Secrets of Archaeology
A Comprehensive 6-Disc Collection
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
- Explore the Hidden Treasures of the Ancient World Take a virtual tour through rediscovered cities and see archaeological sites as their inhabitants saw them centuries ago. Explore the magnificent city of Pompeii, the architectural treasures of the Roman Empire, the legendary city of Troy, the mighty pyramids of the pharaohs and much more in this comprehensive 6 disc collection. Experience the cutting edge of archaeological exploration with… • State-of-the-art computer graphics • Spectacular on-location photography • The world’s leading archaeological experts
I agree with others that this is one of the best historical documentaries available, especially on Classical Mediterranean civilizations (Greece, Rome, and others). There are six discs in the series, each disc containing five episodes of 20 minutes, except the last disc which has only two. Although 20 minutes may not sound like much, so much is packed into each episode that they do not disapoint. Each episode shows historical ruins related to its subject, beginning with maps to let you know when and where you are, and frequently using animation to reconstruct the ruins as they appeared in their prime. The narration uses the pictures as a starting point to discuss the culture and history represented by the ruins. The series frequently provides a fairly in depth discussion of the culture, ordinary life, religion, etc. of the peoples who lived in these locations, not just stories of battles and rulers. The other outstanding aspect of this series is that it covers a wide variety of cultures, time periods, and geography. It works best where history can be told as the history of individual cities, which is the case in the Mediterranean world (the great majority of the episodes) and also for the Mayans in America. A good example of the unusual approach of this series is episode two. From the title "Glorious Rome", I was expecting a tour of classical Rome using models and virtual recreations, since good examples of these are now available. Instead, the episode showed only brief shots of the unreconstructed Roman forum, and centered instead on the ruins of outlying Roman cities to show the common culture which existed over the extent of the empire.
Special Features 27 episodes on 6 discs
1. Pompeii: A City Rediscovered. 79 AD 2. Glorious Rome, Capital of an Empire. 2nd Cent. AD. (Vaison-la-Romaine, Provence, FR;Tindaris and Morgantina, Sicily, IT;Jerash, Jordan.) 3. Pyramids Designed for Eternity. 3rd Millennium BC [Egypt] (Sakkara, Maidum, Dahshur, Giza) 4. Athens: Western Splendor 460 BC (Parthenon, Acropolis) 5. A Place Called Etruria 540 BC (Tuscany, It;It cities: Murlo (Poggio Civitate), Tarquinia, Volterra (San Cerboni tombs), Populonia, Cerveteri, Chiusi, Bologna (Villanova Culture)
6. The Cities of the Pharaohs. 3,000 BC. [Egypt] (Memphis, Luxor, Thebes, Cairo, Alexandria) 7. Egypt According to Cleopatra. 30 BC. [Egypt] (Alexandria - Pharos;Giza - Pyramids;Dendera - Temple of Hathor;Philae - Temple of Isis;Rome - obelisk, pyramid, temple, statue Esquiline Venus). 8. Greek Cities in Italy. 9th Cent. BC. (Magna Graecia: Delphi;Naples;Cumae - Parthenope;Sybaris - Paestum Poseidonia;Campi Flegrei;Pozzouli [Dicaearchia] - Temple of Serapis [Serapium];macellum - market building Lake Avernus - Virgil, Hades;Sibyls). 9. The Pyramids of the Sun. 1519 AD. [Mexico]. (Aztec - Tenochtitlan;Teotihuacan - Pyramid of the Sun, Temple of the Feathered Serpent, Pyramid of the Moon). 10. The Roads to El Dorado. 15th &16th Cent. AD. [South America - Peru, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cuzco;Columbia - Muisca, Lake Guatavita]. "El Dorado" originally referred to a person--the "gilded man", or man covered with gold dust--not a place.
11. The Lost Cities of the Maya. 8th Cent. AD. (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras: Palenque;Chichen Itza;Toltecs - Tula [Central Mexico];Tulum;Colzumel). 12. The Forgotten Civilizations of Anatolia. [Turkey] (Ionian Greek - Aphrodisias;Hierapolis - Pamukkale hot springs;Gordium - Phrygia - King Minos 8th Cent BC;Hittites - Hattusah - 14th Cent. BC) 13. Travels through Greece. 2nd Cent. AD (Corinth;Temple of Venus;Epidaurus - Asclepieion;Phidias's workshop;Olympia). 14. The Ports of the Desert. 1st Cent. AD (Ma'rib - Sabaean Kingdom [Yemen];Petra - Nabataeans [Jordan];Palmyra [Syria]). Roman spice trade. 15. Sailing with the Phoenicians. 5th Cent. BC (Phoenicia - Tyre [Lebanon];Sardinia - Nuraghe, Nora thermal bath;Carthage [Tunisia] - Harbor;Island of the Admiralty;Byrsa citadel)
16. The Roman Empire in Africa. 1st - 4th Cent. AD. [Maghreb: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia] (Volubilis) 17. Ancient Cities Bordering on Latium. 4th Cent. BC (Hernici-Hernicians;Samnites [Samnium] - Apulia;Umbrians) 18. Retracing the Tracks of Hannibal. 3rd Cent BC (Saguntum Spain;Bardo Museum Tunis;Roman Walls;Carthage, Tophet - human sacrifice?) (Not just war - differences in cultural &cultural interchange) 19. Roman Imprint on the West. 3rd Cent AD. [Spain;France (Provence)] (Provence - Orange, Nimes;Spain - Tarragona, Cadiz) (Impact of Rome on Western Culture) 20. At the Court of the King of Kings. 4th Cent BC. (Iran [Persia]) Cyrus the Great;Zoroastrian Hilltop Altars;Susa;Persepolis)
21. Cities of the Sea and Wind. 1st - 3rd Cent. AD. [Tripolitania (Libya)] (Leptis Magna - Emperor Septimis Severus &Caracalla;Sabratha;Oea [Tripoli], Syrtes desert) 22. Secrets of the Island of Minos. 15th Cent. BC. [Greece;Crete] (Minoans, Atlantis, Crete, Aegean Civilization, Arthur Evans - Knossos, Santorini, Cyclades) 23. The Fabulous Centers of Hellenism. 4th Cent BC. [Turkey (Ionia)] (Alexander the Great, Persia, Pergamun, Ephesus - Temple of Artimis, Library of Celsus) 24. Visit of the Sanctuaries of Apollo. 4th Cent. BC. (Delos Island [Greece] - birthplace of Apollo and Artemis;Didyma [Turkey] - sanctuary, temple &oracle of Apollo;Delphi [Greece] - Delphic oracle, pythian games) 25. Sicily: Greek Legacy in the West. 4th Cent. BC. (Battle of Himera;Sicani;Syracuse &Island of Ortigia;Agrigento - Valley of the Temples).
26. Ancient Itinerary in Ionia. 2nd Cent. BC. [Delos, Kos, Rhodes (Greece);Priene, Miletus (Turkey)] (Priene;boulc bouleuterion;Epicurian School Philosophy-Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander;Miletus - Hippodamus of Miletus (urban planning);Delos - slave market, foreign temples;Kos - Asclepius Sanctuary, Hipppcrates;Rhodes-Colossus;"Anatolia" - rising sun) 27. Mycenaeans: The Civilization of Heroes. 3rd to 2nd Millennium BC. [Ebla (Syria);Troy (Turkey), Mycenae (Greece)]. (Ebla-Assyrian City north of Euphrates, 17,000 cuneiform tablets;Troy- Heinrich Schliemann;Tiryns-Cyclopean walls, Pausaneus;Mycenae-lion gate;Agamemnon, megaron)