Experts visit every corner of this first nation-state to reveal the secrets of its unparalleled success. Each episode focuses on one of the vital foundation stones at the base of this civilisation, such as the founding of the Empire and the rise of the Nile Kingdom to world power.
Why was the world’s first great civilization also its longest-lasting?
Birth of an Empire looks at how Egypt was founded. King Narmer claimed it was warfare. We discover that peace and collaboration were at least as important as the big battle that united Upper and Lower Egypt. Both war and peaceful collaboration laid the foundations for the Egyptian success story lasting more than 3000 years.
Pharaohs at War asks how Egypt maintained its relative independence for 3000 years. We answer this through Thutmosis III. He conquers more land than any other pharaoh. Yet ultimately he has no interest in establishing an expanding empire abroad. Like all pharaohs he is guided by the wish to establish peace and stability at home and secure the borders through forward defense. The pursuit of peace remains a key part of Egypt’s success story.
Temples of Power asks to what degree Egyptian cult was part of Egypt’s success story. Through Akhenaten’s ill-fated revolution we discover just how powerful Egypt’s religious tradition really was. Egyptian cult prevails even when threatened by the pharaohs. The cult was the backbone of the country’s civilisation; it was seen as the guarantor of the worldly order, and thereby helped to maintain inner peace and stability.
Quest for Eternity asks how Egypt’s belief in the afterlife could be part of its long-term success. How could a society apparently obsessed with death survive for so long? We discover that Egypt’s specific belief in the afterlife was essential to the longevity of her civilisation. The Egyptians liked their life so much; they wanted it to continue after their demise. Egypt’s belief in the afterlife provided focus for the population for more than 3000 years.
Physicist and author Brian Greene, brings us a mind-blowing new exploration of space, time, and the very nature of reality.
Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history.
A fresh perspective on the birth of civilisation in the Near and Middle East and its dynamic influence on the West.