Well, today we are going to look at the civilizations of the Black Sea. Then tomorrow, we will start 31 Days of the Time Team. Yes, there are still episodes being uploaded to the Time Team Classics Channel and new episodes are being created on the new Time Team Channel. The coolest thing is that Tony will be back hosting special episodes of Time Team. The run time for this documentary on the Black Sea is 55:05 and is called the Dark Secrets of the Black Sea.
An international group of experts looks at the Black Sea. They are looking for evidence of a civilization found at the bottom of the Black Sea. There is evidence of civilizations that called the Black Sea home. Why was the Black Sea called the Northern Cradle of Civilization? How was the Black Sea created? What is the real history of the Black Sea? Who are the people who called the Black Sea home?
The Russians discovered the original shoreline of the Black Sea, it is now 100 meters underwater. This was the original shoreline during the Ice Age. Evidence shows that this shoreline was rapidly filled in, within thirty years. Archeologists were shocked when this discovery was made. The dunes did not show signs of erosion which would have happened if the Black Sea would have filled in slowly. During this section, there was a discussion of sea and lake sediments as well as the marine life that was discovered.
While laying a pipeline, the Russians did a detailed survey of the Black Sea. They found more dunes in the Black Sea. The French, who also had done a survey also discovered the same dunes. Did this survey find any more evidence as to how the Black Sea formed? Even though it moved quickly, it felt like the discussion on how the Black Sea formed went on forever and ever and ever. I still feel like I do not understand how the Black Sea was formed. The Black Sea probably was backfilled by a rising ocean level. This translates as the Black Sea forming as being backfilled by rising ocean levels.
At about seventeen minutes, there is finally a discussion on the civilizations that called the Black Sea and the surrounding areas home. These civilizations would have lived around the Black Sea when it was a large freshwater lake. There have been a few artifacts found and recovered at sites of villages such as bowls, spears, and other everyday objects. The villages where these people lived would have ended up underwater. Unfortunately during this section, it was a lot of talking heads speaking and not providing any context to what was found.
Then there was a discussion on the animals and the remains that were found at these sites. The people who lived in these villages would have hunted these animals, eaten them, and used their bones to create their tools and jewelry. There were bones of Mastodons found in the Black Sea which would rewrite the history of the Ice Age. Then there was a discussion on the climate of the Black Sea and what it would have been like for the people of the Black Sea. One historian talks about how the weather and what the land looked like in this Black Sea Area. Another historian talks about the different animals that lived in the area too. To learn more about the Black Sea, tune into the rest of this episode to find out.
Right off the bat, the robotic voice throws things off. Perhaps a more human narrator would have sounded better. I did not like the sound of the narrator. The documentary also moved fast, too fast, which made it challenging to keep up with. Due to the speed, I found myself pausing and rewinding it way too many times to write this review. I felt like there was no context provided to justify the documentary. I had hopes that this would have been a good documentary on the Black Sea and was left feeling very disappointed. If I was a student watching this documentary, I would be drifting and would be working on other projects while this played in the background. I would not recommend showing this to a classroom. It was just too fast and too hard to follow along.
Good morning, the Mysteries of China series continues with a look at another tomb. This time Agnes is looking at the tomb of Cao Cao and the controversy surrounding Cao Cao. The run time for this episode is 44:01.
In Anyang, a discovery set shockwaves through the archeological world. Many archeologists believe that it belonged to Cao Cao. Cao Cao was one of the most divisive leaders in all of China. Some believed him to be a good leader. Others believe him to be a cruel and ruthless military leader. Others called him a brilliant scholar. He took center stage in the era known as the Three Kingdoms, a period characterized by three factions rising up to fight for control of China. Who was this man really? What can this tomb reveal about his leadership?
Nearly 1800 years ago, China was at a crossroads. There arose different factions as the dynasty collapsed. Each faction fought hard for control. Over thirty million lives were lost in the fighting. There were many heroes and villains produced during this fight. In 2009, Anyang, archeologists discover a tomb that dates back to this time. Could this tomb be the final resting place of one of the most controversial figures in China? This discovery put Anyang on center stage because of this discovery.
The discovery of the potential tomb of Cao Cao stirred up debate about this man. He was a statesman that rose up during the period known as the Three Kingdoms. However, his legacy continues to divide historians. He was in command of one of the three factions fighting for control of China when the Han collapsed. In contemporary literature was a man who overturned the will of heaven and was portrayed as the devil. What is fact and what is fiction?
Agnes travels to Anyang and talks with the head of the excavation team. The tomb was built to be huge and imposing, hinting that the man held a great deal of power. The tomb would have befitted an emperor. Agnes descends into the tomb and carefully looks at the features. There were several rooms in the crypt that would have hinted at the man’s status. However, over the years, tomb robbers would take things away that would have identified the man in the tomb and his status. That said, Agnes carefully looks at the bricks that were used to make the tomb. The bricks are huge compared to those used for normal aristocratic burials. She continues to examine the tomb with the head of the excavation team. Together they look at the site of a stone bed where a coffin would lay on it.
Cao Cao has been vilified over the centuries for seizing power from the legitimate emperor. The tomb suggests that the man had a great deal of power. Did he really cause the collapse of the Han Dynasty? The Han Dynasty was in its final days when Cao Cao rose up. However, there were plenty of tensions under the surface during this collapse. The empire was fragmenting and the leadership seemed incapable of ruling. Cao Cao would have put down the rebellions that were rising because of the stability. The Chinese needed a strong leader to get their footing back. The Han capital was sacked by warlords and the walls were burned. Cao Cao would flee the city to gather an army to take control.
So was Cao Cao really the owner of the tomb? What remains of the artifacts found in the tomb? Everyday items remained in the tomb because they were of no value to the tomb robbers. There were twelve sets of bowls found, which would have hinted that an Emperor was buried there. Historical document hint that there was no emperor buried in Anyang. There were also jade ritual items and stone tablets found that would have hinted at who the man in the tomb was. What other clues were discovered in the tomb to hint at who occupied it? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more about Cao Cao.
Well, this was an interesting episode featuring a controversial historical person. I enjoyed watching Agnes uncover the clues about this man in her attempt to separate fact from fiction. Over all this would be a good episode to potentially show in a history class and for independent study students.
This is the second episode in the Mysteries of China series done by Agnes Hsu-Tang. Today, Agnes will explore a tomb that once contained a jade suit. The run time for this documentary is 43:27.
In 1983, construction workers discovered a tomb entrance while excavating a site for a new apartment building. This tomb entrance was dated 2000 years ago. The most curious object in the tomb was a jade suit. However, no historical record showed that an Emperor was entitled to be buried in a jade suit. Who was this man? Why did he deserve such an honor of being buried in a jade suit? What will Agnes discover about this man?
The tomb was discovered in Guangzhou and housed artifacts that defied historical records. It is an economic powerhouse of Southern China. It was known for its beautiful rivers and mountains. It was on the ocean as well. However, this city had some pretty humble beginnings. The discovery of the tomb shattered this notion that Guangzhou had humble beginnings. Agnes talks with the archeologist who was called when the tomb was discovered. He had experience excavating smaller tombs but was shocked at the size of the newly discovered tomb. The tomb was huge in comparison to the tombs that were discovered.
The size hinted at something extraordinary. The first thing discovered was a bronze vessel. The discovery initially hinted at origins from the Ming Dynasty. However, upon further examination, the tomb could have come from the Han Dynasty. The archeologist had been teased about wanting to dig up a Han Dynasty tomb. Agnes and the Archeologist head on down to the excavated tomb. Three chambers were excavated in the temple during the initial excavation. There was a fourth door discovered that was a challenge to open until the archeologist managed to open it. Relic after relic was discovered behind that door.
The tomb’s owner was discovered in a jade burial suit. Only high-ranking nobles were allowed to be buried in jade burial suits. The owner of the burial suit was called Zhao Mo and he was known as the Nanyue King. He ruled his kingdom in Southern China. The Chinese believed record him as being a barbarian king and him ruling a barbarian kingdom. However, the sophistication of the relics that were discovered in the tomb hint at a highly advanced society. So what is the truth about the kingdom?
More than 1,000 artifacts were found in the tomb and they were highly expensive objects. Zhao Mo was buried in a room full of musical instruments. Only the highest-ranking nobles would have owned musical instruments. What was shocking about the musical instruments was that they were made in Southern China. He was going to enjoy music in his afterlife. The king also had lavish tastes and through these tastes, he was making a statement to the Northern Chinese. It showed the Northern Chinese that the Southern Chinese were sophisticated and civilized. What do these objects tell us about the status of Zhao Mo? Why would a barbarian king have such objects?
Additional to the musical instruments, there were plenty of culinary instruments discovered in the tomb. Zhao Mo loved his food and he planned on eating well in the afterlife as well. This section reminded me of the Diva Mummy and the discovery of the food in her tomb. What else does Agnes learn about the Zhao Mo and the Nanyue Kingdom? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
Honestly, when I saw the title of this documentary I was thrilled. Then I started watching it and realized that Agnes was the one narrating the documentary. I moaned when I saw her. Then I reminded myself that I watch these documentaries so you, teachers do not have to. I hoped that this one would be better than the Lost City at Jinsha. It was annoying that she talked about human sacrifice again. The documentary did get better as Agnes talks about the sophistication of the kingdom Zhao Mo ruled. This was a good bounce back from the Lost City at Jinsha. It focused on actual history and how one kingdom rose. I would say this would be a good episode to show in a history classroom or for independent study students.
Good morning! There is a good run of new documentaries being posted across a variety of YouTube Channels. This time I am going to look at Crime Scene Eulau: The Mystery of the 13 Skeletons. The run time for this documentary is 43:44.
There was a discovery made in a quarry at Eulau, not far from Naumburg, Germany. The discovery was a Neolithic grave that contained the skeletons of three women, two men, and eight children. These people were buried carefully in this grave. What happened to these people? Why were they buried in such a careful way? What can their graves tell us about Neothlic burial practices?
To start looking for the grave sites one has to take to the air. The sky reveals several circular areas in the ground. The earth never forgets and so ancient settlement sights would show up in the ground. What will the archeological team find when they arrive to sight? The team sets to work digging the site. Evidence is carefully preserved and what they find astonishes them. There are thirteen graves of thirteen people. Did they die from natural causes? Did they fall victim to diseases? Or were they victims of violence?
What the archeologists find will cause them to take a different path. Experts are assembled to take a look at the mystery. They are looking at this as though a crime had happened. The injuries are consistent with a violent struggle. One skeleton has an arrowhead in the spine. Children were beaten to death. The men show defensive wounds. Who were these people? Who would have killed them? In the past, this would have been a trouble to solve, however with the latest technology archeologists can tell the bones’ story.
The first step in solving this mystery, the bones are tested to date them, learn whom they belonged to, and learn more about the life they lived. The bones are carefully cleaned and ground to determine the bone’s age. The bones are dated to about 4000 years ago, about 2,500 years before the time of Christ. This was a time of change; tribes were searching for new lands. Locals were displaced and conflicts were commonplace. Germany had rich salt deposits and good farmland.
The results on one group of bones are shocking: they belonged to one family. It is the oldest evidence of a nuclear family. Who would have buried this family? Who killed this family? Did they leave any survivors? Who were the people who mourned the dead?
The experts continue to examine the evidence. Were these a victim of the conflict? They establish a timeline of the attack: the woman was struck first and then there was hand-to-hand combat which would have killed the others. They may have belonged to a group known as the corded people. They got their name because they impressed cords onto pottery to create decorative patterns. They also herded goats and sheep. Written communication was unknown during this time. Children’s safety was important.
However, murderous attacks were rare, or were they? One by one the skeletons are uncovered and documented. The women’s heads lie to the east, while the men’s are to the west. Each tribe had its burial rituals. There were a variety of grave goods found as well as meat offerings. A battle axe was placed in the grave. Who would have taken these people’s lives? A criminal analysis was brought onto this team of experts to talk about his expertise in crimes. He looked at the evidence and concludes that this would have been a massacre done by a different clan.
The thirteen dead are an odd mix, as there are no young men and warriors found in the tombs. To learn as to why the bones and soil are carefully cut out of the ground and brought to the lab for analysis. Who killed these people? Why were they buried so quickly? Why were there no warriors found? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more!
This was too good of a documentary to pass up. This brings together technology and archeological analysis. This would be a good episode to show to a history class as well as a science class. The story was very compelling and gives a glimpse into another story from history.
Today we are going to look at a documentary about a mysterious Chinese civilization: the Shu. This documentary is called the Lost City at Jinsha. The run time for this documentary is 49:52.
Sichuan China is home to a mysterious kingdom. It was found in the Jinsha suburb and was one of the most important finds of the century. Archeological finds include thousands of graves and their grave goods. Who were these people? Why were they left with such fine grave goods? Why did this civilization disappear? Agnes Hsu-Tang, director of the China Institute of New York investigates this lost civilization.
The Yellow River was considered the backbone of Chinese civilization. The Qin Dynasty unified China in 221 BCE. However, One thousand years before that, the Shang Kings ruled the plain of the Yellow River. For years it was thought that the Yellow River plains were the center of Chinese civilization. Discoveries have been made cast questions on this assertion.
These discoveries have been made that hint at a society that thrived at the same time as the Shang and they were locked in mountain valleys. This culture did not leave any written records behind. However, their neighbors wrote about them. They were called the Shu people. The civilization was found in Jinsha. Hsu-Tang wants to unravel the mystery of the Shu people. How did they flourish? Why did they disappear?
The discovery of the Shu people happened by accident. There was construction work being done to lay a new road. All of a sudden workers found evidence of an old civilization. The police called the archeologists and they headed to the site. The archeologists were shocked by what they found. There were thousands of relics on the site. It was a sensational discovery for the archeologists. There were jade daggers found, elephant tusks, and other gold objects. Based on the number of graves, did these construction workers and archeologists stumble upon the Shu sacrificial grounds? Agnes is surprised at the size of the site. She has more questions about the site.
There were ten areas discovered including a palace area, a burial area, and a sacrificial zone. Over 2,000 tombs were discovered however these tombs do not hint at human sacrifice. Agnes will have to do some further investigation. She walks through the museum where the Shu artifacts are displayed. Some statues seem to hint at human sacrifice. These statues are of people kneeling with their hands tied behind their backs. What was the message of these statues? Why were these statues made?
Agnes travels to Anyang, the ancient Shang capital. It is in Anyang where human sacrifice was a well documentary. She examines a full chariot that was buried in a tomb with a horse and an occupant. The Shang dynasty was a slave society, and so when the master died his slaves died with him and were buried with him so they could serve him in the afterlife. However, does this mean that the Shu people practiced human sacrifice? The Shang people and the Shu people were in contact with each other, and would this contact lead to an exchange of certain ideas?
Agnes goes back to Jinsha and talks with other experts about her theory that the Shu people would have gotten their ideas about human sacrifice from the Shang. Find out more about the Shu people and human sacrifice by watching the rest of this episode.
This documentary was way too fast pace to keep up with because I had to keep rewinding to points in the documentary to get the point. Additionally, it did not have much context to it. I still do not understand who the Shu people were. I also did not need a monologue on why she got into archeology. It left me feeling disjointed at times. The obsession with human sacrifice was over the top? I could not believe that the Shu people could be boiled down to people who participated in human sacrifice. Perhaps Agnes could have talked about what was known about the Shu people up to the point of the discovery of the tombs and other artifacts. Due to its speed, disjointedness, and obsession with human sacrifice, I will not recommend showing this to a history classroom.
Good morning, the Limes concludes with the decline of the Roman Empire. How will Rome manage to keep up their border installations? What happened when a superpower showed signs of weakness? The run time for this episode is 45:45.
The Limes were supposed to keep the barbarians out. However, over the years the walls have disappeared, destroyed by agriculture. Historians are coming up with ways to solve the mysteries of the Limes. Using historic records and field maps, bales of hay are standing in for watch towers and with some slight experimentation, the historians realize that all the towers were within sight of each other. The Roman Empire cut right through the heart of Europe dividing it in half. The border wall kept the empire defended. Were these walls insurmountable?
Today, a helicopter is sent up to scan the landscape to find more of the limes. It is equipped to scan for invisible limes with an infrared scanner. Inch by inch the landscape is scanned. Perhaps Limes will be discovered in the thick woods. Layers of wood and soil are stripped back in the scanning results. There is a rampart and a ditch found. Additionally, there are remains of a building foundation were discovered. A barrier runs in a straight line as if drawn by a ruler was discovered. This area is surveyed by a group of surveyors.
A group of students is working on the survey. They have some challenges when it comes to the survey. However, when they get the results back, the historians will determine how straight the line actually is. How straight is this line? The results may surprise you. Why did the Romans make their lines so straight? It would have been a challenge for the Romans to do. Was this a demonstration of knowledge and power? Were the Germanic Tribes intimidated by such a straight line?
There were 7000 kilometers of border to protect and support. Even the meals were the same across all the watch towers. One Roman gave an account of the uncivilized barbarians and the wild landscapes of Germania. Germania was unpredictable, the defeat of Varus hung over the Roman heads. The main Roman Force was stationed further back from the Limes. The Limes were supposed to keep an eye on things and repel intrusions. However, because everyone was watching, any major intrusions could be reported and troops could be quickly dispatched. All this was contingent on there being enough soldiers to react.
The most impressive fort was at Aalen and it was the greatest calvary fort north of the Alps. It could hold up to 100,000 calvary soldiers, although it rarely housed that many at one time. Every garrison never reached full strength. Roman troops were dispatched throughout the regions of the Roman Empire. Additionally, the Emperor had to consider his budget when stationing soldiers at the fort. How much of a threat were the Germanic tribes? When the Limes fell, the Germanic tribes smashed the statues that were found in the fort.
An airship is being filled with air to do an air survey of an area of Limes. From the air, there is an obvious hedge as well as where the border turned. There was a fort in the field, but that disappeared until a scan of the area is done. A Roman fort is revealed underground. Geophysics calculates the area of the fort and discovers that there were four defensive ditches. Even from the air, it is obvious that a church was built in the middle of a mini-Roman fort. Even with all the surveys and new technology, historians still have trouble explaining the function of the Limes nor can they explain why they fell. What will continue to be discovered about the Limes? Will the historians be able to answer why there were so many Limes? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
The only downside to this documentary is that it was way too short with an under-fifty-minute time limit. I felt like there could have been more information presented. That said, this was another good episode, and with its emphasis on technology it could be shown to a STEM class as well as a history class.
So far, for September, we are continuing our trip to the Ancient World. This time we are looking at the fortifications that would protect the Roman Empire against barbarian invasion. This is a German-produced documentary. The run time for this episode is 43:01.
Two thousand years ago, there was a heavily fortified border along stretches of Europe. They were known as the Limes and these were palisades, walls, and trenches. These were on lands that stretched across Germany. These were an attempt by the Roman Empire to keep the barbarians out. However, along these walls, villages would form, protected by the boundary and the Roman Legions. Using modern technology, archeologists, historians, and scientists are going to learn more about these posts.
The forests of Germany were the focus of the Roman Empire. However, due to the defeat of Varus, the Romans abandoned the province. The Romans eventually came back, as a previously unknown encampment was discovered. Rome secured the border at the Rhine. It was at the limits of empire expansion and so Rome focused on securing the border. Britannia was Rome’s northernmost outpost and Hadrian’s wall secured the area.
A team is going to send up an airship to look over Hadrian’s Wall. However, the team is battling the elements. Wind and rain are preventing the airship from taking place. The team members would not be able to travel safely. The team wants to use an airship because it can move slowly and does not kick up dust. Hadrian’s Wall stretched from the North Sea to the Irish Sea. It is in the middle of nowhere in North Britain.
The next day the weather is better. The morning is calm because later in the day there will be wind gusts that can blow the airship off course. Once the ship is filled, the airship is sent off. The airship will provide a unique view of Hadrian’s Wall. There were fifteen forts and 12,000 men stationed along Hadrian’s Wall. Why did Emperor Hadrian order such an effort? Were the highland warriors that scary and dangerous? While the airship is in the sky, other historians are walking along the wall and noticing holes in the wall. These holes are fortified gates and they allowed people to go through the wall. These gates were found each mile and allowed for the movement of Roman troops to defend themselves against the Picts.
The Picts were the tattooed people and were from the Scottish Highlands. There were various Pictish tribes and had a free and independent life. However, order and discipline prevailed in the Roman military camps. Then the historians meet up with the Birley Family, who have been digging a Roman military settlement for generations because it is on their land. Many finds have been discovered over the years. Wooden tablets were discovered and these wooden tablets had inscriptions on them. There were a variety of messages found on these tablets and these tablets revealed daily life. The tablets reveal the boredom of the soldiers.
What was the point of Hadrian’s Wall? Why did Emperor Hadrian build it? Perhaps he was trying to legitimize his place as Emperor. A successive emperor did the same thing and built a wall farther north. It was a huge effort on behalf of this effort. This wall had mysterious holes in the front of the wall, this would have caused the enemy to fall into them and perhaps stopped the attack. Unfortunately, a few years later, the Romans retreated to Hadrian’s Wall. What were the Roman soldiers really afraid of? Were the Highlanders all that scary? How did the ordinary soldiers live in Britain? What will the results from the airship show the historians? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more about walls and forts.
Wow, this is a fast-paced documentary. The information kept coming and had a good flow to it. It is cool to see what discoveries have been made and then compare what information was available in the past. It goes to show you that history changes with discoveries. The information was enjoyably presented, the artifacts were cool to see, and the documentary kept moving. This would be an excellent documentary to show in a history classroom.
Good morning, we are exploring Mummy Forensics and looking at a mummy missing the body. The run time for this episode is 46:17 and is called the Missing Body.
In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh could punish crimes in grisly and painful ways. The harshest punishment of all could rob you of your place in the afterlife. Is this mummy that was beheaded? Or was he punished in another way? Who was the mummy? What happened to this mummy’s body? The Mummy forensics team will have a challenge on their hands. Have they bitten off more than they could chew?
The mummified head is in a museum in England. Nobody knows how it lost its body. There are so many questions about this mummified head. The only thing that is known about the mummy is that it was male. Joann carefully examines the mummy’s head and notices his features. There are thousands of ways this mummy could have died. The mummy forensics team will have to utilize all their skills to learn more about the mummy. Joann breaks the news to the team that all they have is the head.
The photos prompted a lot of questions from the team. Was he beheaded with an axe? The neck shows a variety of injuries. Scott will go into the archives to learn how the mummy head came to the country. Joann cautions the team that there will be only so much they will learn about the head. With that said, the team goes off to learn what they can about the mummy head. Buckley gets to work on a chemical analysis of the head. It is the first time that the head will be subjected to chemical analysis.
Duncan works on a laser scan of the mummy that way the team can examine the mummy’s head without damaging the head. Joann and Jill work to learn the identify the mummy. The mummy may have come from the old period. The Old Period is when Ancient Egypt rose to prominence. The mummy was donated in 1877 and was found in Egypt at the site of Sakkara. This was the graveyard for Memphis and where Egypt’s elite was buried. The mummy had a high level of mummification done to it, perhaps he attended to the royal family during his life. The hair, eyelids, and ears were remarkably preserved which hints at the quality of the mummification. Joann re-dates the mummy and hits that it came from the New Kingdom Period. This would be 1000 years after the Old Period.
However, when the chemical analysis results come back, the mummy gets re-dated. The New Kingdom period is excluded and pushes the mummy’s date to the Late Period. This is 2000 years later than the museum’s record. He lived in Memphis and possibly could have seen the decline of Egypt. Other results hint that he had high status and perhaps would have been noble. He was wearing the wig and the work that was done to make and maintain a wig shows that the man had wealth. Slowly a picture of the mummy’s life is emerging.
However, the cause of death may be a challenge. Gill researches death in Ancient Egypt and finds a picture of a person being beheaded in Ancient Egypt during the late period. Was the mummy beheaded? Joann consults as a Radiologist to learn the answer. He points out that it was not a clean cut, as if the head had been snapped off. The head is x-rayed to learn more about what happened to the mummy. There is a hole in the mummy’s head, perhaps this was the cause of death for the mummy. Duncan the Joann head to a museum to find a murder weapon. What will this trip to the museum reveal? How did this mummy die? What will the x-rays reveal about the mummy’s head? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out.
I enjoyed that this bodiless mummy proved to be a challenge for the mummy forensics team. However, the team rose to the challenge and managed to answer quite a few questions regarding the mummy. It is an excellent episode to show to a history and science classroom because of the application of the scientific method.
Good morning, we are now going to explore Rome’s greatest monument: The Colosseum. The run time for this documentary is 1:28:18 and is called Colosseum: The Whole Story.
The Colosseum was Rome’s greatest monument. However, it is now under threat. A team of restorationists and historians come together to save the Colosseum. It was where heroes were made and then broken. Many came to witness the drama that took place within its wall. Beneath and grime, secrets are being revealed. What can this restoration tell us about the Colosseum? What will the restored Colosseum look like?
Rome was the center of the greatest empire in the world and the Colosseum was the center of Rome. 2000 years after it was built, the Colosseum is going to undergo repairs. However, the Colosseum’s repair and restoration are not without controversy because it is a partnership between public and private organizations. Restorers carefully strip away the grime and reveal the colors underneath. Centuries of pollution and grime are taking their toll on the ancient monument.
However, there is a three-year, twenty-five-million-Euro restoration project going on. Its goal is to restore and repair the Colosseum for future generations. It takes time and care to remove the grime. Restoration artists and scientists are learning new things about the Colosseum as the dirt is removed. Cinza Conti is overseeing the project and it is a huge task. The Colosseum will be washed and repaired.
The controversy with this project comes with its private funders. Diego Della Valle is the man who is helping fund the restoration. He owns a luxury shoe brand. He had a dream as a young boy to see it restored. He was inspired by a school field trip to see the Colosseum restored. He is happy to lend a hand to help restore it. Many people across Italy are looking to donate to help contribute to restoring other monuments other than the Colosseum. Critics cite that if there are private donations, the donors may use the images of the monument as part of their company advertising. Diego Della Valle wants to give back to his country and would not dream of using the Colosseum in advertising for his company.
The next section sights other Colosseum-like structures that have been restored and are used by the public for events. The Colosseum-like structure in Verona is one such example of being restored and the public using it for events. The restoration of these amphitheaters looks at how the Colosseum was built. Even the underground areas of these restored amphitheaters show where the gladiators and animals stayed before they fought their battles. The first step was to clean the Colosseum carefully and slowly. After the layers of grime are removed, archeologists can take a look at what the Colosseum would have looked like in Roman times.
The Colosseum was home to the gladiators and their battles. Not every gladiator battle leads to death. Gladiators needed to be kept alive to fight another day. Some referees managed the games and the public wanted to keep their favorites alive.
Rome was the last city to get a Colosseum. It was the project of ambitious emperors who wanted to give the populace the games. Rome had expanded rapidly under previous emperors. The city’s growth was chaotic until the great fire under Nero. Nero was able to implement town planning. Nero built a grand palace in the heart of the city. When he was deposed, the space in the city’s heart was torn down to wipe Nero’s influence away and it was the place where the Colosseum would be built. Emperor Vespasian when he became Emperor found Rome’s coffers empty and started taxing the public toilets.
The next section of this documentary talks about the materials that were used to build the Colosseum. A type of limestone was used and Cinza Conti talks about the limestone. The limestone is extremely hard and polishes up like marble, even though it holds water. What else will historians and restorationists learn about the Colosseum? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
Wow, wow, wow, this is an in-depth look at the Colosseum. It was very well done and it was interesting to see the process of restoring the Colosseum. This would be a good documentary to show for both a history class and a STEM class.
Did the Ancient Egyptians live in Pompeii? That is a surprising question and the answers are even more surprising. This documentary Egyptian secret at Pompeii explores that possibility. The run time for this documentary is 40:25. Curtis Ryan Woodside produced and did the research for this documentary.
Pompeii was an ancient city that was covered by Mount Vesuvius. It is a picture of what life was like in Ancient Rome. It was the most popular city in the Roman Empire. Its fame was known far and wide. How could Pompeii be influenced by Ancient Egyptians? Where can you find the Egyptian influence in Pompeii? This documentary explores the origins of Pompeii and how the Ancient Egyptians influenced the city.
Pompeii before it was covered by Mount Vesuvius, had experienced small tremors over the years. The earthquakes led them to become even more devoted to their gods. This was a hint as to what was to come. The Pompeii people were repairing the latest damage from earthquakes when Mount Vesuvius erupted again. Where are Pompeii’s origins?
Pompeii was founded by the people from Italy’s region of Campania. They settled in Pompeii due to its location of the river, the mountains, and the ocean. It was settled in the 7th Century BC. However, there was evidence that the first settlements happened during the 9th Century BC. This would have been 3,000 years before initially thought. Archeologist Cleopatra Lawrence participated in a dig and discovered a piece of pottery. This piece of pottery had a rare symbol on it and shines a light as to who founded Pompeii. This pottery hinted that there were the locals that founded Pompeii.
The Greeks eventually stopped in the same area and created a city. Pompeii would eventually be a stopover for trading in the Mediterranean. The Greeks moved to southern Italy and established Naples. Greeks from Naples would move across the bay and Pompeii would grow from that initial small settlement. The Etruscans would eventually move to Pompeii and would also stamp their influence on Pompeii. Eventually, the Romans would move to Pompeii. At the start of this settlement, Pompeii would not be ruled by the Romans and would remain independent until they stamped their authority on Pompeii.
Pompeii was the city to live in and was home to almost 20,000 people. It was a place where many cultures came together. You could find Roman Villas, Greek Amphitheaters, and Egyptian-inspired temples. Rome and eventually the Roman world would be influenced by Pharoah Ptolemy VI. Pompeii would have been aware of Egypt for decades. Curtis along with a tour guide Alex Falanga tour a villa that shows the Ancient Egyptian influence in Pompeii. He views a room in this villa that shows Egyptian symbolism. The Egyptian gods are portrayed in Greek robes and Osiris has a full beard. Additionally, there was a cobra and images of temple items found on this wall. The people worshiped many different Egyptian gods and goddesses. Isis was a favorite of the people of Pompeii.
Curtis continues to find little signs of the Egyptian influence on Pompeii. There were paintings and statues found throughout Pompeii. Scenes from the temple of Isis are now on display in a museum in Naples. Pompeii was a mix of cultures and was accepting of those cultures and religions. When did the Egyptian influence arrive in Pompeii? Who were the people who brought the influence in? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
This is a very well-done documentary about the Egyptians at Pompeii. I was not sure what to expect when it comes to independently produced documentaries, so was pleasantly surprised at how well this was produced. Curtis has a very soothing voice too which made the documentary easy to follow and listen to. The discussion on the origins of Pompeii was interesting and nice to see new information presented. Additionally, I enjoyed that Curtis talked about the impact of Greece on Southern Italy. This would be a good documentary to add to your list of documentaries to show to a high school history class. The information is well presented and Curtis puts forth a good argument for the Ancient Egyptian influence on Pompeii.
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