Secrets To Civilisation, The
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This series explores how cutting-edge science is changing the way we think about the ancient past - restoring the environment to its place as a key driver of human history.
Throughout the series, top historians and archaeologists share with us how new collaborations with the scientific community, and a host of new data on the state of our planet, is providing them with fresh insights on how climate, disease and vulcanism have affected the course of human history. We meet those who are on the front line, gathering evidence from ancient pollen, plankton, human DNA and the residues of ancient pollution locked in Arctic ice.
From ancient Egypt to the fall of Rome, we use a battery of visual techniques and CGI for exquisite cut-scenes featuring some of the big characters of history whose lives coincide with the big swings of nature - and who have to deal with the consequences. And we frame our stories with CGI that recreates the ‘big picture’ – giving us a bird’s eye view of cities and landscapes of the past, and pulling out to take a satellite view of what’s going on at a continental scale.
We unpack three pivotal moments in world history: The collapse of Bronze Age civilisations over 3,000 years ago was a true end of an era and a massive backward step for humanity. It was also the historical context in which the stories of Exodus and the Trojan War were born. But it was followed by the phenomenon that we look at in our second episode: the inexorable rise of classical civilisation in the 1st Millennium BC, a zero-to-hero journey that culminated in the creation of the world’s first superpower, the Roman Empire. And finally in episode 3 we re-examine the collapse of Roman Empire, so often portrayed as a fall into decadence and decline while under pressure from waves of invading barbarians, but long overdue a radical rethink – because this is an era in which globalisation combined with changes to the natural environment that resulted in the first pandemics.
By exploring these questions, we can find out the essential rules of what it takes to make or break a civilisation.
|The Bronze Age Catastrophe
||Cities and Empire
||Empire and Epidemics
Impossible Factual / CuriosityStream / OTF Studios