Lost City of the Pyramid Builders
Lost Cities of the Pyramid Builders explores the lives of the people who built the pyramids of Ancient Egypt for decades, their lives have been shrouded and myths and mysteries. New evidence is rewriting the history of the pyramids. Burials have been discovered and these burials are of the people who built the pyramids. How were these pyramids built? Were the pyramids built by slaves? Or was this a community construction project for their Pharoah? The Run time is 49:22.
The Great Pyramid was the largest pyramid built and then two more pyramids were built, each getting smaller and smaller. This feat would never be accomplished again. What is documented about the pyramids is found in the temples of dead nobles. The people who built them were lost to history. Ancient Hearsay tells us that the pyramids were built by slaves. Ancient Greek historians said so on visits to Egypt. Hollywood reinforced the myth.
However, a blockbuster discovery shattered that myth. In 1990 a digger hit a large block buried in the sand. Archeologists moved onto the site and discovered a wall of a large building. They kept digging and started finding evidence of a large settlement. What was this settlement? Why was it so large? Could this be where the people who built the pyramids lived?
The first thing discovered on the site was a bakery and the jars that were used to bake bread. Food was being produced on a vast scale. A few months later, another blockbuster discovery was made at a site higher on the site. A horse’s leg went through a hole and discovered a wall. It was the wall of a tomb. These tombs were the tombs of the people who built the pyramids. The people in them were bones and had a few simple objects in them.
There was no doubt about these tombs: these were the tombs of the pyramid builders. There were tombs for bakers, builders, and overseers. Additional to the tombs, the archeologists found remains of the food they ate. There were fish bones and meat bones in enormous numbers. Cattle bones were found on the site and this was a high-cost item to be found on the site. This seems to hint that the people who worked on the pyramid were not slaves. They were a group of people well-fed.
More than 600 skeletons have been found in the tombs. There were an equal number of men and women on the site. There were bones of children found on the site as well. The bodies were DNA tested and it was discovered that the pyramid workers were families. This would smash the myth that the pyramid builders were slaves. More surprises were to come. Another thing that was revealed about the bones is that the Pyramid Builders had medical care on-site. There was evidence of broken bones being healed and there was evidence of amputation on the site.
The growing body of evidence shows that the pyramid builders were a well-fed and privileged group of people. The work was grueling and so the pyramid builders had access to doctors who treated them on site. They had the highest standard of medical care available for their age, they would need this care because pyramid building took a toll on the body. Unfortunately, the pyramid builders had a shorter lifespan.
How did the pyramid builders do it? The Greek historians were told that the pyramids were built by hauling rocks using leavers and that a hundred thousand slaves worked on the site. However, the numbers do not add out. In fact, there is a theory that 5,000 people stayed on the site permanently while other people came and left the site. An American builder ran the numbers to test the Greek Theory. So how did this American builder figure out how many people were needed to build the pyramid? Tune into this episode to find out more.
As I reviewed this episode I realized that this was originally shown on PBS as a Secrets of the Dead episode. At the time I remembered this would be an excellent documentary to show in a class and watching this documentary again so many years later reinforces that believe. This documentary is highly recommended for classroom viewing, especially in a middle school history class.
Ascent of Civilization - Carthage
Good morning, we are throwing things back to the history of Carthage. This is from the series The Ascent of Civilization. The run time for this documentary is 51:16.
Carthage was famous for its purple dye. They were traders who controlled the Mediterranean Coast for thousands of years. They left behind an alphabet. They were known as master shipbuilders. However, they had a reputation for child sacrifice. They were known as the Phoenicians by Homer. Their greatest enemy was the Romans. So who were the Phoenicians? Why did they become so powerful?
The Phoenicians were loosely organized into city-states and they lived in the shadow of the Assyrians and the Egyptians. These civilizations demanded tribute from the Phoenicians. The Assyrian Empire was everyone’s worse nightmare. They wanted to extort anything and everything they could. The Phoenicians always kept up the silver and copper stocks for the Assyrian Kings. The Egyptians treated the Phoenicians poorly as well. However, the Phoenicians grew tired of shipping their wealth out to other nations. One king rose against their overlords.
So as the nations dealt with inner turmoil the Phoenicians struck back. The Phoenicians refused to send free wood to Egyptians. They demanded payment from the Egyptians. This demand startled the Egyptians however they paid the price to get their wood.
The Phoenician world was divided between the east and west. The Phoenicians were known as Phoenicians in the Western Empire and the east, they were known as Carthaginians. The Romans called them Punic. Carthage was only a small colony that grew into a thriving trading city. The legendary Princess Dido was the founder of Carthage. She fled from Tyre and her power-hungry brother. She landed on the North African coast. She made a deal with a local chieftain. She could have landed the size of a cowhide. Cleverly she had the cowhide cut into strips and ended up with a large chunk of land to establish her city.
The story of Princess Dido has some truth to it. Carthage was established as a colony with people from Tyre. It was established with a strategic reason in mind. The city was carefully planned with strategic defenses on both the land and water side of the city. 30,000 people were living in Carthage. The Chief Magistrates lead the city and were elected every year by the citizen lead assembly. They created laws and had political discussions. Many of their laws revolved around trade. The Carthaginians started with ports nearby and then eventually built up an extensive trade network. They traded all over the coastline in Europe and went into Africa. The Carthaginians grew rich through their trade and were renowned for their handicrafts.
The Carthaginians established colonies like Cadiz, Malaga, and Grenada. These cities would eventually grow into powerful cities. Each of these cities had its gods and they were worshiped in a variety of sanctuaries. These gods were influenced by the civilizations around them. The Carthaginians had a large pantheon of gods. There were three favorite deities: El, Astarte, and Baal. El was the king of the gods and creator of the world. Astarte was the goddess of war, seafaring, love, and heaven. Baal was sometimes known as the sun god or the gods of healing. They also enjoyed worshiping Isis and Demeter.
The heart of the city was the harbor and it was cleverly designed. Both military and merchant ships would come into this harbor. The most modern warships were built in this harbor and it was a top-secret area. Excavations of ships that were sunk show how the Phoenicians built their ships.
The Carthaginians also had an evil reputation. They sacrificed animals and their children. Newborn sons were burned alive. They wanted protection for their community. For a while this was shocking to historians, however, there have been excavations that show that this was true. There was one monument that shows that children were sacrificed.
This is an excellent documentary on Carthage. It had a good pace throughout the documentary. This documentary gave the facts about Carthage with a few reenactments. I would consider showing this to a middle school history classroom. The section on the gods would be appropriate for an English classroom because it dives into mythology.
Good morning, I am going to be a little bit controversial here and today’s topic is about the history of Aviation. Were the Wright brothers the first to fly? Or was there another flyer that took to the skies earlier? The run time for this documentary is 52:49.
In 1903, the Wright Brothers made the first motorized flight. Or did they? This documentary talks about the controversy surrounding this claim. Aviation expert, John Brown explores this controversy and puts for the claim that Gustave Whitehead was the one that made the first flight. It is a claim that outrages many. Was Gustave Whitehead a genius or a person discredited by his rivals? Who kick-started the age of aviation?
The flight was one of humanity’s greatest achievements and it is celebrated at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The museum has the Wright Brother’s plane from 1903. What is the real story behind the first flight? In 2011, an Australian aviation expert began exploring that first flight. His name is John Brown and he was exploring the early history of aviation. During this research, he discovered a photo from 1901 built by a German aviator Gustave Whitehead. The photo was of a motorized plane. When John saw the photo, he felt like everything was in the right place. John Brown set out to find the truth about Gustave Whitehead and his flights. He found records about this flight and Gustave Whitehead from five continents. As he dug deeper, he found controversy along the way.
Who was Gustave Whitehead? There were rumors that he was flying in 1901. The contemporary sources talk about Gustave Whitehead’s plane. In the 1930s, Stella Randolph started exploring the history of aviation. She was pointed to an article in a local paper from 1901. It was about Gustave Whitehead and his flight. She decided to research the story of Gustave Whitehead. She expanded that original article and put together a book. She tracked down the witnesses to these flights. However, these efforts would be in vain. World War II happened and nobody wanted to give the title of the first flight to a German. Stella’s evidence fell on deaf ears and she went to her grave believing that Whitehead was the first to make the mechanical flight.
What happened to Stella’s claim that Whitehead was the first to fly? In 1945, Orville Wright wrote an article quoting someone who knew Whitehead. He called Whitehead a dreamer who did not fly. John Brown would go hunting for the evidence. He starts in Whitehead’s hometown in Germany. Here, he explores the life of Gustave Whitehead before his immigration to the United States. The museum in the city has a replica of the plane Gustave flew. Gustave spent years exploring flight. He started designing gliders. He took many flights with these gliders. His early efforts would inspire other aviation pioneers.
John continues to track down the evidence of these flights. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, Andy Kosch, a physics professor started experimenting with building a replica of Whitehead’s plane. He proved that Whitehead’s design could fly. As word got out about this replica, many others came forward including individuals who had known people that had witnessed Whitehead’s flights. John continues his exploration in the United States where Whitehead found employment at the Boston Aeronautical Society. He constructed gliders and these images were published in the local newspapers.
Eventually, he moved to Pittsburg where he first started experimenting with flying. Stella would track down the first of many witnesses to these flights in Pittsburg. One man was in the plane with Gustave when they flew. The local newspapers wrote about these attempts. To learn more about Gustave Whitehead and his aviation exploits tune into the rest of the episode to find out more.
When I first saw this documentary, I was skeptical about the topic and also wondered if it would be worth sharing in a classroom. However, as the evidence started to be revealed I saw the potential that Whitehead was the first. There were also points in the documentary where I felt like some of the experts were a bit condensing. In the end, this would be a good documentary to show in a history classroom because of how the sources were looked at and examined.
Storm Over Europe - Episode 4
Good morning, we are going to conclude our Storm over Europe series. So who would inherit Europe after the Roman Empire collapsed? Could the barbarians rule Europe? The run time for this episode is 50:19.
The Visigoths had come from Scandinavia and traveled around. They went on a long journey and traveled to France. Eventually, they were pushed out and started their long trek south. They left behind all their possessions once again and moved. It was a long and difficult journey. The Visigoths were pushed from their kingdom by the Franks. Anyone who joined up with the Visigoths, they were welcomed. The Visigoths were considered a tribe of many peoples.
Thirty to forty thousand people made the journey over the mountains into Spain. The plains of Spain welcomed them. Spain would be the home of the Visigoths, and they wanted to stay forever. Toledo would become the seat of their kingdom. For two centuries Toledo was the residence of the Visigoth kingdom.
Few remains remain of their occupation. However, what remains leaves tantalizing traces of the Visigoth culture and are known to experts. Stones and carvings were found and were reused to decorate a palace. Archeologists further suspect that there are additional traces of the Visigoths found throughout Toledo. There were figures found carved into churches. The figures in the church show the type of faith the Visigoths had. Any additional remains will probably stay hidden forever underneath the buildings.
There were no remains of construction work done by the Visigoths, perhaps they moved into what the Romans built. The Visigoths settled in the Spanish plains. They farmed and worked the land. Others became wealthy landowners. There was one king of the Visigoths and he built up his empire in the Gothic Tradition. The King was the highest authority of the land beneath God. A crown discovered hammered home this idea. It was left on an altar.
The locals regarded the Visigoths as barbarians. So the Visigoth king got rid of his furs because they stank. He donned a purple cloak. However, only the Roman Emperor was allowed the purple cloak. The Visigoth king donning the purple cloth showed that they were claiming power in their territories for themselves. The Visigoths were the first to wear the purple and this tradition carried on through the generations with future Kings and Queens. The Visigoths minted their coins, another sign that they were their kingdom. Minting coins were a privilege of the Romans, however, the Visigoths minting their coins showed they arrived.
The Visigoths built churches and there are only a few remains of the churches that are left. Archeologists continue to work on the site to uncover the remains of a Visigoth settlement. This settlement was named after a Visigoth king’s son. Through the years, more and more of this settlement has been uncovered. Visigoths built their settlement on new foundations. It was a place of toleration where different groups lived together in peace.
The gate was huge and there was a market area and shops. The gate marked a transition between the living area and the commerce area. It reinforced that the Visigoths had arrived and they had powerful kings. Every single piece that is dug up highlights the lives lived in the settlement. The city was an important trading place and a financial center. Recently, the foundations of the King’s Palace were dug up. This palace had no precedent in the Ancient World. Several thousand people called this settlement home. It will take several generations to discover everything about this Visigoth city.
The Visigoths were strangers to the new land, but they spoke Latin like the Romans and tried to adopt Roman ways. They were still treated as foreigners by the locals. The bones of the Visigoths tell their tales as well. Several hundred Visigoth graves were discovered and the grave goods showed a people who were adapting to their new lands. Eventually, the kingdom of the Visigoths was overthrown by the Muslims and they were scattered. To learn more about what happened to the Visigoths continue to watch this episode.
This is a good episode that sums up the Visigoths quite nicely, so it would be a good episode to show in the classroom.
Storm Over Europe - Episode 3
We are continuing our series Storm over Europe and this time the series is exploring the Goths. In this episode, the face of a Goth woman is being reconstructed. The Goths shook the Roman Empire and would enter history through their encounters. They were people who lived at the end of the world on the Polish coast. They had come over the sea in three boats to escape the dark north. One boat arrived later and the people were nicknamed the slow ones.
Scandinavia was the womb of the Goth tribes. Eventually, they moved to the Polish coast and spread from there. The whole Baltic area was influenced by the Goths. There was a saga of the Goth, and these were stories about the Goths passed down through the generations. Does this saga match historic facts? The Goths had set up stone circles. Were these places of worship? Or were these observatories? Or were they burial grounds? One archeologist investigates these stone circles. He talks about the links between the stone circles in Scandinavian and the stone circles in Poland. There seems to be a hint that Poland became the second homeland of the Goths.
However, the Goths continued to advance inland. They went interior and subjected all their neighbors. They were a free people. The Goths continued to move the interior using the rivers. There was no mass exodus. Goths were continuously looking for better settlements.
There was a burial discovered in Poland. The Goths had buried a boat. There was a woman buried in a seated position in the boat. Another Gothic burial site was discovered and it contained several hundred skeletons. The men in the tombs were buried without swords and daggers. The Goths pressed onto Hungary.
The Goths were excellent traders as well and their networks spread throughout Europe. Turtle shells, glass beads from Africa, and shells from the Black Sea were discovered. It was the lure of Rome that continued to drive the Goths south. The Long March of the Goths moved forward, other tribes joined them in the migration. At the time the Goths did not register on the Roman Radar.
Rome was looking to expand their territories and they sent an army to Germany, where they faced defeat in the Teutoburg Forest. It was another few decades before Romans returned to the scene of their greatest defeat. The soldiers went to bury the remains of their fellow soldiers and to bury their defeat. 15,000 Roman Legionaries lost their lives on the battlefield. Almost 2,000 years later, archeologists finally discovered the location of that battlefield. Coins and slingshot rocks were discovered at the site.
Archeologists descended on the site and finally located where the battle took place. They discovered many items belonging to the Roman legions. Thousands of bones have been found on the site as well. Death still hangs over the battlefield and the bones testify to the fall of the Roman Army. A beautiful parade mask was discovered on the site. The finds prove that the battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place.
At the time of the battle, there were rumors of a German revolt. The Germans were enraged but kept friendly relations with the Romans. Eventually, the trap was sprung and the battle commenced. The Germans wanted their freedom despite their relationship with the Romans. This relationship would be turned on the Romans as the tribes learned Roman army tactics. One by one the Romans were slain. This shattered the myth that the Romans were unbeatable. Perhaps the Romans should have treated the Germanic tribes differently and history would have been different.
Present-day Germans celebrate the revolt as a movement for freedom. Were the leaders fighting for freedom? That is up to debate. The Teutoburg Forest showed that the Romans were able to be defeated. The Roman Empire would not expand beyond the Rhine and Danube. The Romans built forts and walls along this boundary. Many soldiers were sent to man these forts and would patrol the borders. This border was supposed to appear intimidating. However, the Germans still found their way around these walls. So, to continue to learn more about this watch the rest of this documentary.
This would be one documentary to skip because it seems that in the middle of the documentary the Goths and their migrations were dropped.
Storm Over Europe - Episode 2
Good morning, we are continuing our storm over Europe series. This episode features the Huns and how they were a feared group of barbarians.
This documentary recreates the face of a Visigoth man and traces his journey throughout Europe. This man found a home in Southern France. He survived many battles and changes over the years. He was a man who got away from the Huns just in time. The Huns were on the move. This caused many of the Germanic tribes to move south to Rome out of fear. The Huns struck fear in the tribes. They were always looting. The Visigoths tried to escape from them.
The Visigoths told stories about the Huns’ weapons and their appearance. They were described as two-legged animals. The only way for the Visigoths to escape was across the Danube River. They fled to Rome. Once there, they promised to become Christians. They also vowed to submit to the rule of the emperor. The emperor took mercy on the Visigoths and allowed them to stay in Rome.
Unfortunately, the Roman Empire was very weak and could not defend itself. So, therefore, the Visigoths’ arrival was fortuitous. They were warriors and could defend Rome from the Hun Menace. The Visigoths agreed to protect Rome for shelter. The Huns had come from the steppes of Asia. They had subjugated many people along their way to the march to Rome. They were the most feared warriors. They were brutal warriors on horseback. Their weapons were highly effective against their enemies. They did not touch a plow and roam the land. They stole everything they needed.
The Huns were more than what the old histories say. They submitted to powerful leaders. They were capable of wide-reaching strategic campaigns. Their weapon of choice was a bow. It was feared for its range and penetrating power. The Hun warriors were well trained in its use. It was a wonder weapon to the people who encountered them. The Huns were the people who first used saddles on their horses. They could shoot up to thirty arrows per minute.
One finds that was discovered a sacrificial cauldron was found. It quite possibly belonged to Atilla the Hun, one of the more powerful Hun Leaders. He had a grand palace near the Danube River. The Huns eventually conquered Hungary. Their enemies described them as having distorted faces with pinholes for eyes. However, the bones tell a different story. The horse-riding people of Mongolia have the same faces as the Huns.
The Ostrogoths were the first people who fell under the Huns. The Legendary Ostrogoth King committed suicide rather than face the Huns. However, his death gave the Huns over the people. The Visigoths would rather flee than submit to the Huns. More and more tribes fled from the Huns, over 100,000 people, and the exiles were welcomed into the Roman Empire.
A horde of gold belonging to the Visigoths is housed in a Romanian Museum in Bucharest. The gold is so precious it is kept under high security. The barbarians created a variety of priceless treasures, a gift for their gods in the afterlife. The Visigoths crafted a variety of eagle motifs in their goldwork. The eagle was their symbol. The Visigoths wandered for forty years before resettling in Rome. In their wanderings, they were looking for land that could support a high amount of people. The nomadic life became second nature to the Visigoths.
At the same time, other tribes were moving. The Huns drove the Vandals away and they still moved forward, raiding and looting along the way. The Vandals crossed into Africa and settled there. Despite this, due to prejudices, the Vandals were made the villains of the story. They were, like the Visigoths fighting for their survival. When they arrived in Africa, the Vandals adapted local culture and liked what they saw. They did not destroy what they found in Africa but lived in the buildings that were occupied by Romans. They put an end to gladiator combat in Africa. They respected the surroundings. To discover more about the Vandals in Africa continue to watch this documentary.
This is another excellent documentary to show in the classroom, even if it has an old-school feel to it. Just facts and not anything frivolous.
Storm Over Europe - Episode 1
Good morning, every time I do my yearly recommendations for the following school year and every year I get to the section on the Ancient World. Every year I think, man I am really thin on ancient history documentaries I need to blog more on the ancient world. Every year I do not do it. That changes today and so I am going to do more documentaries on the Ancient World. I will kick off this exploration with the series Storm over Europe. The run time is 51:17.
Barbarians were heading to Rome. What made these barbarians leave their homelands? They left behind beautiful objects in their wake. They were in the search of a new homeland because another tribe was threatening their lives and livelihoods. Eventually, Rome was sacked. These barbarians would be left to pick up the pieces Rome left behind. Who were these invaders? Why were they called barbarians? How did they shape European history? What did they leave behind?
Germanic tribes from the north, slowly moving south. They filled the Romans with dread for two decades. The Natural History Museum in Budapest holds thousands of skulls of these barbarians. Today, one of those skulls is going to undergo facial reconstruction. What did this man look like from two thousand years ago? No matter what he looked like, friends and foes would have recognized him. What can this face tell us about him and his tribe? How did the Cimbrians make their mark in history?
The first tribe explored is the Cimbrians. The Goths and Romans hated the Cimbrians. Little is known about the ordinary people of the Cimbrians. The Cimbrians lived in the high north and it was said that the only thing that separated them was that they had limbs and a voice. They lived in Jutland, at the edge of the inhabited world. How did we learn about the Cimbrians? Why would they live on the edge of civilization?
Their bodies were found in the bogs and the bogs preserved their bodies. These bodies were discovered when peat cutters found them. The bog preserved the bodies and the clothes of the Cimbrians. It was clear from the bodies that the Cimbrians knew how to weave cloth and that their clothing was well made. They did not run around naked as the Romans believed, and in fact, they followed fashions. Today the cloth appears brown but that is due to the peat dying on the cloth. The Cimbrians used a variety of colors to dye their clothes and the colors came from nature. In fact, the dying methods are still in use.
Every Cimbrian settlement also had a blacksmith. The blacksmith had a bit of power in the village. Every village had a furnace and the blacksmith would spend time making weapons. Romans could not make better weapons than the Cimbrians. Cimbrians offered their weapons as sacrifices to the gods. They also created simple and unadorned ceramics. The bogs preserved these crafts for future generations to learn about the Cimbrians. The Cimbrians carried with them the bare essentials.
What is emerging from the Cimbrian culture is that they lived in longhouses on farmsteads. These farmsteads were fortified. Over 150 Cimbrians lived in twenty buildings. The buildings have been reconstructed based on what was found while digging. A hazel rod was found in the ground and it was clear that it was used for measuring.
What made the Cimbrians move from Denmark? Was it a flood? Or was it famine? The Roman historians report that the Cimbrians lived a hand-to-mouth existence. There was no tradition of storing food for the future. In good years, the Cimbrians barely starved but when there were lean years many died. Through word of mouth, the Cimbrians heard about lands further south to a land where there was plenty of food and furs did not need to be worn in the winter. It was then they decided to move. To learn more about the Cimbrian migration continue to watch this documentary.
There is an old-school feel to this documentary, it does not make much fuss about the subjects in the documentary. It is unlike the other documentaries that I have reviewed and watched over the past few years. This would be a documentary to show to a middle school history classroom mainly because it is really unfussy.
Good morning! I am going to do something a little bit different in today’s blog. There is a world of YouTube History creators out there and I would be remiss in not including them on this website as well. I hope that you notice that there is a new section on the website listing YouTube channels for YouTube Historians. Their creations are often times short videos, however, despite their shortness they are rich in historical content. These videos would be excellent to share at the start of a class or the start of a unit.
In one of my earlier posts, I reviewed the Ask a Mortician YouTube Channel, as well as the Biographics YouTube Channel. I hope I will be able to expand your arsenal of resources to use in the classroom with students with some new YouTube Channels.
The People Profiles - YouTube
This is a channel devoted to the people of history. This channel was founded in 2018 and presents recorded biographies of historical figures. The documentaries are written and produced by historians who have Master’s Degrees in History. Initially, the documentaries lasted forty-five minutes however eventually grew to be an hour long. These documentaries are carefully written and put together. This would be a good starting point for biographical projects on historical figures.
The Untold Past - YouTube
The channel features stories from World War I, World War II, British History, and World History. New content is posted weekly. The majority of videos have a run time from eight minutes to ten minutes. These videos cover a variety of topics from people who were running the concentration camps, to executions that occurred after World War II, and some Tudor Topics. The documentaries on the executions of Concentration Camp Officers were interesting and very detailed. There are also some unknown stories such as the story of Noor Inayat Khan, a spy from World War II, Princess Mafalda, and Sir Thomas Overbury among others.
Biographics – YouTube
Biographics cover individual people from history. The tag line for this page is “providing biographic profiles of the men and women who -- for better or for worse -- helped write the pages of human history.” Videos are posted three times a week. The videos have a run time from fifteen minutes to twenty-five minutes. This channel covers a variety of people such as Abigail Adams, William Howard Taft, and Mary, Queen of Scots. This channel also covers lesser-known people such as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, William Walker, and Luigi Cadorna. If a student has a project on a historical person, this should be their first stop to help get a good summary of the person they are researching.
David Starkey Talks – YouTube
Controversial historian David Starkey is back and has launched his own YouTube channel: David Starkey Talks. He is one of Britain’s leading historians and has narrated documentary series featuring royalty and the Tudors. This channel was launched in October and covers a variety of topics beyond the Tudors, such as Parliament, the House of Windsor, royal titles, and academic freedom. He also provides commentary on modern events such as the war between Russia and Ukraine. Some of the short videos last twelve to twenty minutes, however, he does feature longer lectures that could run up to an hour or even longer.
Part-Time Explorer – YouTube
This explorer takes his time and travels through history, exploring the history of transportation, particularly ocean liners. I first discovered his channel through his documentary about the SS Atlantic. He recently worked on a series about one former steamship company called the Collins Line. These short documentaries are well done and he and his partners do the animation for the videos. Additionally to ships and shipwrecks, he also travels on land to explore ghost towns. One interesting project this man is tackling is putting together a virtual museum of the Lusitania. Run time for these videos runs from three minutes to one hour.
Ask a Mortician – YouTube
Ask a Mortician does not just talk about death and funeral preparations, but addresses the history of death and the funeral industry. Videos have a run time from two minutes to fifty minutes. Her historical topics include the Bubonic Plague in San Francisco, the United States’ First Cremation, and Lake Superior. She also has done recreation of Victorian funeral practices and has covered scandals in the funeral industry. Kaitlyn is an excellent narrator when it comes to exploring iconic corpses or interesting historical stories. I would recommend giving this channel a chance if you find something that matches your class unit.
The Anne Boleyn Files - YouTube
Claire Ridgeway posts daily content on the Tudor Period, if you have a question about the Tudor Period then this is the page to get your questions answered. She runs the popular Anne Boleyn Files Website which features articles about the life and times of Anne Boleyn. Her special feature is “On This Day in Tudor History.” Her current works include reaction videos about the Becoming Elizabeth series on HBO.
Good morning, we are finishing the Victorian House of Arts and Crafts series today. The run time for this episode is 59:12.
For the past three weeks, the crafters have been working together and decorating the house in the arts and crafts style. It is now the last week for the crafters. Have the ideals of the arts and crafts movement struck a chord with our crafters?
For this week, the crafters will be paired together in one final push to decorate the house. The first paring is Rod and Stephen and they will be working on a mirror. The mirror was created in the 1920s, so the pair will have to create an interpretation of the mirror. The second pairing is Abdollah and Niamh and they will be publishing a book. They will be publishing a crafting magazine. One popular magazine gave people ideas around the world. The final pairing is Bryony and Elsa. Their task is to create a weather vane. These crafts will test their skills and teach them new skills as well. The crafters go off to work on their tasks.
The crafters head to the library. The library and education were central to the arts and crafts movement. Then the crafters are given one final task: a pergola for the outside of the house. The judges talk about the crafters and talk about how each of the crafters will handle the task. Rod and Stephen realize that they will have to ask for help with this task. Rod is more experienced than Steven. Niamh works on the magazine and is at the typewriter all ready. Abdollah and Niamh will be using 19th Century methods to write and print their magazine. She shares the first draft of the introduction with Abdollah and is thrilled with the start. He calls Niamh a great writer. The magazine is a curveball craft for the week.
The final pairing is Bryony and Elsa. They take a walk in nature to help design the weather vane. Bryony is thrilled with working on a weather vane. She had done some blacksmithing before and would like to get her hand back in it. The crafters are off and working on their projects. At the breakfast table, the crafters talk about the magazine. After breakfast, Bryony and Elsa head to the forge to work on the weather vane. Their design is done and now they have to start to work on crafting the weather vane. Together they will learn how to blacksmith.
Abdollah works on the illustrations for the magazine. He also starts designing the pergola. Niamh works on interviewing the other crafters for the magazine. In the meantime, Rod and Stephen work on the mirror frame. Rod works on the frame while Stephen works on the bowl. The frame is going well, but Stephen is struggling with working on the bowl. He is feeling overwhelmed with the project.
Abdollah works on his pergola experiment and puts together the initial pieces. Niamh continues to work on the magazine. Abdollah also illustrates the crafters and Niamh will type the interviews around the answer. Bryony is working in the metal shed on the weather vane project. The crafters take a break and play croquet.
Abdollah and Niamh work to get the cover printed off and are off to the printers. They go to a lithographer and he will help them with the process. It takes a lot of work to prepare the stone and the drawing for the lithograph. It takes Abdollah five hours to transfer his drawing to the block. The front cover is ready to be printed. Will the cover turn out? Or will Abdollah have to start again?
Stephen and Rod work on the pieces for a mirror and it will take longer than they anticipated. Will this pairing be able to finish the mirror in time? Elsa and Bryony continue to work on the weather vane. Will they be able to install it safely? More importantly, will it be spinning? How will the pergola turn out? Will they get the pergola up in time? Tune into the rest of this episode to discover what finishing touches the crafters will put on the house.
Overall, this is a good series to show in an art classroom. It would prompt some good discussion on the arts and crafts movement and should help students get their creative juices flowing for their art projects.
It is week three at the Victorian House of Arts and Crafts and this time the crafters are going to work on decorating a Victorian Dining Room. The first part of the documentary is a summary of what happened in the previous two weeks. The run time for this documentary is 59:14.
The six crafters come together in the dining room to learn the three objects they will make for the dining room. The dining room was where the Victorians could show off their sophistication. The first task of the week is to recreate a pair of fire dogs and this was assigned to Rod. It will be the last solo build of the project. A fire dog is a set of iron brackets that hold the logs in place while they burn in the fire. Rod takes his time in looking at the fire dogs and is getting emotional.
The second task is given to Bryony and Niamh and they are to recreate curtains for the dining room. Curtains will be a stretch for Bryony and she looks forward to learning from Niamh. The last task is given to Isla and Stephen and they will make a plate. Stephen is thrilled with being able to make a plate. Over the last two weeks, he has had to learn new skills. Isla is thrilled with making plates as well. Abdollah is the project leader.
This week is about stepping out of their comfort zone and working collaboratively. The crafters retreat to the library to look into the designs and writings of leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Over the past two weeks, the crafters have become more collaborative. It has been a hard two weeks. Will the judges walk into the dining room and see uncompleted items? The judges worry about the plates getting done and the amount of curtain material that needs to get done.
Potter Stephen and Isla get together to work on their design. Isla is thrilled with the collaboration with Stephen. They immediately get to work on coming up with a design. Stephen gets to work on making plates. He is learning to use a hand-kicked potter’s wheel.
Rod has been working with other crafters and this is the first time he is working on his own. He does not have to collaborate with anyone this week. He has found working with others a challenge.
Niamh and Bryony do not know how to make curtains so they reach out for help. They decide to divide the task and go to work. They will work next to the windows they are putting their curtains on and will have to carefully consider the scale. The next day the crafters will start making their items tomorrow. Abdollah will help the other crafters during this week and will not make an item for the dining room. He goes around the house and helps encourage the crafters.
Stephen is in his element working at the potter’s wheel. He is making several spare plates that way if he and Isla mess up putting their design on the plates, they have a few items to spare. Rod is working on the forge to work on the fire dogs. Rod is a bladesmith but needs assistance to use a blacksmith’s forge. The arts and crafts movement revived the blacksmithing skill.
The group comes together and discusses why they learned their crafts. They talk about their experiences. Then they talk about collaboration and the challenges of collaboration. Niamh and Abdallah talk about collaborating on crafts in the future. Abdollah works on a plan that allows the crafters to share their skills. Stephen steps up to the plate and teaches a yoga course. The arts and crafts movement encouraged stretching and loose-fitting clothing for women.
So will the crafters get the dining room done? What will the judges pick for the best object of the week? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
At the 27:00 minutes, there was a quick discussion on clip-on stretching which maybe be appropriate for a gym class. It would highlight the history of stretching and how the arts and crafts movement wanted people to stretch. This is a series that is still appropriate for the art class.
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