What were the Vikings really like? What did the Romans accomplish? And do the singular achievements of the ancient Greeks live on in our society today? This series questions the myths and unravels age-old clich's about these ancient cultures. It examines their strange and sometimes amusing idiosyncrasies, gives fresh insights into who they really were, and provides a novel take on their societies, peppered with surprising new revelations. Democracy, science, theatre, plumbing, modern roads, laws, the Olympics, conquering the seas, and the onset of globalisation are all at the heart of modern society, but in fact were inherited from the ancient worlds of the Greeks, the Romans and the Vikings. This is a new look at the ancient civilisations that will change our perception of them.
Pompeii was one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history. We know how its victims died - but how did they live? Gleaning evidence from an extraordinary find, scientists are providing new insights into the lives of these people. In a dark cellar in Oplontis, just three kilometres from Pompeii, 54 skeletons which didn't succumb to the torrent of volcanic ash are about to be put under the microscope. The remains will be submitted to a barrage of tests that will unlock one of the most comprehensive scientific snapshots of Pompeian life ever produced - and the results are surprising.
This program investigates two of the worst maritime disasters of World War Two. The first was the single worst shipping misfortune in British history - the sinking of the Lancastria in 1940 off the coast of Brittany with the loss of around 5,000 lives. The other tragedy struck the French steamer Meknes, which sailed from Southampton in July 1940 with 1300 French seamen aboard. It was hit by a German torpedo and sank in 10 minutes. Over 400 men perished in the catastrophe.
Led by British explorer, Adrian Hayes, the three companions brave some of toughest conditions on earth as they navigate the journey by stars, sun, local knowledge and time travelled. The group walk and ride camels through the gruelling 1,600km trail in traditional Arabic clothes and follow a modest diet. From the monsoon- drenched tropical forest of Salah, to Oman and over some of the most dangerous dunes in the world, through the Empty Quarter, where even the most accustomed locals seldom dare to tread. With dramatic adventure, genuine hardship, fascinating science and historical legacy, this audacious re-enactment captures culture, heritage and action all in one unforgettable journey.
Out on the ocean, a ship of doctors and nurses is traveling to the poorest of the poor living in West Africa. It carries life saving medical services for people who have none: children who suffer with terrible leg deformities, women outcast from their communities by birthing fistulas, vast tumors of all shapes and sizes which afflict the unlucky. With no medical help, sufferers must survive the best they can - unless the ship is in port.
To commemorate the passing of Nelson Mandela, SBS presents a fresh portrait of the anti-apartheid hero, never-before screened in Australia. Directed by award-winning director Clifford Bestall, this film offers a unique glimpse into the life of Nelson Mandela at a point when, in his own words, he ‘retired from retirement’. The filmmakers were given unprecedented access to Mandela from the beginning of his 90th year until his final retreat from public life. The resulting documentary is an intimate portrayal of one of history’s most respected and revered statesmen. Nelson Mandela: The Final Chapter includes never-before seen footage of Mandela’s last ever tour abroad, as well as private meetings and discussions with admirers, celebrities, heads-of-state and ordinary people. It is a privileged insight into his time in retirement, the final chapter in a remarkable life.
Fifty years ago in the Central Pacific, marines and soldiers fought the Japanese in one of the most bloody battles in WWII, yet thiscombat has been all but forgotten. This documentary sees a former US Tank Commander and Platoon Leader return to the island to meet their former Japanese enemies. Now in their 80’s, the men relive their painful stories as they trek into the jungle and witness how time has enabled them to forgive.