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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…
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…
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…
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…
Secrets of the Dead - China's Terracotta Warriors
PBS
The life-sized terracotta warriors of China are known throughout the world. This clay army of 8,000 including infantry, archers, generals and cavalry was discovered by archaeologists in 1974 after farmers digging a well near the Chinese city of Xian unearthed…
The Origins of Modern Archaeology
Episode 1 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Begin to investigate what archaeologists actually do, the nature and scope of their work, and popular misconceptions about the field. As an introduction to the course, trace the colorful history of archaeology from its beginnings with the ancient Babylonian king…
Archaeology - The Series that Rewrites History
A lost city is discovered in an emerald jungle of Honduras; the remains of Viking settlements confirm the fierceness of these warriors, but also reveal that they were proud poets; recent excavations expose the story of the mass suicide on…
13 videos
Excavating Pompeii and Herculaneum
Episode 2 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Travel to the iconic sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy--Roman towns that were famously destroyed by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Learn about the history of their excavation, and witness the astonishing preservation of buildings, objects, and…
Prehistoric Autopsy - Neanderthal
BBC
Human evolution is not a straight line and prehistory is littered with hominids that never made it. Putting flesh and skin back onto ancient bones, this original series recreates every inch of three of our earliest ancestors. From fragments of…
Early Archaeology in Mesopotamia
Episode 4 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Explore the history of phenomenal finds in Mesopotamia, beginning with the 19th-century unearthing of the great Assyrian palaces at Nimrud and Ninevah, with their libraries of cuneiform texts. Also contemplate the 20th-century discovery of the dazzling treasures of the famous…
Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
The work of archaeologists has commanded worldwide attention and captivated the human imagination since the earliest days of exploration, with groundbreaking discoveries such as the treasures of ancient Egypt, the lost kingdoms of the Maya, and the fabled city of…
24 videos
Emperor's Ghost Army
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
In central China, a vast underground mausoleum conceals a life-size terracotta army of cavalry, infantry, horses, chariots, weapons, administrators, acrobats, and musicians, all built to serve China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, in the afterlife. Lost and forgotten for…
Schliemann and His Successors at Troy
Episode 3 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Follow the exploits of Heinrich Schliemann, a 19th-century amateur archaeologist who was determined to find the site of Homer's Troy. Learn about his dig through nine stratified cities, the astonishing finds, and the intense debates concerning which city was the…
Prehistoric Archaeology
Episode 6 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Prehistoric archaeology allows us to glimpse the earliest times in hominid and human history. Learn about seminal 20th-century finds of hominids in Africa, which provided clues to the origins of our ancestors from millions of years ago. Then discover the…
How Do You Excavate at a Site?
Episode 10 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Here, delve into the specifics of how to perform an archaeological dig. Learn about the physical tools of the trade, how to excavate objects in the ground, and how a dig's schedule unfolds. Learn about strategies in the field such…
How Do Archaeologists Know Where to Dig?
Episode 5 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
This lecture uncovers the methodology archaeologists use in looking for sites. Get acquainted with the uses of remote sensing technologies, such as LiDAR and ground penetrating radar, which enable archaeologists to visualize objects obscured by vegetation and soil. Then investigate…
Göbekli Tepe, Çatalhöyük, and Jericho
Episode 7 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
Among significant Neolithic (New Stone Age) sites, explore Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, whose imposing stone rings are the oldest known examples of monumental architecture in the early Near East. Continue to Jericho, with its extraordinary tombs and famous tower, and…
The Uluburun Shipwreck
Episode 13 of Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites
The Uluburun shipwreck, a vessel that sank in 1300 B.C. off the coast of what is now modern Turkey, ranks among the greatest archaeological finds of all time. Learn about its remarkable underwater excavation, and wonder at the ship's fabulous…