Journey back in time for an eye-opening look at the amazing ancient roots of technologies we like to think of as modern. New research suggests that many of the inventions of the last 200 years may, in fact, have already been known to the ancients. In Part 1, we explore the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient machine that was discovered deep in the Aegean Sea. Could it perhaps have been an ancient computer? Could Archimedes have had a hand in its creation?
7.00 p.m. |HISTU| Galen, Doctor to the Gladiators
In this fascinating series, we examine ancient inventions once believed to have been created in modern times, and test the wits of ancient inventors against some of the world's great modern inventors. Part 2 uncovers the revolutionary work of Galen, the great Roman doctor to the gladiators, who was performing brain surgery 2,000 years ahead of his time. We also explore the sophistication of Roman medicine and compare it to modern techniques.
7.00 p.m. |DTC| First Olympian
Witness the spectacular world of the Olympics in 500 BC. The skeletal remains of Ikkos, the athlete Taranto, were studied to piece together the lifestyle of the earliest Olympic athletes. Find out how the first Olympians trained, lived and worshipped.
7.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ships
Lurking beneath the blue waters of Lake Nemi lay the titans of Roman naval engineering--the Nemi Ships. These titanic luxury liners of the ancient world held inventions lost for thousands of years. But why were they built? Were they Caligula's notorious floating pleasure palaces--rife with excess and debauchery? Flagships of a giant sea force? It took the obsession of Mussolini with all things Roman to finally prise the two huge wrecks from the depths of Lake Nemi near Rome. Using an ancient Roman waterway, he drained the lake and rescued the ships, an accomplishment captured on film that we access to illustrate this astounding story. Sophisticated ancient technology was discovered in the boats that transformed the understanding of Roman engineering overnight--the Nemi ships were a breathtaking find. Yet by 1944, the adventure had turned sour and the retreating German Army torched the boats. We reveal the mysteries of the Nemi Ships and the ancient technology that made them possible.
8.00 p.m. |DTC| Finding Atlantis
The search for the lost civilization of Atlantis has captured the imagination for the last 2,000 years. Examine the evidence gathered by three teams, each with its own theory. Discover mysterious links to ancient civilizations lost to time.
9.00 p.m. |SCI| Spartans at the Gates of Fire
For 2,500 years, the Battle of Thermopylae has been as a fierce conflict in the history of warfare. New research brings the ancient battlefield to life and reveals whether 7,000 Spartan and Greek soldiers could have held off the Persian invasion.
9.00 p.m. |HISTU| Warfare
Warfare was a way of life in the ancient world. The technology of war drove ancient inventors and engineers to ever-greater lengths to defeat their enemies. They were, perhaps, the greatest masterminds of the battlefield-- yet who were they, and how did they make their sophisticated lethal machines over 2,000 years ago? Ancient warfare was every bit as technical and lethal as warfare of today. Just witness the colossal and lethal Helepolis ("city taker"), the most sophisticated siege machine in history. From the sinister machines that could bring a city's wall crashing down to Greek Fire, the napalm of the ancient world--warfare was as terrible then as it is now. The sheer ingenuity and complexity with which these machines of war were created proves that the people of the ancient world were great inventors, mathematicians, and engineers.
10.00 p.m. |DTC| Spear of Jesus
In the Hofsburg Museum in Vienna, Austria, lies a metal spearhead said to have been used to pierce the side of Christ during his crucifixion. For the first time, scientific testing will establish if this ancient relic really is the Spear of Christ.