Ancient history

It is the largest freestanding sculpture ever carved from a single block of stone, an icon recognised around the globe. The Sphinx, a lion with the face of a mighty pharaoh, towers over the Giza Plateau. Yet it remains one of history's most enigmatic mysteries. Who built it, when and why? Using the latest research, the most advanced technology and the newest discoveries to reveal the Sphinx as never seen before, this program unravels the riddle behind the icon. Could it be time to rewrite the history books? Not a single hieroglyph or "signature" from the people that built it has ever been found on the Sphinx. All circumstantial evidence leads directly to the pyramid-building Egyptians. But this is where the debate begins. Conventional wisdom holds that the Pharaoh Khafre built the Sphinx nearly 5000 years ago, as it is his pyramid that stands behind it and a large stone tablet found between its paws bears his name; however, this tablet was written over a thousand years after the Sphinx's carving, so could it be wrong? A leading archaeologist Rainer Stadelmann explains that Khafre is always represented with a beard, but the Sphinx has none. Even the layout of Khafre's temple and causeway prove problematic. Could the Sphinx actually represent Khafre's father Khufu - the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza? Architect Jonathan Foyle sketches the Sphinx and compares it with his drawing of Khafre and Khufu taken from known statues. For him it is unmistakably Khufu - could the untouchable theory of Khafre be flawed?

Egypt Unwrapped - Sphinx

Years 7-8, 9-10 Ancient history Science

50:7
It is the largest freestanding sculpture ever carved from a single block of stone, an icon recognised around the globe. The Sphinx, a lion with the face of a mighty pharaoh, towers over the Giza Plateau. Yet it remains one of history's most enigmatic mysteries. Who built it, when and why? Using the latest research, the most advanced technology and the newest discoveries to reveal the Sphinx as never seen before, this program unravels the riddle behind the icon. Could it be time to rewrite the history books? Not a single hieroglyph or "signature" from the people that built it has ever been found on the Sphinx. All circumstantial evidence leads directly to the pyramid-building Egyptians. But this is where the debate begins. Conventional wisdom holds that the Pharaoh Khafre built the Sphinx nearly 5000 years ago, as it is his pyramid that stands behind it and a large stone tablet found between its paws bears his name; however, this tablet was written over a thousand years after the Sphinx's carving, so could it be wrong? A leading archaeologist Rainer Stadelmann explains that Khafre is always represented with a beard, but the Sphinx has none. Even the layout of Khafre's temple and causeway prove problematic. Could the Sphinx actually represent Khafre's father Khufu - the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza? Architect Jonathan Foyle sketches the Sphinx and compares it with his drawing of Khafre and Khufu taken from known statues. For him it is unmistakably Khufu - could the untouchable theory of Khafre be flawed?
They are some of the biggest pyramids on the planet - millions of tons of stone and earth towering above the landscape in a massive display of wealth and power. But the pharaohs didn't build these pyramids. This is Mexico - and the truth is, we don't know who built them-or why. Today, they remain as centrepieces of the majestic ancient city of Teotihuacan, the first major metropolis of the Americas. Home to one of the most powerful civilizations of its time, the city rivalled Shakespeare's London in size and outlasted ancient Rome. So why, around 750 AD, did the advanced civilisation that created Teotihuacan suddenly vanish? The identity of its founders, the language they spoke - even the original name of the city - are all unknown. DNA analysis of bodies from Teotihuacan shows they weren't Mayan, Incan or Aztec, but a different civilisation entirely. With none of the macabre murals dedicated to war that are found in other cultures of Mesoamerica, it was assumed to be a peaceful, utopian society. But the latest discoveries are revealing a much darker scenario. In the depths of Teotihuacan's pyramids, experts have uncovered vault after vault filled with curious human remains. Some are filled with women who were buried alive. Others hold the remains of warriors, entombed with their skeletal hands still tied behind their backs, heads missing. And most spectacular of all, in the same vault with ten warriors, two mummies outfitted with all the finery of royalty. With historical recreations and spectacular CGI, Pyramids of Death brings the world of these ancient people to life - from their remarkable feats of construction and engineering to their grisly methods of human sacrifice.

Pyramids Of Death

Years 7-8, 9-10 Ancient history

49:45
They are some of the biggest pyramids on the planet - millions of tons of stone and earth towering above the landscape in a massive display of wealth and power. But the pharaohs didn't build these pyramids. This is Mexico - and the truth is, we don't know who built them-or why. Today, they remain as centrepieces of the majestic ancient city of Teotihuacan, the first major metropolis of the Americas. Home to one of the most powerful civilizations of its time, the city rivalled Shakespeare's London in size and outlasted ancient Rome. So why, around 750 AD, did the advanced civilisation that created Teotihuacan suddenly vanish? The identity of its founders, the language they spoke - even the original name of the city - are all unknown. DNA analysis of bodies from Teotihuacan shows they weren't Mayan, Incan or Aztec, but a different civilisation entirely. With none of the macabre murals dedicated to war that are found in other cultures of Mesoamerica, it was assumed to be a peaceful, utopian society. But the latest discoveries are revealing a much darker scenario. In the depths of Teotihuacan's pyramids, experts have uncovered vault after vault filled with curious human remains. Some are filled with women who were buried alive. Others hold the remains of warriors, entombed with their skeletal hands still tied behind their backs, heads missing. And most spectacular of all, in the same vault with ten warriors, two mummies outfitted with all the finery of royalty. With historical recreations and spectacular CGI, Pyramids of Death brings the world of these ancient people to life - from their remarkable feats of construction and engineering to their grisly methods of human sacrifice.
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