In the late 19th century, paleontologists Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh uncovered the remains of hundreds of prehistoric animals in the American West, including dozens of previously undiscovered dinosaur species. In the summer of 1868, paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh boarded a Union Pacific train for a sight-seeing excursion through the heart of the newly-opened American West. While most passengers simply saw magnificent landscapes, Marsh soon realized he was traveling through the greatest dinosaur burial ground of all time. Ruthless, jealous and insanely competitive, Marsh would wrestle over the discovery with the other leading paleontologist of his generation, Edward Drinker Cope. Over time, the two rivals would uncover the remains of dozens of prehistoric animals, including over 130 dinosaur species, collect thousands of specimens, provide ample evidence to prove Charles Darwin's hotly disputed theory of evolution and put American science on the world stage. But their professional rivalry eventually spiraled out of control. What began with denigrating comments in scientific publications led to espionage, the destruction of fossils and political maneuvering that ultimately left both men alone and almost penniless.
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. Search for Troy - 1873 A.D. Schliemann finds the site of Ancient Troy and the mythical past becomes scientific fact. Heinrich Schliemann was a German grocer's boy who had made a fortune in the gold fields of California and became an archaeologist.
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? Medieval Siege - In the Middle Ages, those who attacked castles used trebuchets, military engines capable of firing missiles with frightening force. In this section, view an actual trebuchet nova built, and construct and fire one of your own online. Also, find out what other weapons were used and what daily life was like in a medieval castle.
The world's largest democracy and a rising economic giant, India is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. But India is also the world's most ancient surviving civilization, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory. Like other great civilizations - Greece or Egypt for example, over the millennia it has enjoyed not just one but several brilliant golden ages in art and culture. Episode 1 Beginnings - Through ancient manuscripts and oral tales Wood charts the first human migrations out of Africa. He travels from the tropical backwaters of South India through lost ancient cities in Pakistan to the vibrant landscapes of the Ganges plain. Wood also attempts to re-create soma, an ancient drink recorded in the Rig Veda.
The world's largest democracy and a rising economic giant, India is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. But India is also the world's most ancient surviving civilization, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory. In this landmark six part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood will embark on a dazzling and exciting journey through today's India, seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for clues to her future. Episode 3 Spice Routes and Silk Roads - after the West's "discovery" and subsequent exploitation of the Monsoon winds, trading of spices and gold with the ancient Romans and Greeks put the subcontinent at the heart of global commerce. The trading of pepper, rice and silk put the West coast of India, and particularly modern day Kerala, on the map of global business. This episode also looks at how the invading Kushan empire from central Asia, particularly the emperor Kanishka, established major trading cities in Peshawar and Mathura, as well as helping to take Buddhism to China.
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.
This is the 6 episode BBC docudrama with voiceover, not the 13 episode History channel documentary with recreations. The rise and fall of Ancient Rome through six key turning points. Factually accurate and based on extensive historical research, it reveals how the greed, lust and ambition of men like Caesar, Nero and Constantine shaped the Roman Empire. CGI is mixed with compelling drama and spectacular live-action battles. Episode 5 Constantine - In Rome the tyrannical Maxentius consults the gods Jupiter, Apollo and Mars to be told that, the enemy of Rome will be defeated. After seeing what appears to be a sign from the Christian god on the eve of the attack, Constantine adopts a Christian symbol. Constantine defeats his opponent at the Battle of Chrysopolis and the empire is united under one Christian god at the Council of Nicea.
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 Great Wall of China - 221 B.C. To seal off his empire from marauders, Chin commanded the building of the Great Wall. Three hundred thousand were employed, and thousands, especially the scholars, died and were buried within the wall. Called "the world's longest graveyard", it was his greatest accomplishment and his greatest tragedy.
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.
Luxury isn't always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerful, it's always been much more and more important than that. The story of luxury is about an idea that touches on democracy and patriotism on social harmony and epic courage and even on the divine. Because it is so important there has always been more than one definition of what luxury actually is. One thing all can agree on is that luxury is a rare thing, it divides society into the haves and have nots. Host Cambridge University academic Dr Michael Scott asks the question "Do we love luxury or hate it or both?" He presents the view that the best way to understand today's anxious response toward luxury is to think about how it operated in the past and to understand how that past continues to impact society today. Episode Luxury in Ancient Greece - follows the debate about luxury which convulsed ancient Greece from the beginning of the classical era. In Athens, it explores the role of luxury in the beginnings of democracy - how certain kinds of luxury came to be forbidden and others embraced. A simple luxury like meat could unite the democracy, and yet a taste for fish could divide it. Some luxuries were associated with effeminacy and foreigners, others with the very idea of democracy.
It was perhaps the most spectacular flourishing of imagination and achievement in recorded history. In the Fourth and Fifth Centuries B.C., the Greeks built an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Asia to Spain. They laid the foundations of modern science, politics, warfare and philosophy, and architecture. This series, narrated by Liam Neeson, recounts the rise, glory, demise and legacy of the empire that marked the dawn of Western civilization. Told through the lives of heroes of ancient Greece. The latest advances in computer and television technology rebuild the Acropolis, recreate the Battle of Marathon and restore the grandeur of the Academy, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle forged the foundation of Western thought. Episode 3 Empire of Mind - The final segment describes how Athens, at the height of her glory, engaged in a suicidal conflict with her greatest rival, Sparta. Through the eyes of Socrates, Athens' first philosopher, viewers see the tragic descent of Athenian democracy into mob rule. The episode opens in 399 B.C., after the great philosopher Socrates has been sentenced to death and Athens lies in ruins after a war with Sparta.
This series of programs consists of 16 episodes which profile 16 evil men and women throughout history who have used their power to torture, kill, maim and eradicate millions of people. Attila The Hun - Attila was Khan of the Huns. He is remembered as the epitome of cruelty and rapacity. He passed unhindered through Austria and Germany, across the Rhine into Gaul, plundering and devastating all in his path with a ferocity unparalleled in the records of barbarian invasions and compelling those he overcame to augment his mighty army.
The Queen of Sheba is one of the most alluring names in history, synonymous with the exotic and erotic, but until now her real story has remained elusive. Who was she? Did she have a child by King Solomon of Israel? And how did her nation grow so powerful, only to vanish beneath the sands of time? Produced to accompany a major British Museum exhibition, the film gained exclusive access to the excavation of the Queen of Sheba's temple in the arid heartland of Yemen, to unveil the enigmatic riddle of this mysterious queen.
Long ago in the age of dinosaurs, a volcano in eastern China erupted and buried a host of strange creatures in ash, creating exquisite fossils that preserved a big surprise many dinosaurs were covered in feathers. In this documentary investigate the most bizarre of these feathered dinosaurs, which has rekindled a fierce, decades long debate over the origin of bird flight. Dubbed Microraptor, the crow sized fossil is one of the smallest dinosaurs ever found and one of the most controversial, challenging conventional theories and assumptions about the evolution of flight. This documentary commissions a "flight ready" wind tunnel model of Microraptor complete with feathers and articulating joints. Tantalizingly, Microraptor is the unexpected missing link that has reignited the debate and, with the help of this documentary's model and wind tunnel tests, just might settle the issue, or at the very least deepen our understanding of the long ago era when the ancestors of birds first took to the air.
The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script, carved on monuments, painted on pottery, and drawn in handmade bark paper books. For centuries, scholars considered it too complex ever to understand until recently, when an ingenious series of breakthroughs finally cracked the code and unleashed a torrent of new insights into the Mayas' turbulent past. For the first time, NOVA presents the epic inside story of how the decoding was done traveling to the remote jungles of southern Mexico and Central America to investigate how the code was broken and what Maya writings now reveal.
Sixteen hundred years ago, a mysterious left-handed warrior seized control of the Mayan city of Copan, founding a dynasty that would last for 400 years. Eventually the Maya abandoned Copan and all other Mayan cities, which lay undisturbed for over 1,000 years. Then, in the 19th century, explorers John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood stumbled on the vine strangled remains of huge complexes of temples and monuments covered with strange portraits and hieroglyphs. This documentary takes viewers deep into the Central American rain forest to the resurrected ruins of Copan, a once majestic jewel of Mayan civilization which was inexplicably abandoned over a thousand years ago.
Ancient and deadly spear points were found near Clovis, New Mexico in the 1930s. Many archeologists believed that this type of weapon originated with the first settlers of the New World, who supposedly migrated from Asia at the end of the last ice age. This documentary examines new evidence that challenges this widely held view. The hunt for clues takes this documentary to sites of stunning discoveries in western Pennsylvania and southern Chile, to southern France, to the high arctic, and to a remarkable find in central Texas that may hold the key to who invented the Clovis technology. Many archeologists concluded that hunters equipped with Clovis technology were the first settlers of the Americas and that they probably arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age about 13,500 years ago, when lower sea level allowed hunters to cross a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska. But there is growing evidence that humans were in the Americas long before the Clovis hunters.
On Easter Day 1722, Dutch explorers landed on Easter Island. A civilisation isolated by 4,000 km of Pacific Ocean was about to meet the outside world for the first time in centuries. The strangers were about to find something very strange themselves, an island dotted with hundreds of huge stone statues and a society that was not as primitive as they expected. The first meeting was an immense clash of cultures. (Bloody too: the sailors killed ten natives within minutes of landing.) Where had the Islanders originally come from? Why and how had they built the figures?
Tyrannosaurus Rex, it's the scariest, meanest, most bewitching dinosaur of them all. Children are captivated by the sheer savagery of the teeth. Moviemakers made millions out of the terror it inspired. But could our picture of this monster be completely wrong? Was T. Rex in fact a slow lumbering creature, with hideously bad breath, that couldn't get anywhere close to catching a Triceratops. Was it really a scavenger that lived off the scraps left by others? Was T. Rex, in fact, a wimp?
The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site.
This is the profile of an extraterrestrial mass murderer: one whose existence was denied by scientific orthodoxy for nearly two decades, but has now been tracked down. 65 million years ago a 15 kilometers wide asteroid hit the Earth. In 1978 Walter Alvarez, a Nobel prize winning physicist, and his son Luis, first proposed the outrageous idea that a meteorite strike blasted the dinosaurs into extinction, taking with them half of life on the planet. Their theory was hotly disputed. Now the irrefutable evidence is rolling in. Martin Belderson's dramatic film retraces the hunt for evidence for the hidden "smoking cannon" the crater left by the impact 65 million years ago.
Murder in Rome, a re-enactment of the one of the most significant murder trials in history. Directed by Dave Stewart, and based on a genuine trial record, it's set in Rome in 81BC. Sextus Roscius is accused of murdering his father, and found guilty he'll face an agonising death. However, the stakes are just as high for Cicero, the lawyer defending him. If he wins the case, he could be killed. Inside the biggest and best courtroom in history. Roman trials were the ultimate in ancient entertainment. This is a gripping dramatisation of the best of them.
A tsunami in the Bristol Channel could have caused the deaths of up to 2,000 people in one of Britain's greatest natural disasters, experts have said. For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms. Two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of "huge and mighty hills of water" advancing at a speed "faster than a greyhound can run" and only receding 10 days later. Dr Roger Musson, head of seismic hazards at the British Geological Survey, said there were other examples of earthquakes in the area caused by an ancient fault off south west Ireland. One magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded there on 8 February 1980. "The idea of putting a large historical earthquake in this spot is not so fanciful," he said. "We know from seismological evidence, that we have actually had an earthquake here, so there is a fault and it is moving, it is active." Other UK tsunamis include a 70 feet high wave that hit Scotland 7,000 years ago, following a massive landslip in Norway.
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.
Long before Columbus, the Maya established one of the most highly developed civilizations of their time in the jungles of Mexico and Central America. Yet this advanced society of priests, astronomers, artisans, and farmers suddenly and mysteriously collapsed more than a thousand years ago. Accompany archeologists to Copan, Dos Pilas, and other spectacular Classic Maya ruins as they unearth artifacts and huge temples of incredible beauty. Recently deciphered hieroglyphics and other new discoveries offer astounding clues to the lives of these ancient people.