Terra X - Rätsel alter Weltkulturen Poster

Episode List


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May 2008
Der falsche Schatz des Priamos
Heinrich Schliemann, a millionaire merchant form Mecklenburg, devoted the last decades of his life and most of his fortune to making archaeology an unprecedented physical effort, in order to prove his belief that Homer's Ilias was a historically correct rendering of the Trojan war. After dismissing a first selected site for Troy, an English diplomat and hobby archaeologist made him (soon dominant) partner in another, acquired location on a hill in northwestern (Ottoman) Turkey, near the strategic Dardanelles. Lacking academic support and seeking public acclaim, he ...
4 Oct. 2009
Tauchfahrt in die Vergangenheit: Fluch der Tiefe - Das Wrack der Explorer
In 2001, US underwater archaeologist James P. Delgado and historian Richard Wills discover, offshore Panama, the wreck of the Explorer, which is accessible during law tide. That legendary submariner was built in 1866 by the German engineer Julius Kröhl. His story and that of the 'U-boot', his life dream, are elaborated.
24 Jan. 2010
Jagd nach dem goldenen Vlies - Aufbruch nach Georgien
After a recap of the Argonauts myth, modern research seeks what could be true. Yolkos, the modern Volkos, rather fits. Sailing technique is known enough for a reconstruction. Thens sites on the quest for the Golden Fleece are examined, such as Milete, and ultimately the world's oldest gold mine, in present Georgia, which fits Ancient Colchis.
31 Jan. 2010
Der Fall Troia. Homers letztes Geheimnis
Since Schliemann (1870s), the 10-year Greek siege war to destroy maritime rival Troy (Illios), which Homer's Mycenean era epics, Illias and Odyssea, reflected centuries later, is generally accepted to be more then myth. In 2005, Austrian literary historian Raoul Schrott claims it also echos an even older siege war in Cilicia (SE Asia Minor) of modern Karatepe, near Adana. He invokes parallels with and elements taken from the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh epic, the Biblical Old Testament and an Assyrian tale on the siege of Jerusalem. Fenician mediation makes it all plausible...
7 Feb. 2010
Qatna - Entdeckung in der Königsgruft
Recently archealogists unearthed, north of the Syrian capital Damascus, the foundations of the 3,500 years old royal palace hall, then the largest anywhere, of the forgotten kingdom of Qatna. 75 cuneiform tablets in mixed Akkadian and Hurrite alphabet prove the court's immense wealth, the rich international content -even amber from the Baltic- a pivotal trade situation. Royal crypts prove ancestor cult and intense relationship with the major powers. Imperialist pharaohs Tuthmosis III and his son Amenophis showed Egypt's superpower-status, even raiding 120 of the ...
21 Feb. 2010
Heinrich VIII. - Mörder auf dem Königsthron
A biography of English Tudor king Henry VIII. His reign started glorious and happy, setting England on course to greatness while enjoying hunting and other court pleasures. But his desire for a male heir queen Catherine of Aragon, a Habsburg, couldn't give him and true love for Ann Boleyn steered him away from diplomatic and national harmony. Rome was force by the emperor to deny a divorce, so Henry ordered a schism and made himself head of the -since Anglican- church, confiscating its riches and making heresy the most persecuted treason for centuries. After Ann also ...
7 Mar. 2010
Faszination Erde - Panama. Ein Zwerg verändert die Welt
The Panama land bridge arose a few million years ago between both Americas trough tectonic clash, causing massive volcanic activity. The result was immigration from both and a clash of both wildlife sets in the new jungle and even further evolution, resulting in exceptional variety. But it also changed the gulf-stream, causing an ice age around both polar regions. The isthmus's strategic position and transcontinental route shortening of 15,000 km made it extremely desirable for major naval powers, even if an infectious - and poisonous hell to cross by land. The Panama...
21 Mar. 2010
Superbauten - Schloss Neuschwanstein
The authentic example Disney's iconic fairy tale castle was based on is the most spectacular of a series of projects build under king Ludwig II of Bavaria to create 'Wagnerian' dream world Ludwig retreated in. He succeeded to the throne barely aged 19, but lacked political power while his country lost its full sovereignty trough Bismarck's gradual unification of Germany. It was made possible by Bavarian technical excellence and prosperity, but went too far over budget to be completed, and Ludwig was considered out of his mind and drowned in murky circumstances.
28 Mar. 2010
Superbauten - Die Dresdener Frauenkirche
Dresden's protestant Our Lady church is reputed Saxon architect Georg Behre's crowning achievement. Designing it was a nightmare, as it needed approval from the city, which feared the costs, and Saxony's elector (and elected Polish king) August the Strong, who wanted a worthy contribution to his baroque capital, requiring a monumental cupola, as in Catholic Italy. Rebuilding on a derelict church's site in the city center required 'sky-scraping', without concrete or steel. He came up with a wood and copper construction. After massive budget exceeding, he ended up ...
2 Apr. 2010
Schatzjagd in der Tiefe
In 1908, archaeologist Alfred Merlin moved to Tunesia, then a French colony, in Northern Africa. He started searching the treasures which, according to legend, lie in the Mediterranean Sea, near the city of Mehdia.
4 Apr. 2010
Die Botschaft der 12. Etruskerstadt
In the 1880s, Tuscan country doctor Isodoro Falci realized from accidental finds that the village Colonna di Boriano could well be the site of Vetulonia, the then still missing last of the twelve cities of the the mighty Etruscan League. That mysterious people, according to genetic research probably not Italic but migrated, plausibly via Lemnos from Asia Minor, possibly originally from Persia, became rich from iron manufacturing. The league's only sea port, Populonia, was key in international commerce. Falci had a hard time dealing with the haughty, ...
11 Apr. 2010
Persien - Erbschaft des Feuers
German archaeologist Ernst Emil Herzfeld was allowed with a tiny 1929-37 expedition by young shah Reza Pahlevi to dig in the ruins of Persepolis, the Ancient capital of Achaemenid Persia, arson-consumed in 330BC by Alexander the Great's troops. It unearthed nearly 30,000 clay tablets, the imperial palace archive, in 1933. His first and brightest assistant, architect Krefter, also found Dareios's golden foundation document and started reconstructing the palatial complex. Jew Herzfeld's personal fate soon turned from fame to Nazi persecution. A modern Australian team ...
18 Apr. 2010
Das Weltreich der Kalifen
In 632 AD, the death of Islam's prophet Mohammed required a successor, 'caliph' in Arabic. The Ommayad dynasty soon conquered most of the Byzantine and Persian empires, absorbing much of their institutions, technique and culture, ruling from Damascus. The Abassid dynasty made new capital Bagdad, on the Tigris, on unprecedented beacon of cosmopolitan civilization, brought to its height by Mamoun, who usurped power by murdering his brother and probably main ally Ali Reza. Soon the empire fractioned politically into sultanates paying only nominal tribute. The Mongol ...
25 Apr. 2010
Imperium - Der Fluch des Diamanten
In the Indian subcontinent, since Antiquity diamonds, most of all the huge Koh-i-Noor, symbolized the extreme wealth of a princely ruling class of (maha)radjas, who usually preferred luxury to expansion. Culturally that made admirable use of the region's great wealth, but politically and militarily it made it an easy prey for conquerors and ultimately (notably British) colonialism, with indirect rule by Hindu princes under the Muslim Mohols. Gandhi's Independence would overthrow the princes in two (soon three) republics.
3 May 2010
Das Schwert der Shogune
The 3000 islands archipelago Japan developed a distinct, austere culture. A huge 'knighthood' class of samurai was its military and political backbone, symbolized by the cult of the sword. The emperor, descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu, were powerless in Kyoto palaces. The rule of the daimyo, regional feudal princes commanding rival samurai, was ended by the shogun after many battles and ninja (undercover agent) homicides. The culture, largely imported from China, combining Budhism and Confucian influence with traditional Shinto animism, was closed up and the ...
16 May 2010
Faszination Universum - Urkräfte. Vorstoß zu den Elementen der Schöpfung
Since Ancient Greece, philosophers and scholars contemplate and study the elements (earth, water, air and fire in the Western tradition) and fundamental forces which physically shape the universe. Their visions developed from mythology to empirically tested science. Yet various parts of the complex thinking about the elements persists in language and superstition from astrology to alchemy, which until fairly recently were taken seriously even by rulers dreaming of free treasures. Indirectly, those studies would contribute to true natural sciences. Even today, the ...
23 May 2010
Deutschland von oben - Stadt
The aerial first act of a trilogy, showing how Germany looks from the sky. Most Germans live in urban areas, but mainly in towns, part of the feudal Kleinstaaterei inheritance. Many trace to the Middle Ages or even Antiquity, and street patterns tend to persist while being expanded. Their origin is usually a communications node, second growth stimulus is a function as seat of power.
30 May 2010
Deutschland von oben - Land
This part of the aerial Germany views trilogy shows the main, truly Central, European transit country from birds' perspectives on mountains and plains. The flights and images are presented in relationship to eagle protection and stork migration, as well as modern technological observation by glider, airplane or satellite, for scientific research (mainly ornithology), wildlife protection and other practical uses.
6 Jun. 2010
Deutschland von oben - Fluss
Historically, rivers and other water largely determined the locations of tows and cities, which they connect, and most industry, to be supplied with raw materials and to offset produce. The intensity of water transport has only grown, ever more refined.
20 Jun. 2010
Kollision im Nebel. Das Ende der Andrea Doria.
US Naval Academy professor Robert Meurn uses modern technology, David Bright's diving finds and the Lloyds insurance London archives to clarify the fatal July 1956 nocturnal collision which sank the Italian luxury cruiser ship Andrea Doria after the Swedish Stockholm ran into it. The New York trial, blaming the Italian captain, and Lloyds-arbitration settlement are discredited as the Swedish officer on guard made the fatal navigational errors, plausibly in part because of the hard to read radar equipment. The reconstruction is interlaced with survivor testimonies.
4 Jul. 2010
Gefahr aus den Bergen
Geologists wondered why apparently unprovoked landslides occurred recently, notably in the Causacus on the Russian-Goergian border. The alarming a,answer came from satellite images, revaluing the permafrost has been broken. Thus water can now penetrate previously hermetical mountain zones, which start to erode until a collapse starts an avalanche of rock, rubble etcetera. This phenomenon must also be taken into increasing account for the coming decades in other temperate climate maintain ranges, such as the more densely populated, relatively rich Alps.
18 Jul. 2010
Der geheime Kontinent 1 - Was geschah vor Kolumbus?
The lucrative spice trade was cut off the Silk Road by the Ottomans, so Christian Europe explored alternative routes by the east, but accidentally 'discovered' the Americas, a land of plenty in terms of food production, scarcely populated. From Amazonia to the Mississippi plain, pyramids were build by cultures based on corn crops. The Indians had almost no domesticated animals except turkey. The Andes staple was sweet potatoes, its iconic animal the lama. Hunting and fishing were rich, unlike overpopulated Europe. Abanondoned forest cities testify to the ecological ...
25 Jul. 2010
Der geheime Kontinent - 2 - Sie kamen über das Meer
After Columbus's arrival in the Antilles and the subsequent waves of Spanish and other conquests, consequences were grave for both European colonizers and exploited Indians, most of which were exterminated, most actually by diseases, exchanged in both directions, as would be plant and animal species, either on purpose or by accident. Soon the robbery phase exhausted the Aztec, Maya and Inca gold and silver treasures. Next came settlements, for rich agriculture, hunting, fishery and mining. The American ecology is totally distorted by the European-style economy.
8 Aug. 2010
Karl May. Das letzte Rätsel
Born in 1842, fifth and sole surviving son of a laborer, Karl was a brilliant student and became Germany's most read author. But as a teenager, he was expelled and falsely accused, then landed in real crime for a while. The novels starring himself as either Old Shatterhand or Kara Ben Nemsi in the Wild West viz. the Ottoman empire made his name and fortune. Although stunningly lifelike, they were researched, he only traveled there later. The characters are part of his identity, which bordered on mental insanity. He basked in his success.
14 Aug. 2010
Das unsichtbare Netz
Young Italian Guglielmo Marconi emigrated from Bologna province to his mother's native England and dazzled the Admiralty with his invention, wireless communication. The German Kaiser wanted to get hold of it at all cost, realizing the military potential, especially at sea. An English consortium soon paid a fortune for his patent. After the US Navy dumps him, organizing all necessary tests proves an uphill battle.
21 Aug. 2010
Das Diesel-Rätsel
German engineer Rudolf Diesel, of modest birth, dreams of designing a new type of combustion motor, efficient enough to make machine power affordable for the masses. He neglected to play on safe concerning the patent, which would cost him dearly. Leading industrialist Krupp decided to work with him to contribute the Diesel engine to the imperial Kriegsmarine's rush to technologically and strategically challenge the British Royal Navy, not what naive idealistic pacifist Diesel intended. After naval applications, especially in submarines, others like for cars would ...
21 Aug. 2010
Sieg der Dampfrakete
In the early 19th century, North English commoner engineer 'machines doctor' George Stephenson, son of a coal miner, invented a steam-engine driving alternative to transport by canal barge. As this early train would cost the aristocratic canal owners a monopolistic fortune, they ordered a certain Bradshaw to sabotage the inventor by any means, mainly propaganda and politics, even violence. Nevertheless, he produced successful tests and found investors, so he gets a first railway build trough bog land.
22 Aug. 2010
Herr der Himmelsscheibe
In the German state of Sachsen-Anhalt, an illegal bronze age dig yielded a unique celestial disk in bronze, with gold representation of sun, stars and moon. Since its recuperation for the regional museum, scientists study it and speculate how it came to be, probably at the and of an erudite blacksmith who worked for or was one of the relatively egalitarian age's rich men who got 'royal' burials. And what the significance of its correct astronomical knowledge was, plausibly making it a widely renowned treasure for generations, later modified for reasons the subject of ...