Historians have long speculated that thousands of wooden ships plied a Maritime Silk Route from the Middle East to China, braving long distances on white-capped seas, but time and the deep ocean have destroyed any evidence . . . until now. In 1998 German engineer Tilman Walterfang found a shipwreck from the 9th Century blanketed by intact gold, silver and ceramic items. As we uncover clues and
An archaeologist searching for a Roman road is amazed to instead discover an entire Roman town that had been lost and forgotten for thousands of years.
Traditional history tells us that European settlers discovered America about the time of the Renaissance. But revolutionary new archaeological data and the latest DNA research reveal that Europeans visited our shores far earlier some 17,000 years before Columbus was even born. Filmed in glorious high definition, this two-hour, epic drama follows an intrepid family of stone age hunters as they tre
Ötzi the Iceman is the modern nickname of a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC, found in 1991 in a glacier of the Otztal Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy. The nickname comes from the valley of discovery. He rivals the Egyptian “Ginger” as the oldest known human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view on the habits of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans.
Understanding of humans' earliest past often comes from studying fossils. They tell us much of what we know about the people who lived before us. There is one thing fossils cannot tell us; at what point did we stop living day-to-day and start to think symbolically, to represent ideas about our environment and how we could change it? At a dig in South Africa the discovery of a small piece of ochre
Skulls are humanity's foremost symbol of death, and a powerful icon in the visual vocabularies of cultures all over the globe. Thirteen crystal skulls of apparently ancient origin have been found in parts of Mexico, Central America and South America, comprising one of the most fascinating subjects of 20th Century archaeology. This documentary takes a look at the history of all four known skulls
Egypt, land of the pyramids, mighty monuments constructed in the early days of history. Monuments that endure to this day attracting visitors across the world. Many visitors come to Egypt to see one pyramid in particular, the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the most celebrated man-made constructions of all time. Of the seven, only the Great Pyramid of Che
When our early ancestors entered new lands they encountered a variety of strange new creatures, monsters that no longer exist. What were they like and where are they now? What are the real answers to the mystery of the missing megafauna? Some scientists believe there is damning evidence that humanity hunted the megafauna to extinction. The 'overkill' hypothesis holds that the megafauna vanished
This is the extraordinary story of how a small metal disc is rewriting the epic saga of how civilisation first came to Europe, 3600 years ago. When grave robbers ransacked a Bronze Age tomb in Germany, they had no idea that they had unearthed the find of a lifetime. But they knew that it was worth selling. It was a small bronze disc of exquisite design. So they contacted the archaeologist Haral