The story begins more than 1,500 years before our current era on the banks of the Hwang Ho - or Yellow River – and the Yang Tse Kiang – or Blue River, whose formidable power has been feared and respected by men through the ages. To control them, the renowned emperor Quinshihuangdi, today regarded as the first man to unify the great land of China, installed highly sophisticated irrigation systems and dissuaded his people from resorting to prayers and rituals in their attempt to combat the rivers’ demons. The discovery of Quinshihuangdi’s tomb in 1974 revealed that this saviour of a land subjected to the mighty rivers’ whim was held in unbounded reverence: 8,000 individually crafted terra cotta warriors stand guard over their king for eternity.
Egypt - A Journey in the Nile Valley (The Way of Eternity)
For 3,000 years, from the construction of the first pyramid until the death of Cleopatra, Egypt was a land of prosperity; largely thanks to the River Nile. What is the story of the development of this impressive civilisation and its relationship with its principal source of life? How did the river valley evolve during Antiquity? Why did the Egyptians never fight against nature, preferring to draw their own life-force from its natural power? And what remains today of the riches and wealth that nature has offered to Egypt? Shaped and fashioned by the hand of man in his pursuit of modernity, against all odds, the Nile has finally been tamed.
The Indus - A Silent Civilisation (The Masters of the River)
One of the most mysterious of these four civilisations is no doubt that which developed around the Indus, discovered only in 1920. Considered to be one of the world’s most powerful rivers, the Indus has a flow rate twice as high as the Nile, and three times that of the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Its geographical course enabled extensive communication to be developed and, at the same time, the rise of a prosperous civilisation, the Harappeans.
What was the story of this recently discovered civilisation, and how can we explain its decline?
Mesopotamia - The Conquest of Two Rivers (The Gardens of Babel)
Mesopotamia, or « the country between two rivers », is the oldest civilisation to have flourished at the confluence of two rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates. The Mesopotamians included various peoples, the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Akkadians, who coexisted and succeeded one another, mixing and inter-relating in a Near East with a wide range of racial facets. These different peoples, who once lived along the banks of the two rivers, have left behind an archaeological heritage of inestimable value.
How did they flourish in such a hostile environment? Where did their wealth come from? And how did this perfectly structured civilisation finally fade and disappear for ever?
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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