flashback” scene involving actors portraying the ancient Egyptians themselves. Episode 3 The Pharaoh and the Showman – A dissatisfied Belzoni leaves England with his wife, Sarah, and servant, James Curtin, to see the world. Belzoni is hired to recover the massive Head of Memnon, later revealed to be a statue of the Pharaoh Ramesses the Great, as a gift for the British Museum.
As the world approaches the 21st century, this new series hosted by Michael Woods and produced in 1991, reminds us that other nations and cultures prospered for hundreds or even thousands of years. Now all that remains is the legacy of their civilizations, present and influential in our own. Shot on location on four continents, Legacy takes a different viewpoint from other series that concentrate primarily on the the Western view of history. Visiting China, India, Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Meso-America, this series traces the rise of both Asian and western civilization. Iraq The Cradle of Civilization – After thousands of years as a hunter/gatherer, man built the first cities 5,000 years ago on the banks of the Euphrates in Southern Iraq. Civilization began. City life transformed the human race with the glorious cultures of Mesopotamia such as Ur and Babylon.
It is 114 B.C. and the Republic of Rome is a small empire clinging to the rim of the Mediterranean. Suddenly, terror grips the Romans as the first barbarian attack smashes through the imperial boarder, paving the way for what would become one of the most tumultuous eras in the history of mankind. Filled with dramatic re-enactments and action packed battle scenes, Rome Rise and Fall of an Empire chronicles the dramatic story of one of history’s greatest empires from its first major battle to its remarkable military feats and through its eventual fall. This is the History Channel series, not BBC. Rebellion and Betrayal – It is 162 AD. Marcus Aurelius inherits the empire at its peak. Peace and prosperity have reigned for a hundred years, and the imperial boundaries stretch from the Irish Sea to the sands of Syria. But the greater Rome grows, the bigger a target she becomes. War breaks out on two fronts – in the east and in the north – just as plague takes a terrible toll on the Empire’s population. Marcus Aurelius would rather stay home and write about philosophy, but duty dictates that he save the empire. His German wars are a prolonged, bloody quagmire that seem to stretch on without end.
Time Life’s Lost Civilizations combines cutting edge digital effects technology (for 1995) with powerful dramatization. Dazzling spectacles re-create rituals and events, original location cinematography in 25 countries. Computer graphics make lost worlds live again! Episode 2 Ancient Egypt Quest For Immortality – Discover the enduring legacy of the pharaohs in the magnificent riches of their tombs and among the fragile relics of their mummies. Explore the ancient Egyptians’ fascination with death and their quest for immortality.
The region now known as Iraq has always been, in many ways, world history’s ground zero. From this rich territory sprang the earliest cities and empires, earliest armies, and earliest tyrants. The Kings From Babylon To Baghdad tells the story of Iraq through the history of its rulers, from Sargon the Great to Saddam Hussein. This feature length documentary explores the connections and relevance between ancient and modern Iraq and between Iraq and the rest of the planet.
How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? Why did the ferocious warriors of Mongolia wear silk underwear? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifacts, a series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general. Episode 2 Sacred Spaces – Chinese buildings evolved from simple shelters into complex, magnificent structures with great, swooping roofs, stately columns, and rich detail. And to start this story at the beginning, we have to leap back two millennia, to when the brilliant tyrant Qin Shihuang becomes the first emperor of a unified China.
They were skilful administrators, the first global players who guaranteed the uninterrupted exchange of goods and ideas between the Orient and the West for nearly 200 years. They were also far-sighted, bringing merchants, traders and settlers with extensive agricultural know-how to their lands. Only after the collapse of Mongol influence in the mid-14th century did routes to the Far East become unsafe. Episode1 The Empire of Genghis Khan – This program focuses on the life of Genghis Khan how he was raised, how he united the Mongols and how he conquered lands ranging from northern China to the fringes of Europe.
Mysteries of Asia, produced for The Learning Channel, explores historical fact and theory surrounding some of the oldest structures in Asia. New footage of the areas under examination is complemented by film clips and animated maps, narrated by Michael Bell. Episode Jewels in the Jungle – The ancient Khmer temples of Cambodia, much of whose history is undocumented. This program examines the unusual mix of Hindu and Buddhist religious figures among the temples and gates built by the Khmer, and examines the walled city of Angkor in some detail. Cambodia’s bloody recent history under Pol Pot is also discussed, and the program celebrates the survival of the ancient dances of Angkor, the only remaining cultural link to the distant past.
In the series, nova crews attempt to ferret out long forgotten secrets of early architects and engineers. How did they design and erect the medieval war machines known as trebuchets? Egyptian obelisks? The Easter Island stone monoliths called moais? Roman baths? The rainbow bridges of ancient China? China Bridge – The ancient Chinese relied on bamboo, one of nature’s most versatile building materials, to lash together their famous rainbow bridges. In this section, learn more about this amazing plant and about China’s most noteworthy inventions, including paper money, gunpowder, and the compass. Also, play an interactive game that challenges you to use the right bridge type to span a span.
Michael Wood travels through Syria and Iraq to uncover the story of Alexander the Great’s decisive battle against the might of the Persian Empire in 331 B.C.. Ancient writers agreed that it was fought somewhere near the city of Irbil in northern Iraq, but the exact location has never been discovered. Using dramatic new finds in the UK a cuneiform clay tablet in the British Museum and a papyrus dug up in Egypt Michael sheds new light on the course of events.
Throughout the ages, civilizations have risen up and then disappeared. Traditionally, the disappearance of certain ancient civilizations has been left to the theologians and historians to explain. Now scientists have entered the fray. In this series geologists, archaeologists and climatologists explain their findings. Ancient Apocalypse seeks to explain how human achievements were destroyed by the forces of nature. Episode Death on the Nile – Professor Fekri Hassan attempts to determine why the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the civilization of the great pyramids, collapsed around 2200 B.C.. Can science show that terrible forces of nature were to blame?
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered. Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of the Spanish adventures. The Fall of the Aztecs – Hernan Cortes left Cuba in 1519 seeking riches in the island to the west. Instead he discovered, and ultimately destroyed, a hitherto unknown civilization. Spanish eyewitness accounts that describe the conquistadors’ awe at the Aztec achievements and the lust for native treasure. Learn the Aztec side through pictographs that tell of the agonizing fall of the empire.