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Archaeology

Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds

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First Steps
Episode 1 of NOVA: Becoming Human
PBS
Where did we come from? What makes us human? An explosion of recent discoveries sheds light on these questions, and NOVA's comprehensive, three-part special, "Becoming Human," examines what the latest scientific research reveals about our hominid relatives. Part 1, "First…
Dawn of Humanity
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
NOVA and National Geographic present exclusive access to a unique discovery of ancient remains. Located in an almost inaccessible chamber deep in a South African cave, the site required recruiting a special team of experts slender enough to wriggle down…
Breaking the Maya Code - Discovering Remnants of the Mayans
For almost 2000 years, the ancient Maya of Central America recorded their history and ideas in an intricate and beautiful hieroglyphic script. Then, in the 16th century, Spanish invaders burned their books and ruthlessly extinguished hieroglyphic literacy. By the 18th…
Decoding Neanderthals
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans--people physically identical to us today--left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone:…
Birth of Humanity
Episode 2 of NOVA: Becoming Human
PBS
In "Birth of Humanity," the second part of the three-part series "Becoming Human," NOVA investigates the first skeleton that really looks like us-"Turkana Boy"-an astonishingly complete specimen of Homo erectus found by the famous Leakey team in Kenya. These early…
Last Human Standing 
Episode 3 of NOVA: Becoming Human
PBS
In "Last Human Standing," the final program of the three-part series "Becoming Human," NOVA examines the fate of the Neanderthals, our European cousins who died out as modern humans spread from Africa into Europe during the Ice Age. Did modern…
Constantine's Sword
This astonishing exploration of the dark side of Christianity follows former priest James Carroll on a journey of remembrance and reckoning. Carroll, a National Book Award winner, is a practicing Catholic whose search for the truth leads him to confront…
Jesus' Many Faces
Episode 1 of FRONTLINE: From Jesus to Christ
PBS
HOUR ONE examines how Judaism and the Roman empire shaped Jesus' life. Jesus was an ordinary Jewish resident of his time, but new archaeological findings show that Jesus was probably not the humble class. Nazareth, where he grew up, was…
Europe on the Brink of the Black Death
Episode 1 of The Black Death
Begin to contemplate the enormity of the Black Death's impact on the medieval world. As context for the harrowing events to come, take account of the state of medieval society on the eve of the plague. In particular, investigate the…
In the Footsteps of Buddha - The Path to Buddha’s Enlightenment
A journey across India walking in the same path that lead to Buddha's enlightenment. Siddhartha Guatama lived 2500 years ago in an ancient land called Maghada, known today as Bihar, the poorest state in India. He was born in Lumbini…
Dinosaurs Alive!
See the earliest creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous come to life! Join renowned paleontologists as they discover new fossils and uncover evidence that dinosaur descendants are still among us. Realistic and scientifically-accurate computer generated…
Augustine: A Voice for all Generations
Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is one of the greatest theologians of the Christian Church. His works, including The City of God, On the Trinity, and Confessions, have had an inestimable impact on the Church and, by extension, on Western Civilization…
Royal Deceit
An ancient Danish story of evil, power and human spirit, that subsequently inspired William Shakespeare on his tragedy, Hamlet. When the king of Jutland is murdered by his brother, the dark prince claims both the throne and Queen Geruth. Although…
Buddhism: The Buddhism: The Land of the Disappearing Buddha-Japan
Part of the Series: The Long Search
If the Buddha of India met the Buddha of Japan, would they recognize each other? To find out, this program talks to the staff in a Tokyo restaurant who keep regular Zen meditation schedules as part of their job, then…
Dinosaur Wars
Part of the Series: American Experience
PBS
Dinosaur Wars, from producer Mark Davis, is the story of two talented scientists, O.C. Marsh and Edward Cope, whose once professional rivalry soured into a bitter personal feud. Together, Marsh and Cope were responsible for identifying more than 142 different…
Hagia Sophia - Istanbul's Mystery
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, Hagia Sophia and its soaring dome have inspired reverence and awe. For 800 years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world--the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its…
INAATE/SE/ - The Seven Fires Prophecy
A re-imagination of an ancient Ojibway story -- the Seven Fires Prophecy -- which both predates and predicts first contact with Europeans, INAATE/SE/ is a kaleidoscopic experience blending documentary, narrative, and experimental forms. INAATE/SE/ transcends linear colonized history to explore…
Dante - The Life and Work of Dante Alighieri
Most notable for his vast poem, The Divine Comedy, Dante's work continues to resonate with audiences today. Filmmaker Malcolm Hossick uncovers the Italian poet's background and his influential work from the Renaissance period.
Among Believers
Part of the Series: The Story of the Jews
PBS
Simon Schama's epic series continues with the story of medieval Jews struggling to preserve their identity -- and sometimes their lives -- under the rule of Christianity and Islam. Whether labeled "Christ-killers" by the Christians or "dhimmi" (non-Muslim citizens of…
Song of the Basques - A Poetic Exploration of the Survival of Indigenous Identity in Spain
Their origins are unknown, their language one of the world's most ancient. They established one of the first democracies and led Europe's Age of Exploration, fueled the industrial revolution and then established Spain's first labor unions. Today they are the…