FOX

Stonehenge Decoded

For centuries, Stonehenge has been a puzzle. There have been many disputed theories about this giant stone circle: the Romans imagined a temple to the sun god Apollo. Medieval legend said it was the work of the wizard Merlin. More recently, some have claimed it is a giant stone computer built to predict the movement of the stars.

But now, at last, we might be close to a real understanding of this iconic Stone Age monument. In a vast new archaeological investigation, Professor Mike Parker Pearson and his team are unearthing evidence that reveals Stonehenge may not have stood in isolation, but was part of one of the largest prehistoric religious complexes in the world. Within this complex they have discovered remains of the largest prehistoric settlement in northern Europe.

And at its centre stood an extraordinary near replica of Stonehenge itself, built not in stone but wood.


Episode Length: 01:30:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Egypt Underworld

Exclusive archaeology takes us on a journey into the Egyptian afterworld – opening a new window into the little known world of death in ancient Egypt. To the ancient Egyptians, life after death was a highstakes underworld journey fraught with terrifying obstacles: fiery lakes of death, battles with bona fide monsters and ultimately eternal death or resurrection with the sun. It’s a journey each Egyptian believed was real, and for the pharaoh the stakes were even higher – the entire cosmos depended on the king’s successful journey and resurrection.

Now, new excavations are revealing more than we’ve ever known about what the Egyptians knew they’d encounter on their afterlife journey. And we’re finding that the king’s tomb wasn’t just a place to keep his mummified corpse. The royal tomb was nothing less than a machine constructed to guarantee the king’s resurrection and eternal life. In Egypt Underworld, we follow one of ancient Egypt’s greatest pharaohs – Seti I – on his journey through the afterlife.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Secret Cities of the Amazon

Over the centuries, scores of explorers attempted and failed to discover the lost civilisations that were rumoured to be hidden in the Amazon. Now, a new generation of scientific explorers is reviving the theories of ‘El Dorado’. What they’ve uncovered deep in the Amazon is evidence of massive, populated civilisations – radically challenging conventional notions of what the Western Hemisphere looked like before Columbus.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Roman Homicide

Who killed a ten-year-old child and hid the body beneath the floor of a Roman army barrack room nearly 1,800 years ago and why? Archaeologists, forensic scientists, historians and a homicide adviser pitch in to solve this fascinating mystery, deep into the life of a garrison on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. To bury someone within a fort was a strict taboo among the Romans so the murderer must have been desperate. Modern forensic science and plain old fashioned archaeology lead us to a series of possible scenarios that in the end bring a startling twist in a direction no one would have expected.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Chachapoya: Solving the Mystery of a Lost Civilisation

High in the cloud forests of Peru the stone walls of a mysterious mountaintop fortress rise out of the jungle. These 60-foot walls are filled with the bones of vanished people called the Chachapoya, or the Cloud Warriors. From AD 800 to the mid-1500’s they lived high in the Andes and became a culture of warriors and shamans, travelling a network of trade routes between the coast and the Amazon. It took an intense struggle by the powerful Incan empire to gain control of the fiercely independent Chachapoya tribes. But did the Inca ever succeed in conquering the Chachapoya stronghold of Kuelap? Archeologists at Kuelap have uncovered hundreds of elaborate burial sites throughout the settlement that have revealed tantalising clues about the identity of the Chachapoya people and how and why they built such a massive fortress. But the mystery remains unsolved: why did the entire Chachapoya civilisation abruptly disappear in the middle of the sixteenth century? Now, we join a team of archaeologists led by Alfredo Narvaez as they uncover some startling evidence.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 6

For centuries, people have wondered if accounts describing “a great flood” in dozens of ancient cultures could be evidence of a single catastrophic event. Now, Bulgarian scientists believe they have evidence that reveals not only where such a Great Flood happened, but what caused it. One investigator searches for clues that could reveal the series of events that led to the devastating natural disaster. Then, head to the Scottish highlands where ancient monoliths inscribed with mysterious markings and symbols are scattered across Scotland. Baffling and undecipherable, they have remained one of ancient Britain’s great enigmas. But Dr Rob Lee believes he may have cracked their code and could be on the brink of revealing the language and wisdom of an ancient civilisation.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 6 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 5

For centuries, archeologists have searched for these original “cities of sin” supposedly destroyed by the wrath of God. But have the experts been looking in the wrong place all these years? Archaeological excavations have uncovered the scorched remains of ancient pottery shards super-heated in a catastrophic event with the intensity of a nuclear blast. Could this be evidence of a supernatural intervention? Then, head to Italy to explore the darkest secrets of Rome, Venice and Milan as author Nick Pelling attempts to decode what has been called “the most mysterious text in the world” – the Voynich Text. Filled with cryptic lettering and bizarre imagery, the document has stumped historians and code breakers for over a century, but Pelling believes he can succeed where others have failed and finally decode this strange text.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 5 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 4

In 591, Pope Gregory gave a sermon describing Mary Magdalene as a harlot and this notorious reputation of her has stuck. But in recent years, Mary Magdalene has attracted new attention as some have embraced the idea that she was not only Jesus Christ’s spouse, but also the mother of his children and the victim of the biggest conspiracy in the history of the Church. Join author Margarat Starbird as she sets out to investigate these claims, witnesses a haunting ritual performed by a group that venerates Mary Magdalene as the wife of Christ and examines evidence that women may have played a more significant role in the early Christian church than previously thought.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 4 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 3

Canonized as a saint on the eve of World War I, Joan of Arc remains France’s national heroine and a symbol of French pride. The nineteen-year old leader of the French army was burnt as a witch at the stake. Or was she? One investigator has uncovered controversial evidence that Joan may have not only survived her execution, but went on to live a full life. Then, prophecies and predictions of the apocalypse are common among many religions. In Christian belief, the end of the world will be marked by the return of Christ and the construction of a great holy city, “a New Jerusalem,” with a sacred temple at its heart. Author Adrian Gilbert believes this New Jerusalem may have already been built to fulfil the vision of the Knights Templar and the Freemasons – in the very city of London.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 3 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 2

For years, historians thought that Incan khipus – a series of knotted cords on a line – were simple counting devices, like a woollen abacus. But one investigator believes khipus are actually a three-dimensional system for record keeping. By examining an ancient khipu with a multi-spectral scanner, she hopes to crack the code of the Incas and reveal their secrets. Then, journey to the other side of the world where Vikings spread their terror across the high seas. Considered fearsome warriors with superior navigational skills, they reached North America hundreds of years before Columbus. Historians still don’t know how they did it without a magnetic compass. Their sagas mention the existence of magic crystals – stones which, according to legend, guided them across the seas. Now, one woman, a Viking descendant and an expert on bird migration, investigates the legend of these mysterious sunstones.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 2 of 6


 

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