Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Machu Picchu – Rediscovered only 100 years ago, Machu Picchu remains today one the most awe inspiring and mysterious monuments in the world. On the distant mountain range, located high in the Peruvian Andes, are the ruins of the ancient city. 600 years they stood under the onslaught of torrential rains and mudslides.
Documentary series about the hopes and dreams of a group of children at three schools in rural China, it takes as its subject one small town in rural Anhui, and focuses on their lives during the course of a single academic year. The schools are schools like many thousands of others across this vast nation, but through the individual stories of hardship, joy and success, an extraordinary portrait emerges, not just of a group of children and a town, but of a side of the Chinese nation seldom seen. Episode 1 The Year of the Golden Pig – The children and teachers of the rural town of Xiuning are about to welcome you into their lives, and reveal a place full of vitality, challenges and great humour. Chinese School discovers just what makes Chinese people tick, what they dream of and what gets a laugh. This is China as the Chinese know it and as the West has never seen it.
Discover the science of the frozen past. Archaeologiests use the latest technology to discover the lives of our human ancestors through their frozen remains. These people were no differrent than you and I biologically. They had the same level of intelligence, and were capable of the same emotions, but they lived in a different time and place. Their values, ideas and technology is explored through the frozen remains of their dead. Episode 1 The Ice Maiden – As the solid block of ice began to melt, the team of archaeologists gazed on the body of a young woman buried more than 2,500 years before. Lying around the Ice Maiden’s ceremonial tomb, were six of her horses especially sacrificed for the occasion. The Ice Maiden had been laid to rest in the “Pastures of Heaven” high in the Altai mountains of Siberia.
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.
The idea that an event of cataclysmic proportions shrouded the Earth’s atmosphere, darkening the sky and plunging its inhabitants into a massive crisis, is familiar to anyone who’s read about the dinosaurs. But what if a similar event happened to humans? And what if recorded history around the world indicates a precise time when this disaster struck? This fascinating documentary tackles the premise that scribes in civilizations as far apart as Ireland and China all recorded a darkening of the sky and a drop in temperatures about the year A.D. 535. Episode 2 How The World Changed – 535 A.D. has come and gone the world has been hit by a catastrophe. Now comes bizarre weather, the sun is darkened, skies are turbulent, rain is red and snow falls yellow. There is frost and famine. Seasons are blurred. In some places great drought destroys the land. In others floods bring chaos. The world will never be the same. The theory belongs to David Keys. With dogged detective work he has pieced together the story of an ancient catastrophe.
We are in the midst of the greatest era of space discovery. Twenty first century spacecraft and sophisticated imaging technology are venturing into uncharted territory every day, and much of the extraordinary phenomena are happening right in our own cosmic backyard. Episode 6 Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth – Don’t try this at home! In this episode, our experts cook up ten ways you could destroy the earth, including: swallowing it with a microscopic black hole; blowing it up with anti-matter; hurling it into the Sun, and switching off gravity. This is a fun way to explore the dangerous physics of the Universe and the properties of the planet we call home.
This is where it all began, Adam Hart-Davis first foray, directly inspired by the Monty Python sequence from “The Life of Brian”, where the People’s Front of Judea discuss “What have the Romans done for us?”, into how the foundations of modern society were laid by the surprising cultural and technological achievements of the Roman empires. This is the first series of “What The … Did For Us” hosted by Adam Hart-Davis. Episode 5 Edge of Empire – Hart-Davis visits Hadrian’s Wall and demonstrates how communications were the key to the success of the Roman military machine. Hadrian’s Wall marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire, and had defensive features such as milecastles and forts such as Housesteads. At supply depots such as Arbeia, Romans baked bread in open fires. The remains of a Roman fort and settlement, with full-scale reconstructed buildings and an excellent museum. Excavations are in progress. Many documents have been discovered at Vindolanda fort, such as postcards made out of thin wood veneer.
Clarissa Dickson-Wright tracks down Britain’s oldest known cookbook, King Richard II’s 700 year old scroll The Forme of Cury, and compares its contents with the way we eat today, as well as re-creating some of the dishes for a group of food and medieval history experts. Documentary in which self-confessed medieval foodie Clarissa Dickson Wright tracks down Britain’s oldest known cookbook The Forme of Cury, a 700 year old scroll written during the reign of King Richard II from recipes created by the king’s master chefs and wonders if this ancient manuscript may have influenced the way people eat today. On her culinary journey through medieval history she reawakens recipes that have lain dormant for centuries and discovers dishes that are still prepared now.
One August morning in 1826, two men went for a walk in the Scottish countryside, in a field just outside Kirkcaldy in southern Fife. Only one of them came back alive. Timewatch tells the story of two men who fought to the death with pistols, one a respected merchant, David Landale, a linen merchant and pillar of the community. The other was George Morgan, a soldier turned banker with a fiery temper, steeped in military tradition. The soldier also happened to be the merchant’s bank manager. It would end with the death of one man and mark the demise of a 600 year old ritual.
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 13 Victoria and Her Sisters – The changing role of women in the Victorian era, looking at the work of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, whose fiction highlighted the plight of needy factory workers. ground breaking efforts of doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, health campaigner Mary Seacole and political activists Harriet Stuart Mill and Annie Besant.
Ancient X Files travels around the world to solve some intriguing riddles. Each story is a piece of detective work by an expert trying to make sense of some puzzling ancient artifact, to find the truth behind some extraordinary legend, to discover the origins of a bizarre myth or to establish the authenticity of a venerated religious relic. Join intrepid investigators as they delve into some of mankind’s most enduring mysteries. Episode The Blood of Christ & The Phaistos – Less famous then the Shroud of Turin could the Shroud of Oviedo actually be Christ’s burial cloth? NGC traces the blood-stained relic to Israel in a quest to determine whether it holds Christ’s DNA. The Phaistos Disk is a curious archaeological find, most likely dating from about 1700 BC. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology.
Decoding the Past is a series that “decodes” the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Mysteries of the Garden of Eden – Representing the paradise lost to man because of his sins, the Garden of Eden’s location has remained lost, but new evidence suggests the mystery is coming closer to being solved.
Professor Aubrey Manning embarks on a series of journeys in which he tries to solve mysteries hidden in the landscape of the British Isles. Unpicking clues in the geology, natural history, and archaeology, Aubrey reveals how the land has come to look the way it does. Episode 5 The Tower People of Shetland – Aubrey travels to the most northerly territory in the British Isles , to Shetland, in a search for clues to the identity of the ancient people who lived in the Broch Towers there.
This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial duties, we get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 3 – Francis is back in Belfast to pick up an honorary degree at Queen’s, and work in the embassy steps up a gear when official confirmation arrives of the Pope’s plan to visit the UK in 2010.
This fascinating six program series takes a searching look at the public and private lives of the British Royal Family. The six programs offer a revealing insight into the world’s most famous family, looking at how the monarchy works, how it has evolved over the centuries and the challenges it faces in the present and in the future. Pomp And Popularity – The Queen is still cheered wherever she goes emphasizing the remarkable survival of the monarchy in britain while other countries have either lost their kings and queens or made them insignificant. This series looks at the monarchy at a time when the very public problems in the private lives of the royal family has fueled a new debate about the monarchy’s place in british society. But whatever it’s difficulties today history shows that the monarchy has managed to survive even greater crisis in the past.
In January 1945 Hitler engaged his new working office underground in the bunker, and since then he never no longer saw neither dawns nor sunsets nor solar rays. In the bunker he ate and slept, were carried out military meetings, there was married Eva Brown, and there he put an end to himself by five months later. Bunker still there, underground, but no one knows, where precisely it is located. This documentary completely reconstructed this construction with the aid of the remained plans and the maps, and shows the place, where Adolf Hitler spent his last hours.
Wild Russia is a landmark High Definition series charting a journey across this vast land that stretches from Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Covering 11 time zones, this huge country contains a wealth of unspoilt natural wildernesses beyond the huge cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, a primal world with rough mountain summits, wild rivers and an unmatched flora and fauna reveals itself. The Secret Forest – Visit the deep and enchanting Ussuriland forest, featuring an array of fascinating creatures including two rare and endangered species of cat.
The cities of the Maya were abandoned to the jungle 1000 years ago. They were rediscovered in the 19th century. Explorers came to try and learn what was here and what it meant. Now scholars are beginning to see the individuals involved, their names, the dates, their arrivals, all of this very specific information is now coming out through epigraphy, the study of hieroglyphics. The Maya ruins of the central american jungle are are full of hieroglyphs, but the missionaries of the Spanish conquest deliberately wiped out the memory of how to read these stones. The Maya kept calendars of immense complexity and accuracy. The view developed that these cities were centers of a wise and peaceful civilization that had a deep understanding of nature and the universe. But now we are learning the truth about the classic Maya cities, and the truth is that the Lords of the Maya set up a form of rule that destroyed human lives and even nature itself. This documentary charts the rise and fall of a specific Mayan Lord Yax K’uk’ Mo (pronounced yash-cook-moe), and through it the brutal world the Mayans lived in without passing judgment on the Mayans themselves.
The Mary Rose, built five centuries ago and named after the favourite sister of Henry VIII, was a forerunner of today’s battleships. A team of experts from the fields of shipbuilding, science, history and archaeology gather to study the evidence and try to pin down the reason for the disaster. Using a scaled down model of the Mary Rose, forensic scientists reconstruct the ship’s last voyage, and a tragic picture emerges of her final moments.In a cellar under a naval dockyard are some of the remains of an English warship that mysteriously sank in 1545 taking over 400 with her the reason the ship sank has never been fully explained over the centuries the french the crew and even the shipwrights have all been blamed for the catastrophe only now are archeologist and scientist beginning to come up with new evidence to explain one of the great disasters of sea warfare The sinking of the Mary Rose.
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 4 Underground Aliens – If extraterrestrials influenced human history, can evidence of their existence be found in hidden tunnels and caverns around the world? Could a cave in Ecuador contain metallic books inscribed with secrets of alien technology?
Graphic images contained in this program. Blood for the Gods is the Discovery Channel documentary series that looks at rituals of death and self mutilation throughout history. From fertility sacrifices to death rituals, these acts of mutilation and death were committed to gain favor with their gods. Through re-enactments, expert analysis and computer graphics, we see the stories behind the bloody acts, and learn why these cultures committed them. Episode 3 Human Sacrifice – For many cultures, human sacrifice was the only thing that would calm an angry, irrational and bloodthirsty god. From the sacrifice of Isaac in the Bible, to the terrifying Viking rite call “The Blood Eagle,” the gods often commanded blood for favors.
Series from Discovery Channel on earthquakes. Episode 2. Mexico City – The Aztecs believed the world would end by earthquake and fire. For a moment in 1985, it seemed they were right. Mexico City was struck by an earthquake both deadly and mystifying. How did people survive for nine days in the rubble? Learn how the largest urban center on the face of the earth was built in perhaps one of the worst places for earthquakes, and what happened in 1985 when one of the world’s strongest ever earthquakes rocked it seemingly to the ground.
The great cathedrals were the wonders of the medieval world. Many were the tallest structures on earth, the highest buildings created since the pyramids and until the Eiffel Tower, yet they were built without any of the technological aids of the modern world and with little more than set-squares and dividers, ropes and pulleys, hammers and chisels. The vision was to create a sense of heaven on earth and the medieval cathedral aspired to be nothing less than “the new Jerusalem”. Spectacular effects were achieved as this ambition was realised, leading to a revolution in design and a golden age for cathedral architecture in England. Who were the people who built them? What drove them? And just how were they able to build with such stupendous skill, vision and ambition? Architectural historian Jon Cannon, author of the recent, acclaimed Cathedral, goes in search of the clues that shed light on how our medieval forebears were able to realise such bold ambition. From the fan vaulting at Gloucester to the stained glass at York, from the solid mass of Norwich to the soaring elegance of the Octagon at Ely, Jon climbs up above the stone vaulted ceilings, along the parapets, through the roof voids and down into the crypts of the greatest cathedrals to find out how, and why, it was done.
Science fiction isn’t just for the movies! Cyborgs, shape shifting, the colonization of space and tons more really are possible. Dr. Kaku investigates the likelihood of popular sci-fi beliefs and ideas that currently seem beyond the realm of possibility, and shows us that these technologies could materialize sooner than we think. Featuring the latest research and most recent technologies, this series takes a look at things such as Lightsabers, Star Ships, Death Stars, and Warp Drives. Discover the science and realities behind these and other notions from the sci-fi world that are pushing the boundaries of technology and human ingenuity. Impossible? That’s what we said decades ago about man walking on the moon. Episode 2 How to Travel to a Parallel Universe – Dr. Kaku explores the idea of parallel universes.
A three part series from the Discovery civilization channel, all about the Tower of London. This is the story of the tower of London, past and present. With unique access to the tower, this series will unlock its private, as well as public life. Revealing the hidden history of well known stories, and uncovering forgotten tower secrets. More than anywhere else in Britain these building have stood at the heart of history for over 900 years. The truth of what happened here is still being discovered. From executions with block and axe, to spies shot in the first world war, it has prisoners as familiar is queen Elizabeth the first, and as recent as World War Two u-boat men. Episode 1 Fortress With unique access behind the walls and locked doors of the Tower of London, discover how it stayed at the cutting edge of military technology.