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 1 Building the Dream – The procession was led by the great Roman Emperor, Constantine. And he brought with him a bunch of priests, pagan and Christian ones, and they were all holding an incredible collection of relics. At the exact moment prescribed by astrologers and Constantine renamed the city Constantinople and claimed it as the capital of his grand new empire.
Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and manmade wonders. The hit series goes deep to explore the leading edge of human inspiration and ambition. Episode Eiffel Tower – When it was built over a century ago the Eiffel Tower provoked widespread outrage among some of France’s most prominent citizens of the day. This documentary brings the captivating story behind one of the most recognizable engineering marvels of the late nineteenth century. It is a monumental tale of the technological challenges and architectural breakthroughs brought about by the construction of this preeminent hallmark of the City of Lights.
What would happen on Earth if suddenly every human being on the planet vanished? This documentary from National Geographic explores how nature would establish a new equilibrium in the absence of human influence. Aftermath features what scientists and others speculate the earth, animal life, and plant life might be like if humanity no longer existed, as well as the effect that humanity’s disappearance would have on the artifacts of civilization. Based on book The World Without Us.
For 1500 years the dome atop Haiga Sophia has soared above instanbul. That this wonder of the ancient world still stands is remarkable, but when you consider where it stands it becomes miraculous. At the intersection of two contents is Turkey. Istanbul, once the ancient city of Constantinople, is at ground zero in one of the nmost deadly earthquake zones on earth. Since the beginning of recorded history, 4000 years ago, the city has been periodically hit by a series of massive earthquakes. But while buildings around it have toppled, Haiga Sophia and it’s amazing dome have survived 15 centuries of devastation. Is this by chance or by design. Dr. Amit Chakma of Princeton University is searching every inch of the structure seeking to answer that question.
For hundreds of years, the world has watched in amazement as the building defies gravity, teetering on a razor’s edge. It really is quite miraculous that it has not fallen over. And thank goodness it hasn’t. If the Tower were to fall no one would feel it more than the people of Pisa. For 800 years architects and engineers have been trying to fix the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Nearly every attempt has been disastrous. It’s lean is so extreme that the Italian government has closed it to avoid a potential disaster. It’s been more than ten years since anyone has walked up its marble stairway. Take a behind the scenes look inside the Tower that’s been locked off to the public for so long and climb to the top for a rare view of its breathtaking vistas. Examine the bizarre history of the 800 year effort to save the Tower and the current plan that some believe just may make the Tower safe forever, that is if it doesn’t destroy it first.
It is unique in the Roman World. A spectacular and complex stone barrier measuring 74 miles long, and up to 15 feet high and 10 feet thick. For 300 years Hadrian’s Wall stood as the Roman Empire’s most imposing frontier and one of the unsung wonders of the ancient world. Almost 2,000 years after it was built, Hadrian’s Wall is proving to be a magical time capsule – a window into the human past. Archaeologists have properly excavated less than 1per cent of it, but they have unearthed extraordinary findings. With presenter Julian Richards Timewatch journeys back through time to unlock the secrets of a lost world.
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.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History’s Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Siege of Constantinople – 1453 AD In 1204 crusaders sacked the city, then renamed Constantinople. For the next thousand years, the Byzantine Kings hid safely behind the massive walls of Constantinople. Then in 1453, with the Turkish Ottoman Empire encircling the city, Sultan Mehmet brought the newest technology of the 15th century, the cannon, and finally brought down the walls of the world’s most impregnable fortress.
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 4 The Sewer King – In the summer of 1858 London was in the grip of a crisis known as the Great Stink. The population had grown rapidly during the first half of the 19th century, yet there had been no provision for sanitation. Three epidemics of cholera had swept through the city, leaving over 30,000 people dead. And sewage was everywhere.
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.
Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and manmade wonders. The hit series goes deep to explore the leading edge of human inspiration and ambition. Episode The Berlin Wall – During the Cold War, the Berlin Wall stood as a forbidding barrier in an embattled world. The Wall system stretched 103 miles through and around Berlin, locking in 1.3 million people. 261 died trying to get over, under, around, and through it.
You’ll find it in the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, the stately U.S. Supreme Court building, New York City’s legendary skyline and the vivid memories of thousands of steelworkers. Bethlehem Steel, The People Who Built America chronicles more than one hundred forty years of this once colossal company’s rich history as seen through the eyes of those who made steel. During the twentieth century in the industrial eastern Pennsylvania city of Bethlehem, generations of immigrant families labored at what they called “The Steel”. The mammoth plant offered decent paying jobs and provided workers and their families with a good quality of life. But changes in technology, the market, and controversial executive decisions proved too much for Bethlehem Steel. In 1998 the company completely closed its original South Bethlehem plant leaving the community stunned. But the demise of Bethlehm Steel gave way to a growing and changing new community – a city that lent its name to the once powerful company which helped change American life in the 20th century.
Angkor Wat, one of the wonders of the ancient world rises from the Cambodian jungle. The magnificent temples and gigantic reservoirs built by the Khmer empire have long mystified scientists. What was the purpose behind the vast water system? 25 years of war and killing fields isolated Angkor from the outside world. Archaeologists are turning to a technological breakthrough to solve the mysteries of the ancients. Astonishing views from the space shuttle high tech radar are giving scientists a revolutionary new look at Angkor and changing old ideas about the mysterious temples. Who where the Khmer? How did they eek a living out of this harsh realm. How did they manage to create a city of such splendor and scale.
At the time of Queen Victoria’s birth in 1819, England was an agrarian society. Within a few short decades it would be transformed into an industrial superpower, with an empire spanning the globe. Queen Victoria’s Empire is both the story of this remarkable time, and an engaging portrait of a Queen who ruled over a one-fifth of the world’s population. Personal accounts, lush reenactments, and evocative cinematography from former outposts of the Empire recount the dramatic clash of personalities and cultures that would drive Victoria’s remarkable 64 year reign. Episode 1 Engines of Change – Explores the changes brought to Britain by the industrial revolution. By the 1840s, urban migration has created overcrowding and extremes in pollution and poverty. However, British subjects remain loyal to their Queen. Prince Albert, Victoria’s husband, becomes a guiding force in the monarchy. Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, political stars with starkly contrasting visions of empire, turn the nation’s attention abroad.
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.
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 Petra – a precious stone, lost in the Arabian desert, one of the most mysterious of ancient cities. At the entrance to the city rises a masterpiece of architecture El Hazne. Today researchers are still stunning architectural monuments behind El Hazne and traces of the people of the desert, created the city.
Documentary series which unearths lost civilizations and reveals the wonder of some of the world’s greatest lost cities The Dark Lords of Hattusha – Profile of the ancient Hittite civilization, looking at what archaeologists found when they uncovered the lost capital of Hattusha, including temples, palaces and a pyramid like structure facing Egypt. The historians also discovered a library, charting the rise and fall of the empire, which vanished 3,000 years ago. Last in series The story of the formidable Hittites and the rediscovery of their capital, Hattusha.
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 5 The Panama Canal – Having completed the building of the Suez Canal in 1869, a Frenchman, Vicomte Ferdinand de Lesseps, dreamed of an even bolder scheme: the Panama Canal. Making the world itself would seem a smaller place. Once out in the tropical heat of Panama, however, the French found themselves facing impenetrable jungle, dangerous mudslides and deathly tropical diseases, as the project proved to be an undertaking of nightmare proportions. The extravagant dream eventually came true, but in the process it stole over 25,000 lives, and 25 years had to elapse before the oceans were finally united.
Presented by Marc Morris an exciting, eye opening tour around Britain exploring the age of the medieval castle. Covering a period of six hundred years of British history, Marc charts the evolution of the medieval castle, from the primitive earth and timber “motte and bailey” castles to the formidable stone structures which still dominate the land today. Episode 1 – Medieval historian Marc Morris travels the length of Britain to tell the story of the nation’s castles, consulting the Bayeux Tapestry and archaeological evidence to discover how they evolved over a 600 year period, and revealing that the traditional motte and bailey style constructions were actually of foreign invention, developed by William the Conqueror.
Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and manmade wonders. The hit series goes deep to explore the leading edge of human inspiration and ambition. Episode The Golden Gate Bridge – The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the foremost man, made tourist attractions in the United States. But at one time, critics said it could never be built. From the start, the project looked impossible. Yet engineer Joseph B. Strauss’ plans proved to be a masterpiece of design and function. In four years, the longest, highest, most spectacular suspension bridge on earth opened to the public, and became one of the greatest symbols of American ingenuity.
Documentary of an underwater archeological expedition led by French explorer Franck Goddio that explores the sunken ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt, where Cleopatra made her home over 2,000 years ago. The underwater exploration team uses advanced scientific methods to locate the remains of Cleopatra’s sunken palace as well as the entire submerged Royal Quarters in the harbor of modern Alexandria. Also uses reenactments, computer graphics and animation to present a picture of Cleopatra’s life in ancient 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.
How did a rehearsal for D-Day on a sleepy stretch of the Devon coast turn into a bloodbath resulting in the death of hundreds of Allied soldiers? “Exercise Tiger” was the Allies’ worst training disaster of the 20th century – a combination of allied incompetence and enemy infiltration that was hushed up until 1984. Survivor and eye-witness accounts, top-secret documents, film archive and findings from underwater excavations help to reveal the secrecy and conflicting evidence that persists to this day.
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 St Pauls Cathedral – In 1666, in London, thousands of people fleeing the fire, devouring the great cathedral. Fire destroys this monumental architecture. But the new miracle of architecture rises from the ashes and will rise above one of the richest cities in the world.
Dig into the sands of time with this exploration into lost civilizations. Scientists, archaeologists, and historians alike search for evidence of cities that may have forever been lost to time. Some are ancient while some are surprisingly recent. Extensive archaeological research and cutting edge visual technology come together in this series that aims to bring ancient cultures and civilizations to new life on screen. Episode 6 Athens Ancient Supercity – In the 5th century B.C., one man led his city to greatness and paved the way for western civilization. The city was Athens and Pericles was not a king or prince, but an elected ruler. He directed the most costly and ambitious construction campaign undertaken in the western world, creating a model city of temples, houses, market places, civic buildings, and a highly innovative sanitation system. Despite Athens’ extraordinary influence and importance, Pericles’ plan led to his, and the city’s, downfall.