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From Pictures to Words

   2020    History
We take it for granted, but every time we pick up a pen or type on the keyboard, we are employing the most powerful technology ever invented: the technology of writing. Explore how the invention of writing gave humanity a history. From hieroglyphs to emojis, the series is an exploration of the way in which the technology of writing has shaped the world we live in.
The invention of writing about 5,000 years ago made civilization itself possible, and every innovation of the modern world is based on the foundation of the written word. But how and where did writing begin, and who began it? In From Pictures to Words, the first of three films about the history of writing, we uncover the hidden links between all the diverse writing systems in use today and trace the origin of our own alphabet to a turquoise mine in the Sinai Desert and a man riding a donkey whose name was Khebded.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Siege of Masada

   2018    History
It's known as the Alamo of the ancient world, the story of a band of Jewish rebels and their final stand against the Roman Army. The siege of Masada, recorded nearly 2,000 years ago by Jewish military leader Flavius Josephus, is more than a tale of resistance against impossible odds. It's part of the founding narrative of Israel. But how much of it is true?
We take a look at the events that inspired the CBS television miniseries 'The Dovekeepers' and go to the site of the mountain fortress itself, uncovering new truths about this epic conflict.

The Story of China Ancestors

   2016    History
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
Series: The Story of China

First Horse Warriors

   2019    History
Horses. Powerful, graceful, and thunderously fast. No animal has made a greater impact on society or given humans more freedom and mobility. In a spectacular adventure, the film unlocks the mystery of the first horse warriors on the vast, grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where horses still roam free, and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life.
Investigating clues from archaeology and genetics, researchers reveal vivid evidence of the very first horsemen. They also discover warriors who swept across Europe and turn out to be the ancestors of millions today.

The Universe Season 7 Stonehenge

   2014    Science
Perhaps the most mysterious structure on Earth, Stonehenge has stood on a plain in Southern England for 5000 years. Its foundations predate the Great Pyramids. It is one of mankind's most ancient mysteries. Why is it here? Is it a temple? A burial ground? A place for sacrifice? Or could the mystery of Stonehenge be revealed in its builders' desire to explore the unknown heavens and touch the universe? Using the cutting-edge computer-generated imagery that takes us into deep space, we'll also go inside a virtual Stonehenge to see what the ancients saw and push this prehistoric marvel to give up its age-old secrets.
In this episode we explore the possibility that this was a prehistoric astronomical observatory. Here ancient astronomer priests may have divined the complex movements of the Sun and Moon, recognizing patterns that would not be discovered elsewhere for thousands of years. The primitive Shamans may have also been the first astronomers to predict eclipses.
Series: The Universe Season 7
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

   2018    History
Our Planet
Our Planet

   2019    Nature
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Senna
Senna

   2010    Culture
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Cosmos: Possible Worlds

   2020    Science
Space Deepest Secrets
Space Deepest Secrets

   2020    Science
Love On The Spectrum
Love On The Spectrum

   2019    Culture