Pyramids Of Death

Pyramids Of Death

The History Channel  |  July 15, 2016

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.

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.

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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