Myth Hunters

Myth Hunters

The Lost Sword of the Samurai
Season 1  |  Episode 6  |  SBS  |  April 30, 2016

The Honjo Masamune is perhaps the greatest Japanese sword ever made. A Japanese National Treasure, it is certainly the most famous, because no-one knows where it is. Forged in the 13th century by the great sword smith Masamune it became the ceremonial sword of the ruling Tokugawa shoguns for 250 years. After their fall from power in 1868 the great sword continued to be passed down the generations into the twentieth century, but in the aftermath of the Second World War it disappeared. What could have happened to it? (From the UK) (Documentary) (Rpt) PG(V)

The Honjo Masamune is perhaps the greatest Japanese sword ever made. A Japanese National Treasure, it is certainly the most famous, because no-one knows where it is. Forged in the 13th century by the great sword smith Masamune it became the ceremonial sword of the ruling Tokugawa shoguns for 250 years. After their fall from power in 1868 the great sword continued to be passed down the generations into the twentieth century, but in the aftermath of the Second World War it disappeared. What could have happened to it? (From the UK) (Documentary) (Rpt) PG(V)

In the early nineteenth century, stories emerged of mysterious ruins that lay buried and forgotten, deep inside the jungles of Central America. But a lost civilisation in this region was thought to be impossible in the 1800s. Everyone knew that the continent had only ever been peopled by savages, and they couldn't have created such sophisticated structures. But then a young American lawyer named John Lloyd Stephens, and a British artist, Frederick Catherwood, went to seek out these ruins for themselves. They travelled hundreds of miles through the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras and eventually uncovered forty four buried and forgotten cities. All with a common architectural style that confirmed that there was once a single, vast civilisation that had existed in a place where nobody believed there could be one. But for all their extraordinary revelations, there was still one question they could not answer. Who were the people who built this place? Stephens believed that their history was engraved on their monuments and that one day when someone could read them, they would be able to understand the history of those who had lived there. Over the next one hundred and seventy years, archaeologist's inspired by Stephens and Catherwood's explorations, managed to read the writings and the symbols, and a picture emerged of the rise and fall of one of the world's greatest civilisations, the Maya. With their astonishing discoveries, the two amateur explorers overturned everything we thought we knew about the history of the New World.

Myth Hunters: The Men Who Found The Maya

Media arts, History, Critical thinking

Years 9-10, 11-12 Media arts, History, Critical thinking
50:19
In the early nineteenth century, stories emerged of mysterious ruins that lay buried and forgotten, deep inside the jungles of Central America. But a lost civilisation in this region was thought to be impossible in the 1800s. Everyone knew that the continent had only ever been peopled by savages, and they couldn't have created such sophisticated structures. But then a young American lawyer named John Lloyd Stephens, and a British artist, Frederick Catherwood, went to seek out these ruins for themselves. They travelled hundreds of miles through the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras and eventually uncovered forty four buried and forgotten cities. All with a common architectural style that confirmed that there was once a single, vast civilisation that had existed in a place where nobody believed there could be one. But for all their extraordinary revelations, there was still one question they could not answer. Who were the people who built this place? Stephens believed that their history was engraved on their monuments and that one day when someone could read them, they would be able to understand the history of those who had lived there. Over the next one hundred and seventy years, archaeologist's inspired by Stephens and Catherwood's explorations, managed to read the writings and the symbols, and a picture emerged of the rise and fall of one of the world's greatest civilisations, the Maya. With their astonishing discoveries, the two amateur explorers overturned everything we thought we knew about the history of the New World.
For years gladiators have been legendary figures of the Ancient World; the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters like Spartacus, or Gladiator. But our knowledge has been based largely on speculation - until now. Timewatch have secured exclusive access to the biggest archaeological gladiator research project of all time. As it approaches its conclusion, Gladiator CSI reveals the secrets of how gladiators lived, fought and died, not from speculation but from forensic science. In the 1990s a survey for the ancient course of the Holy Procession Path between the temple of Artemis (one of the seven Wonders of the World) and the city of Ephesus in Turkey came upon an unexpected find: a mass burial site. But most of the cadavers did not bear the signs of death from natural causes. Instead, they seem to have met a violent end. In 2002 two forensic anthropologists went to investigate: this was a gladiator graveyard. Although the corpses of gladiators had been found before, they tended to be isolated examples. In this graveyard, no less than 67 were buried. The amount of data was unprecedented. Employing two of the world's leading forensics anthropologists as our two crime scene investigators, this is the story of their investigation. Their research makes ground-breaking conclusions probing popular myths about gladiators: Is the currently fashionable thesis that although gladiators fought vicious contests, they rarely battled to the death, really true? Were the losers of gladiatorial contests really dispatched in the arena by the turning of the emperor's thumb? Were gladiators treated as no more than animals, with no provision for their health or well-being? Spanning two centuries, our 67 corpses reveal great technological changes in fighting equipment and wounds from weapons that were hitherto thought only to be the stuff of myth (like the cubic fore dent).

Gladiator Graveyard

Ancient history, History

Years 11-12 Ancient history, History
48:01
For years gladiators have been legendary figures of the Ancient World; the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters like Spartacus, or Gladiator. But our knowledge has been based largely on speculation - until now. Timewatch have secured exclusive access to the biggest archaeological gladiator research project of all time. As it approaches its conclusion, Gladiator CSI reveals the secrets of how gladiators lived, fought and died, not from speculation but from forensic science. In the 1990s a survey for the ancient course of the Holy Procession Path between the temple of Artemis (one of the seven Wonders of the World) and the city of Ephesus in Turkey came upon an unexpected find: a mass burial site. But most of the cadavers did not bear the signs of death from natural causes. Instead, they seem to have met a violent end. In 2002 two forensic anthropologists went to investigate: this was a gladiator graveyard. Although the corpses of gladiators had been found before, they tended to be isolated examples. In this graveyard, no less than 67 were buried. The amount of data was unprecedented. Employing two of the world's leading forensics anthropologists as our two crime scene investigators, this is the story of their investigation. Their research makes ground-breaking conclusions probing popular myths about gladiators: Is the currently fashionable thesis that although gladiators fought vicious contests, they rarely battled to the death, really true? Were the losers of gladiatorial contests really dispatched in the arena by the turning of the emperor's thumb? Were gladiators treated as no more than animals, with no provision for their health or well-being? Spanning two centuries, our 67 corpses reveal great technological changes in fighting equipment and wounds from weapons that were hitherto thought only to be the stuff of myth (like the cubic fore dent).
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