Archaeology

NOVA
Secrets of the Sky Tombs

 

A team of scientists and explorers probe high altitude caves in the Tibetan Himalayas. Along the way they discover evidence of ritual burials, thousands of years old: skeletons, mummies, and evidence of practices designed to ward off ancient vampires and even zombies.

 

 

NOVA
Petra: Lost City of Stone

 

More than 2,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants who carved spectacular temple-tombs into its cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains and pools. But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra’s unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly 1,000 years. Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and several sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone.

 

 

NOVA
Hagia Sophia: Istanbul’s Ancient Mystery

 

Istanbul’s magnificent Hagia Sophia has survived on one of the world’s most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since Hagia Sophia was built in 537 AD. As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is investigating Hagia Sophia’s seismic survival secrets. NOVA follows the team’s discoveries as they examine the building’s unique structure and other ingenious design strategies that have insured the dome’s survival. The engineers build a massive eight-ton model of the building’s core structure, place it on a motorized shake table and hit it with a series of simulated quakes.

 

Secrets of Spanish Florida:
A Secrets of the Dead Special

 

The first permanent European settlement in the United States was founded in 1565–two generations before the settlements in Jamestown and Plymouth–not by English Protestants, but by the Spanish and a melting pot of people they brought with them from Africa, Italy, Germany, Ireland and even converted Jews, who integrated almost immediately with the indigenous tribes. Secrets of Spanish Florida – A Secrets of the Dead Special uncovers one story of America’s past that never made it into textbooks. Follow some of America’s leading archaeologists, maritime scientists, and historians as they share the story of Florida’s earliest settlers. It’s a story that has taken more than 450 years to reveal.

 

NOVA
Mystery of Easter Island

 

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues, or moai, weighing as much as 86 tons each? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? NOVA explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to “walk” the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a NOVA team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory – serving up plenty of action and surprises in this fresh investigation of one of the ancient world’s most intriguing enigmas.

 

NOVA
Chinese Chariot Revealed

 

For over 1000 years, chariots thundered across China’s battlefields, dominating warfare longer than anywhere else on earth. Now, a series of amazing archaeological findings enable a team of experts to reconstruct and test China’s first super-weapon.

 

SECRETS OF THE DEAD
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings

 

Follow a team of scientists exploring royal tombs beneath the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan. After decades of research, these imperial burial chambers may reveal clues about the long-lost Teotihuacan culture and its mysterious people.

 

SECRETS OF THE DEAD
The Lost Gardens of Babylon

 

This program examines a world wonder so elusive that most people have decided it must be mythical. Centuries of digging have turned up nothing – but it turns out the searchers were digging in the wrong place. Now, this film proves that the spectacular hanging gardens of Babylon did exist, and shows where they were, what they looked like and how they were constructed.

 

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