The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable. But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall. This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.
We count down from 49 to 34 events that include a Treaty in Versailles aimed at bringing peace to the world, the Watergate political scandal, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the assassination of John Lennon.
In the Andes, the Spanish open up the largest silver mine in the world – and mint millions of pesos de ocho (pieces of eight). These coins transform the global economy. They fill the treasure chests of pirates. They fuel a stock market boom. They help pay for the Taj Mahal. As trade booms, millions of people come to the New World as slaves. But a handful of Pilgrims come as pioneers – looking for freedom.
September 1950. On the banks at Incheon, 30 miles from Seoul, General MacArthur is victorious. The landing he planned, to rescue his men stuck in Pusan, was a success. But the war isn't over. In the North, the Americans will have to face an unexpected enemy. On the other side of the frozen Yalu river, Mao, covert as always, has stationed 300,000 of his men. On Thanksgiving Day, the Chinese and North Koreans attack the US army, whose only choice is to fall back. Faced with his army's defeat and Chinese intervention, Truman considers the atomic bomb... Further south, in Indochina, the French are also suffering setbacks. An ambush set by the Vietminh on the road Route Coloniale 4 annihilates them. To relieve the situation, the French government sent as a last resort one of its most famous generals: Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. French win a victory in Vinh Yen , but suffer heavy losses too. The parallel between Korea and Indochina is striking: the same hidden operators, frightened civilians, bomb blasted regions, columns of emaciated prisoners... For De Lattre, it is indeed one and the same war: the war for freedom, against communism. And the real enemy is Stalin, who sends North Koreans weapons and MIG-15 planes, and struts in front of his people with a super bomber capable of carrying his brand new atomic bomb. Will Stalin conquer the world?
Jago explores the forgotten people of ancient Costa Rica, who built a series of spectacular settlements amongst the rivers and volcanoes of central America and whose enigmatic legacy - including hundreds of mysterious, giant stone spheres - is only now being unravelled by archaeologists.