stone

NOVA
Treasures of the Earth: Metals

 

Gold, bronze, iron, steel: these metals are pillars of our civilization, but what makes them so special? Discover their unique properties and explore how our mastery of metals has led us from the stone age to today’s hi-tech world.

 

NOVA
Treasures of the Earth: Gems

 

Gemstones like diamonds, rubies, opal and jade are some of Earth’s ultimate treasures. Delve into the depths to discover how these precious stones are forged and what explains the unique allure of each captivating gemstone.

 

TIME SCANNERS
Machu Picchu

 

With cutting-edge technology that can “read” buildings, ruins and landscapes from ancient worlds, TIME SCANNERS reveals physical and forensic history, allowing viewers to virtually reach out and touch the past.

 

Machu Picchu
A team of laser-scanning experts in the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu attempt to answer three big 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?

 

TIME SCANNERS
Petra

 

Structural engineer Steve Burrows leads his team of laser-scanning experts to Jordan to scan the ancient desert city of Petra, where he wants to uncover its construction secrets and shed new light on this architectural wonderland lost to the West for more than 1,000 years.

 

A CRAFTSMAN’S LEGACY
The Stone Carver

 

Host Eric Gorges visits with Walter Arnold. Walter is an accomplished stone carver who started his career at a very early age. Eric learns a little about what it takes to carve lime stone and marble. The history of stone carving and early days of Walter’s apprenticeship in Italy, including kicking around the same quarry that Michelangelo went shopping for his marble.

 

NOVA
Petra: Lost City of Stone

 

More than 2,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants who carved spectacular temple-tombs into its cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains and pools. But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra’s unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly 1,000 years. Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and several sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone.

 

NOVA
Colosseum: Roman Death Trap

 

The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death. Then, just as quickly, the Colosseum could be flooded with so much water that ships could engage in sea battles. Could these legends be true? Now, with access to one of the world’s most protected world heritage sites, archaeologists and engineers team up to re-create ancient Roman techniques to build a 25-foot lifting machine and trap-door system capable of releasing a wolf into the Colosseum’s arena for the first time in 1,500 years.