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Secrets of the Ancients

How difficult would it be sailing across the North Sea in a massive wooden boat with only a primitive sun-compass for navigation? How Caesar's army during the Gallic wars could build a sturdy wooden bridge across the Rhine in just ten days? How the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were watered? How did the Olmec civilization in Mexico sculpt massive stone heads 3000 years ago - 500 years before Rome was founded? How did Archimedes invent a terrifying machine known as The Claw, which was used to defend the seaward portion of Syracuse's city wall against amphibious assault?

Secrets of the Ancients is a five-part BBC documentary series hosted by Robert Lindsay, which sets out to discover how ancient civilizations were able to complete awe-inspiring projects without the use of modern-day technology. Today's engineers, archaeologists and historians are challenged to replicate the construction of ancient monuments using the technology available at the time.

Episode 1 - Viking Voyage
How difficult would it be sailing across the North Sea in a massive wooden boat with only a primitive sun-compass for navigation?

Episode 2 - Caesar's Bridge
Julius Caesar claimed that during the Gallic wars, he had built a sturdy wooden bridge across the Rhine, over which he marched an entire army, in just ten days.

Episode 3 - The Claw
The mathematician Archimedes invented a terrifying machine known as The Claw, which was used successfully against the Romans when they attempted to conquer Syracuse.

Episode 4 - Olmec Heads
The Olmec civilization in Mexico sculpted massive stone heads 3000 years ago - 500 years before Rome was founded. These statues weighed up to 40 tonnes and were made from stone that came from the Tuxtla mountains more than 160 kilometres away.

Episode 5 - Hanging Gardens of Babylon
A lot of people have heard of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but few know why these gardens were considered by the Greeks to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The irrigation system alone is a mystery worthy of its own Secrets episode.


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