Unearthing Mysteries

Aubrey Manning examines historical enigmas.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101Valley Of The Kings - Kings Valley 551999071320061109 (BBC7)
20070313 (BBC7)
20090110 (BBC7)
20100621 (BBC7)
20110216 (BBC7)
20150328 (BBC7)

In 1907, Egyptologist Edward Ayrton discovered a tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

The identity of the mummy it contained has been the source of intense debate ever since.

Could it belong to Akhenaten, one of the greatest pharaohs of ancient Egypt? Professor Aubrey Manning travels to Egypt to unearth the mystery inside tomb 55.

Professor Aubrey Manning travels to The Valley Of The Kings in Egypt.

Professor Aubrey Manning travels to The Valley Of The Kings in Egypt to unearth the mystery behind Tomb 55.

Professor Aubrey Manning travels to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt to unearth a mystery.

0104 LASTSoutra19990803

At the junction of five ancient Scottish roads lie the hidden remains of Soutra hospital.

The secrets of Augustinian medicine are hidden in its drains.

From anthrax spores to hemlock and opium, Brian Moffat unearths the seeds of the past and discovers that the history of Soutra is written in blood.

With Aubrey Manning

0201Sounds Of The Stone Age2000110720070617 (BBC7)
20070618 (BBC7)
20090131 (BBC7)
20100624 (BBC7)
20110309 (BBC7)

Visiting some of Britain's oldest structures, Professor Aubrey Manning tackles the conundrum of their acoustic properties.

Aubrey Manning looks at the acoustic properties of some of Britain's oldest structures.

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the acoustic properties of some of Britain's oldest structures.

Examining the theory that ancient stone circles and burial chambers might have unique acoustic properties that gave rise to strange psychological effects, meeting the archaeologists who are testing the theory.

0202The Amber Room2000111420070624 (BBC7)
20070625 (BBC7)
20090207 (BBC7)
20100628 (BBC7)
20110316 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning tells the story of an intricately crafted jewelled room, dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Professor Aubrey Manning tells the story of an intricately crafted jewelled room.

Manning talks to the people hunting one of the greatest missing art treasures.

A gift from the King of Prussia to Peter the Great in 1716, the Amber Room was an intricately crafted jewelled room.

The Nazis took it from St Petersburg in 1941, piece by piece, back to Germany, and it hasn't been seen since 1945.

0203The Drinking Cult2000112120070701 (BBC7)
20070702 (BBC7)
20090214 (BBC7)
20100629 (BBC7)
20110323 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning travels to Romania to study the remains of a Roman temple and the cult of Libre Patre.

Professor Aubrey Manning travels to Romania to study the remains of a Roman temple.

In 1989, a Romanian archaeologist unearthed three statues of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.

They had been deliberately smashed, over 2,000 years ago.

But by whom?

0204 LASTThe Pharos Lighthouse Of Alexandria2000112820070708 (BBC7)
20070709 (BBC7)
20090221 (BBC7)
20100630 (BBC7)
20110330 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the fate of one of the most impressive and enigmatic buildings in history.

Aubrey Manning investigates the fate of one of the most impressive buildings in history.

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the fate of one of history's most impressive and enigmatic buildings.

He meets the archaeologists who have found the remains of the seventh wonder of the world, which stood for 17 centuries, guiding sailors to the coast of Egypt.

No one knows what it looked like, but clues to its structure are now being pieced together.

0301The Red Lady Of Paviland2001103020080203 (BBC7)
20080204 (BBC7)
20090228 (BBC7)
20100701 (BBC7)

What can an ancient skeleton can tell us about how Homo Sapiens came to succeed the Neanderthals? Aubrey Manning reports.

Aubrey Manning discovers what an ancient skeleton can tell us about Homo Sapiens.

Aubrey Manning discovers what an ancient skeleton can tell us about how Homo Sapiens came to succeed Neanderthals.

The story of an ancient body found in 1823 in a cave on the Gower Peninsula.

0302London's Medieval Medicine2001110620080210 (BBC7)
20080211 (BBC7)
20090307 (BBC7)
20100705 (BBC7)

The bodies being excavated from a medieval hospital's cemetery give clues about life, disease and death in medieval London.

With experts, Professor Aubrey Manning examines the archaeological findings at Spitalfields in east London.

Aubrey Manning examines the archaeological findings at Spitalfields in east London.

Professor Aubrey Manning examines archaeological findings from an excavation of a hospital cemetery in London's Spitalfields.

0303Saxon Steel2001111320080217 (BBC7)
20080218 (BBC7)
20090321 (BBC7)
20100706 (BBC7)

Did the Saxons make top-notch steel centuries before it was 'invented'? Aubrey Manning investigates.

From November 2001.

Did the Saxons make top-notch steel centuries before it was 'invented'? From November 2001

He finds out about archaeological evidence that steel was invented not during the Industrial Revolution but in Saxon times.

How was top-notch steel being made in Saxon Hampshire when it apparently wasn't 'invented' until the 18th Century?

0304 LASTSan Galgano And The Sword In The Stone2001112020080224 (BBC7)
20080225 (BBC7)
20090328 (BBC7)
20100707 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning explores Italy's St Galgano where a story of severed hands is intertwined with the search for a tomb.

The mystery of the severed hands, the sword in the stone and a search for a tomb.

The story of Italy's St Galgano.

0401Taming The Horse2002110520080525 (BBC7)
20080526 (BBC7)
20090418 (BBC7)
20100708 (BBC7)

Aubrey Manning examines archaeological mysteries.

In this edition, he looks at a site in Kazakhstan which offers evidence of what might be the earliest domestication of the horse.

With the aid of experts, Professor Aubrey Manning examines the foundations of horse domestication.

Professor Aubrey Manning and experts examine the foundations of horse domestication.

Professor Aubrey Manning examines evidence of early horse domestication, from excavations in Kazakhstan.

0402The Worlds First City2002111220080601 (BBC7)
20080602 (BBC7)
20100712 (BBC7)

Aubrey Manning visits Catal Huyuk in Turkey, possibly the world's first city.

But how was the place structured and why was it built in the middle of a swamp?

Aubrey Manning visits Turkey and the site of what might have been the world's first city.

But who would want to live in a swamp?

0403The Amesbury Archer2002111920080608 (BBC7)
20080609 (BBC7)
20090425 (BBC7)
20100713 (BBC7)

Aubrey Manning investigates the mystery of the so-called Amesbury Archer, who was buried with gold earrings, knives, and the stone wrist guards of a bowman.

With the aid of experts, Professor Aubrey Manning examines magnificent grave finds unearthed close to Stonehenge in May 2002.

Aubrey Manning investigates the Bronze Age burial grounds unearthed close to Stonehenge.

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the magnificent Bronze Age burial grounds unearthed close to Stonehenge.

0404 LASTMeadowcroft Rock Shelter2002112620080615 (BBC7)
20080616 (BBC7)
20090502 (BBC7)
20100714 (BBC7)

Aubrey Manning visits the Meadowcroft Rock Shelter, near Pittsburgh, to examine evidence that humans were in North America 14,000 years ago, much earlier than previously believed.

Aubrey Manning visits the Meadowcroft Rock Shelter near Pittsburgh to find out who went camping there 16,000 years ago.

Aubrey Manning visits America's Meadowcroft Rock Shelter near Pittsburgh.

Aubrey Manning visits America's Meadowcroft Rock Shelter near Pittsburgh to find out who went camping there 14,000 years ago.

05Egyptian Mummy Project20100719 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning visits an ambitious project in Egypt aiming to unearth diseases suffered by the ancient inhabitants.

Aubrey Manning hopes to unearth the diseases suffered by the ancient Egyptians.

0501Hunting Mammoths2003080520070715 (BBC7)
20070716 (BBC7)
20080622 (BBC7)
20080623 (BBC7)
20090509 (BBC7)
20100715 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the fossilised remains of Lynford Quarry in Norfolk.

Aubrey Manning visits a site in Norfolk that is littered with the bones of great mammoths and the flint tools of our Neanderthal cousins.

But were they lucky scavengers or were they hunting down the great beasts? Last summer, a worker at Lynford quarry in Norfolk noticed a large, pale object in the gravel he was excavating.

It turned out to be a mammoth bone 60, 000 years old.

Soon, archaeologists were finding a vast number of bones, including the three metre tusks of great mammoths and the remains of woolly rhinoceros.

Amongst them were beautifully shaped tools of black flint.

This was one of those rare occasions where early pre-history could be excavated in its detailed context.

But were the Neanderthal people 60, 000 years ago simply scavengers or were they able to hunt down and kill mighty mammoths?

Professor Aubrey Manning takes on a mammoth task as he investigates the fossilised remains of Norfolk's Lynford Quarry.

0502Ancient Egyptian Diseases2003081220070729 (BBC7)
20070730 (BBC7)
20080629 (BBC7)
20080630 (BBC7)
20090516 (BBC7)

BBC7 title: Egyptian Mummy Project

Aubrey Manning investigates an ambitious project that hopes to unearth the diseases suffered by the ancient Egyptians.

Aubrey Manning returns to Egypt to find out about an ambitious project that hopes to unearth the diseases suffered by the ancient Egyptians.

We know that Tutankamun possibly died from a severe blow to the head from X-rays that were done in the 1960s, but what can new scientific techniques tell us? Is it possible that diseases such as atherosclerosis (furred-up arteries) are not as modern as we think?

In Egypt, Aubrey Manning investigates an ambitious project that hopes to unearth the diseases suffered by the ancient Egyptians.

Aubrey Manning hopes to unearth the diseases suffered by the ancient Egyptians.

Professor Aubrey Manning visits an ambitious project in Egypt aiming to unearth diseases suffered by the ancient inhabitants.

0503Tri Radial Cairns2003081920070805 (BBC7)
20070806 (BBC7)
20080706 (BBC7)
20080707 (BBC7)
20090523 (BBC7)
20100720 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the tri-radial cairns found in Northumberland.

The moors of Northumberland are littered with prehistoric remains.

Aubrey Manning joins archaeologists investigating strange cairns with three arms of stone.

Were they just sheep shelters, or do the arms pick out astronomical alignments from the Bronze Age?

Professor Aubrey Manning examines possible astronomical alignments in a class of prehistoric cairns found in Northumberland.

Aubrey Manning examines possible astronomical alignments in a class of prehistoric cairns.

Professor Aubrey Manning examines possible astronomical alignments in prehistoric stone piles discovered in Northumberland.

0504 LASTGreat Ome Bronze Mine2003082620070812 (BBC7)
20070813 (BBC7)
20080713 (BBC7)
20080714 (BBC7)
20090530 (BBC7)
20100721 (BBC7)

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the ancient Bronze Age mines at Great Orme Head on the Creuddyn Peninsula, Llandudno.

Professor Aubrey Manning investigates the ancient Bronze Age mines at Great Orme Head.

Aubrey Manning descends into the biggest prehistoric mine in Britain at Great Orme head above Llandudno in North Wales.

How did the Bronze Age miners dig out the ore and turn it into bronze?

0601Land Of Punt20041207

Aubrey Manning goes in search of the mysterious Land of Punt, the supplier of aromatic resins, gold and riches to the Ancient Egyptians.

New arguments have come to light about this 'Gods' Land' possibly being located in Arabia rather than the conventional African location that has been established over the last 30 years.

But will a newly discovered ancient text confuse the issue even further?

0602Wharram Percy20041214

Aubrey Manning visits Wharram Percy to try to discover why the entire village came to be abandoned.

Could it have been raiders from Scotland? There's evidence of a raid and burning in a village nearby.

Could it have been the Black Death? In the mid 14th Century that plague accounted for the death of perhaps a quarter or even a third of the population of England.

Analysis of the bones of inhabitants give details of the diets of the residents, and in the 15th century, warning signs appear.

Could the explanation really be sheep?

This show investigates the links between land use and health and the life and death of a medieval village.

060320041221

There's no prehistoric cave art in Britain! Well, that had been the assumption until recently.

Aubrey Manning goes caving with archaeologists who are determined to correct that assumption and transform our understanding of stone age Britain.

This year, more cave art has been found in Church Hole, including some of the finest bas reliefs known anywhere.

This programme sees the announcement of the discovery of a cave painting and, at two other caves even further North, of more engravings.

Britain in fact now has a rich legacy of cave art.

But who put it there and why?

0604 LAST20041228

For most of us, American history starts in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, yet before that time, some monumental structures were being built all across the East Coast, up to the Mississippi River, which are little talked about.

Aubrey Manning visits Cahokia in Illinois, the site of the biggest earthen structure in North America to find out who built it and why, and what happened to the societies living there before the Europeans.

0701The Tunnellers Of World War I20051220

By February 1915, just months after the start of the First World War, both sides had decided to adapt the classic medieval siege technique of tunnelling to attack enemy defences.

Today, hundreds of miles of tunnels still criss-cross far below the battlefields of Northern France.

Aubrey travels to Vimy Ridge to meet members of the Durand Group, whose excavations are revealing a complex network of listening, communication and fighting tunnels deep below ground.

He finds out why the tunnels and tunnellers played such a vital role in helping the fight above ground.

0702The Romans In India20060103

Aubrey goes in search of the ancient Roman port of Muziris on the west coast of India.

The Romans travelled across the Arabian Sea to India in search of black gold - the black pepper plants that climb up the teak trees in Kerala.

Pepper was a valuable spice to the Romans and this port was very important in its route to the West.

Archaeologists have long wondered exactly where it is, and new research suggests that it may have been found.

070320060110

Today, the flanks of Ben Lawers, on the North side of Loch Tay, are all but deserted.

But in the late 18th Century, nearly 1500 tenants scratched a meagre living from the thin, cold soil.

Aubrey investigates the rise and fall of this Scottish community and discovers that it goes back thousands of years.

0704 LASTThe First Americans20060117

In the last of the current series Aubrey Manning explores one of the most contentious questions in the story of human evolution.

He travels to Central Mexico to look at evidence for 40,000 year old fossilised human footprints which could dramatically overturn current thinking about how and when humans first colonised the Americas.

Current models suggest hunter gatherers migrated from Siberia into alaska about 11,500 years ago.

Could they have arrived 30,000 years earlier and how did they get there? Not everyone agrees they are footprints or how old they are.

Aubrey explores the controversy.

0801Antikythera Mechanism20061212

Aubrey Manning explores one of the most extraordinary surviving artefacts from the Ancient Greek world.

Found by divers in 1900, The Antikythera mechanism is an intricate mechanism of bronze dials and gears that has baffled researchers in the decades since its discovery.

Exactly what kind of astronomical device is it? And does it mean that the ancient Greeks were centuries ahead of their time by putting the Sun at the centre of their universe - pre-empting Copernicus by 1400 years? Aubrey travels to Athens to uncover findings that could revolutionise our understanding of the history of astronomy.

080220061219

Who were the first people to set foot in Britain? Not our own ancestors for certain.

They only arrived a few thousand years ago.

Aubrey Manning goes to Norfolk to see new evidence of human occupation hundreds of thousands of years ago.

But who were these people, how did they get here and what was life like between the ice ages?

0803 LAST20061226

Everyone has heard of Boudica or Boadicea, leading a revolt against the Romans and riding her chariot across East Anglia, sacking cities.

Not so many know that she had a husband, King Prasutagus, who was friendly to Rome.

Aubrey Manning investigates the life and times of Mr Boudica.