The Hittite Empire was a major force in the ancient Near East between 1650 and 1200 BC. With photography from historical sites and museums of Turkey, Syria and Egypt, plus on location interviews with world renowned scholars, The Hittites traces the history of these people. Through the use of digital technology and dramatic re-enactments, key moments in Hittite history comes alive as audience journey back in time to experience what it meant to be a Hittite 3500 years ago. This documentary revolves around the personal stories of the six most influential kings and queen of the empire. Highlights include: The battle of Kadesh between the Hittites and Rameses II of Egypt, a turning point for the Near East and resulting in the first written peace agreement in history, The marriage between the Hittite King Hattusili III and Puduhepa, regarded as one of the greatest love stories of the ancient world, The plague which swept through the Near East and crippled Anatolia, The Hittite pantheon of Gods, which was the precursor of the Greek pantheon. This feature length programme is a discovery of a long forgotten civilisation which had the most advanced legal system of its time and had the oldest known Indo-European language in history.
The day Alexander the Great died he left behind one of the world's great empires. Get to know his legacy with Dates That Made History.
Tony Robinson is going all Indiana Jones, scrabbling around archaeological excavations by the Nile and getting very muddy. We see him wandering around the great ancient Egyptian monuments in Giza and Luxor, but it's far more interesting to follow him as he becomes one of the first laymen to catch sight of new discoveries being made in previously unexplored tombs. Like the dozens of pots containing the detritus of a mummification process - including an accidentally discarded major organ that Tony's pleased as punch to get to hold - or the exquisitely carved but unfinished entrance way to the home for eternity of an ancient local dignitary.
You have to climb and follow paths that don't always appear on maps in order to discover one of the best-kept secrets of the dynasties of pharaohs which was long hidden in the sand. Here, Egyptologists believe there was a perfect pyramid which served as a tomb for the pharaoh Djedefre - a pyramid which hides in its midst a room of almost 20 metres deep and an immense passage that leads deep into the pyramid's heart.
The whole world has its eyes riveted on the Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt. Yet, nearby, on the Giza plateau, other architectural masterpieces stand up to the test of time: the Sphinx, the lion with a human head, and the pyramids of Pharaohs Khafra and Menkaure.
Professor Bettany Hughes takes us on a beautiful, bespoke journey across this dramatic country, bringing you the definitive countdown of her top 10 treasures of Ancient Egypt. From blockbuster temples to the lost treasures of the pharaohs, this is a thrilling exploration of one of the world's oldest and most mysterious civilisations. Bettany travels from the Nile Delta in the north of Egypt, to the shores of Lake Nasser in the far south, taking in stunning sites including the Great Sphinx, the Rosetta Stone, the Valley of the Kings, and the Great Pyramid at Giza.
On the site of Dahshur, 40km to the south of Cairo, are two breathtakingly beautiful pyramids: two revolutionary monuments which would seem to be the first real pyramids, a link in the chain which is essential to understanding the evolution in the building of pyramids. To the south is the unusual rhomboidal Bent Pyramid. To the north is the Red Pyramid, which may well be the very first triangular pyramid to have been built.
Meidum is the least-known of the pyramids of Egypt, but the most mysterious. It stretches skywards and resembles a castle keep. The compound in which it is located is one of the largest monuments in the world. Thanks to the exceptional use of archaeology 2.0 and its drones, scientists can delve into the heart of this building which opens up to the skies. They can unravel the stages of its monumental construction and uncover the revolutionary techniques brought into play which have allowed this monument to withstand the test of time. Meidum is the enigmatic history of a larger-than-life building project which lasted four decades.
Explore Sydney's past through the archaeological excavation of The Big Dig site in The Rocks. The Big Dig excavations began in 1994, uncovering over a million artefacts and the remnant foundations of over 30 buildings, including early convict homes and businesses. It is one of the largest urban archaeological sites in Australia, and provides a rare insight into early urban life in Sydney. The site is open to the public and plays an active educational role for school students.
At the heart of Saqqara, the largest necropolis in Egypt, which was built around 2600 BC, is the Step Pyramid of Djoser. It is surrounded by a wall, and covered in hieroglyphics which form a priceless book of the dead, the greatest body of texts in all humanity. This pyramid, with its unusual design, is the first and most complex of all.
We lift the lid on some of history's great mysteries by tunnelling deeper, travelling wider, looking more closely, asking harder questions and searching for evidence with more determination than ever before. We are taken to places far and wide and will encounter conspiracy theories, cover-ups, strange phenomena, unexplained happenings and mysterious findings - in short, a whole host of unusual goings on that have had a massive bearing on how we view history today. Mary Magdalene is a key figure in the Christian faith. She travelled with Jesus as one of his followers and is said to have witnessed Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named at least 12 times, more than most of the apostles. During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was given the reputation in Western Christianity of being a repentant prostitute, something which is nowhere supported by the canonical gospels. But who really was this vital part of the Christian story? What can we discover of her life? What historical evidence can be uncovered?
New investigations at Pompeii reveal a dark underbelly of lawlessness, murder and political intrigue. Could this explain the mystery of dozens of bodies found sheltering in a warehouse - some laden with treasure, others stripped of all worldly goods?
The stunning discovery of an executed man in northern Italy reveals the brutal truth behind the Roman practice of crucifixion and sheds new light on the most famous crucifixion of all: the killing of Jesus Christ.
Life and Times of Rome
In this unique docu-drama, uncover the true story of Verus, a gladiator who fought at the Colosseum in Rome.
Uncover the events that shaped the great Jewish revolt against Rome as told by Jewish General, historian and perceived traitor Flavius Josephus. Explore Josephus' early history as a Jewish leader and researcher, his travels to Rome, the folklore of his making as a prophet, and ultimately his involvement in the fall of Judea.
Examine the tumultuous reign of King Herod, and the ascent of Roman control in Judea. This epic story is uniquely told through the words of controversial historian Flavius Josephus, and incorporates expert interviews, dramatic recreations, and evocative CGI. Exploring Herod's blood-soaked reign, the cultural and architectural development of the region, and his descent into madness, this story ultimately sets the stage for the destruction of the Jewish nation.
Chosen by emperor Domitian himself, whose enthusiasm for chariot racing was legendary, Scorpus is now a member of one of the big four stables, called factions, who controlled chariot racing. At the age of 27, Scorpus has logged more than 2,000 victories, but he is also struck by the fate that many charioteers shared before him, and the greatest idol of his time dies in the sand of the race course. One year after Scorpus dead, Domitian, his patron and admirer, falls victim to an assassination.
Archaeologists Tony Wilmott and Dan Garner lead us through three months of hard graft, excavating Britain's largest Roman amphitheatre in Chester, possibly built by Emperor Vespasian, the man who built the Colosseum in Rome. With the help of computer animation, they bring Chester's magnificent amphitheatre back to life.
Ninety AD, the Roman Empire has reached the peak of its power. The current emperor, Domitian, knows that the masses need to be entertained and chariot racing was by far the most popular sport in ancient Rome and the charioteers were huge superstars. We accompany a young man named Scorpus on his way from a slave to the superstar of his time. And if he is lucky enough to survive, at the end of his career he will not only be rewarded with riches but also with the status of a free man.
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