Just 10 miles from Pompeii, along the ancient shoreline, 12 arched vaults are telling a whole new story about life was like before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. They contain the skeletons of no less than 340 people, that's 10% of the local population, killed by the volcano. Amongst them are the first new skeletons to be found in the area for 30 years: they're now the subject of a ground-breaking scientific investigation.
The story of real life quests after some of history's greatest legends. From the Nazis' search for the Holy Grail, to the Americans who hunted for pirate treasure in Vietnam; from the true story of the crystal skulls to the mystery of King Solomon's mines - this series uncovers the truth behind some of the most fabulous, romantic and deranged treasure hunts in modern history.
Neil Oliver concludes his epic journey through ancient British history by focusing on the legacy of the Romans. He digs beneath a London tower block, examines building work from a large stadium, and investigates the remains of an African woman who lived in York 1,800 years ago - evidence of the extraordinary multicultural world of Rome.
An epic exploration of the Celtic and Roman ages with Neil Oliver. Around 100 BC-140 AD, the leaders of the British Celtic tribes are trading with Europe and enjoying the best that civilisation can offer. Then the Romans invade, and everything changes.
An epic exploration of the Celtic and Roman ages with Neil Oliver. In this episode, the fast growing tribes of Britain turn violent. But out of the fighting something remarkable appears - glorious art and design, as well as magnificent swords of a lavish beauty never seen before.
Archaeologist and historian Neil Oliver returns to continue his epic story of how Britain and its people came to be, from the height of the Bronze Age through to the age of Iron, the Celts and the first kings to the age of Rome.
In 1841, the intrepid explorer John Lloyd Stephens - who some consider to be the original, real version of Indiana Jones - amazed the world with his discovery of an entire ancient civilisation hidden for centuries in the tangled scrub jungles of Central America. He also noticed something uniquely curious about the Maya: unlike other great civilisations such as the Romans and the ancient Egyptians, the Mayan empire did not arise from the banks of a mighty river. Much of the Mayan world is in fact devoid of even the smallest river or lake. Then why did they populate the Yucatan?
Following the death of Caesar, Marc Antony and Octavian both laid claim to the Emperor's political heritage. At the Battle of Philippi, Marc Antony and Octavian fought back their joint enemies to assert their right to Caesar's throne.
This two-part miniseries delves into the passions and politics that changed the course of human history. Brave warriors, ambitious rulers, a legendary queen - all have a part to play in this epic story. Using groundbreaking production techniques, the program blends live actors with virtual sets to create a gripping reconstruction of events.
It is one of the most isolated places on earth, with a long history of uncontacted tribes and fierce cannibalism. And now, a new secret has been uncovered: racks and racks of human mummies - one of the most bizarre mummy collections in the world and all remarkably intact, despite years of exposure to tropical heat and humidity. They resemble no other type of mummy in the world.
Guided by astrophysicist Dr Thebe Medupe, a group of scientists engage in the first exploration of the scientific contents of the great manuscript archives of Timbuktu. As the ancient papers are in grave danger of being destroyed by the ravages of time, the team race against the clock to unlock the mysteries of this incredible library before this valuable history is lost forever in the sands of the Sahara.
On the morning of 11 November 1880, legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol. What happened to the body of one of Australia's most iconic figures after he died has been a huge source of controversy and mystery ever since. In 1978, the supposed skull of Ned Kelly was stolen from its display case at Old Melbourne Gaol and was lost for more than 30 years, until a West Australian farmer handed it into authorities in 2009. A team of forensic scientists at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) were then given the task of identifying it.
For King Henry VIII, the Mary Rose was a formidable battleship and took pride of place as his flagship for many years. For marine archaeologists, she is a 16th century time capsule holding secrets not only about war at sea, but about the everyday lives of the men who lived and died on her. This program celebrates discoveries made over the past 20 years as archaeologists conserved and restored the Tudor relics buried within the wreck. The rediscovery and raising of the Mary Rose - in 1982 - were seminal events in the history of nautical archaeology.
The Great Sphinx in Egypt's Giza Plateau is the biggest and oldest statue in a land of colossal ancient monuments, yet the half-human, half-lion is shrouded in mystery. Riddles of the Sphinx follows a team of archaeologists as they attempt to find out how the statue was built and who, or what, it represents.
Etched, as if by giants, onto the arid landscape of southern Peru's Nazca Desert lies one of man's greatest mysteries: the Nazca Lines. More than a hundred geometric and animal-like patterns, some kilometres long, have been discovered criss-crossing the pampas like a vast puzzle.
Stonehenge may be the best-known and most mysterious relic of prehistory. Every year, a million visitors are drawn to Salisbury Plain in England to gaze upon the famous circle of stones. During the 20th century, excavations revealed that the structure was built in stages, and that it dates back some 5,000 years, to the late Stone Age. The meaning of the monument, however, has continued to elude us. Many questions still remain about how a prehistoric people quarried, transported, sculpted, and erected these giant stones.
Award-winning filmmaker David Grubin tells the story of the Buddha's life, a journey from a life of privilege to a search for enlightenment. It features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors, who have depicted the Buddha's life in art rich in beauty and complexity. The program provides insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In 5000 BC Europe, it is believed that up to 1000 men, women, children and even unborn foetuses were victims of cannibalism. Some scientists believe the victims were murdered, butchered like livestock, then cooked and cannibalised in sacrificial rites that drew participants from hundreds of miles away. 7000 years on, the extraordinary violence of this scene is calling into question the very basis of human civilisation.
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