Sometimes the best things in life are in ruins. PBS Distribution knows exactly what we mean: They have released a trio of outstanding programs about three great historical ruins on DVD: “Time Scanners: Coliseum”; “Time Scanners” Jerusalem”; and “Time Scanners: Machu Picchu.” With cutting-edge technology that can “read” buildings, ruins and landscapes from ancient worlds, this series reveals physical and forensic history, allowing viewers to reach out and touch the past. Steve Burrows, one of the world’s foremost structural engineers–and the brains behind the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing–leads a team of investigators, including pioneering laser-scanning researchers, to unlock the secrets of the world’s greatest engineering achievements. Hosted by Dallas Campbell each episode provides unprecedented answers to the scientific secrets behind the historical landmarks. Think of these as journeys with no passport needed.
“Time Scanners: Colosseum”
The Colosseum in Rome has been pored over for hundreds of years by scientists and historians who have tried to piece together what this gigantic arena once looked like and how it worked. How did the Romans produce some of the most impressive gladiatorial games ever seen in Europe? How did the Colosseum’s mysterious roof really work? And how does the mighty Colosseum compare to the popular sports venues of the 21st century?
“Time Scanners: Jerusalem”
Join Barrows and his team of laser-scanning experts as they set out to explore the epic building legacy of Jerusalem. Their focus is on two of the most impressive engineering creations of the ancients: the Temple Mount, a holy icon larger than 20 football fields, and the man-made mountain of Herodium, an opulent palace built on top of millions of tons of hand carved rock. Both structures were created by King Herod the Great—known as one of history’s most reviled characters, but also known for his visionary engineering. From the iconic Wailing Wall to deep into the dangerous West Bank, Steve and his team travel across Jerusalem and beyond on the trail of King Herod’s remarkable building ambitions. Using cutting-edge laser technology to analyze constructions made at the time of Christ, they discover new revelations about the skills of Herod’s ancient builders, and answer long held mysteries about his magnificent structures.
“Time Scanners: Machu Picchu”
The dense jungle of the Peruvian Andes hides a sacred city—Machu Picchu, an enchanted 500-year-old stone citadel, hidden deep in the mountains where not even the Spanish conquistadores could find it. Thanks to its location on a precarious ridge in Peru’s sacred mountains, Machu Picchu is one of the most inaccessible cities in the world; there’s still much that we don’t know about the city and the people who lived there.
Steve Burrows leads his team of experts into the Peruvian jungle to scan the sacred Inca city, asking three main questions: How did the Inca build a city atop a mountain ridge? How were the terraces constructed? And how did they supply water to the city? Join the team as they turn back time and decode the past.