First Civilisations

Season 1

Season 1, Episode 4 - Trade

Expired 3.0 2 x
Trade has a civilising effect - promoting wealth, co-operation and trust. Nowhere was this truer in the ancient world than in the Indus Valley - between modern-day India and Pakistan - home to the first civilisation in Asia. Archaeologist Uzma Rizvi reveals this was a civilisation built upon the production and exchange of ...

Season 1, Episode 3 - Cities

Expired 3.0 2 x
Having lived as mobile foragers for 99% of our time on Earth, why did our ancestors stop moving and start settling in villages, towns and cities? The process started in the hills of southern Turkey at a site known as Gobekli Tepe. The impulse to be social brought large numbers of people together for seasonal feasts. The si...

Season 1, Episode 2 - Religion

Expired 3.0 7 x
Religion has always been the soulmate of civilisation - they are meant for each other. This connection was first made in Ancient Egypt, which is still the longest lasting civilisation in world history. All civilisations since have borrowed something of the blueprint established by the Egyptians. Remarkably, it is possible ...

Season 1, Episode 1 - War

Expired 4.0 3 x
How can something as devastating as war help bring about civilisation? Ancient Mesoamerica is the perfect petri dish to examine the process of ‘destructive creation’. Evolutionary theorist Peter Turchin regards war as a necessary evil. It brought people together in a common cause while stimulating an arms race of technolog...