Around the World in 80 Treasures

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History, Travel Documentary presented by Dan Cruickshank published by BBC in 2005 - English, Chinese Multilanguage narration

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Dan Cruickshank's quest is to tell the story of civilisation through the greatest of man's achievements. It will also be the story of his travels, and who and what he meets along the way. Whether standing before the solemn heads of Easter Island, investigating the mysterious Nazca lines in Peru or the magnificent temple of Borobodur in Java, Dan is never less than fascinating about the origins, construction, mysteries and vicissitudes of each of these monuments to the great civilisations of the world.

Do they live up to expectation? Have they been left in ruin, or over-restored? Dan's diary, written at the end of each day, records his most intimate thoughts and feelings, the people he has met, the ups and downs of the journey, perils, joys, and the ongoing relationships formed on the road. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 TREASURES is a riveting story of adventure and the pursuit of knowledge.

[edit] Peru to Brazil

Dan Cruickshank sets out on television's most ambitious treasure hunt ever - to reveal the most beautiful and precious things made by man since the dawn of time.

Dan journeys deep into the Amazonian rainforests of Brazil, to the peaks of the Peruvian mountains and to the distant wilds of Easter Island. Surviving tempest-tossed seas, crocodile infested rivers and the digestive challenge of fresh guinea pig - Dan's choice of treasures ranges from the celebrated to the secret.

Famed worldwide are his destinations of the giant Moai, the ruins of Machu Picchu and the giant statue of Rio's Christ. Less well-known but equally spectacular are the gold treasures of the human-sacrifice-loving Moche people with the sinister gold Spider Necklace and the largest mud-built city in world - the magical location of Chan Chan.

Never before has the variety and range of mankind's creations around the world been the stepping stones for such a momentous journey.

[edit] Mexico to America

Documentary presented by Dan Cruickshank revealing the most beautiful and precious things in the world, made by man. In this edition, he travels from the ancient Mayan tombs and pyramids of Palenque to the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and the refinement of Thomas Jefferson's elegant home in Virginia. Dan also reveals his first 'dark' treasures of this journey, including the 1851 Navy Colt handgun.

[edit] Australia to Cambodia

Giant termite mounds, ants and erotic cave paintings are among the items Dan Cruickshank unearths in the Australian outback. For Dan, even the brilliance of Sydney harbour can't rival the highlights of ancient Australia.

Then it's on to the wonders of Indonesia and the Sulawesi people, with their marathon funerals and contact with the spirit world. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom in Cambodia provide more treasures, and a golden elephant is Dan's final prize in Thailand - a wonder of the ancient world.

[edit] Japan to China

Ancient and modern clash in Japan while the Terracotta army and the Great Wall of China boast the brilliance of ancient imperial China as Dan Cruickshank embarks on the fourth leg of his journey to map man's greatest creations.

The sword of the Samurai warrior is his first and slightly menacing choice, but Dan marvels at the artistry behind this instrument of death. Exhausted by his travels, he seeks solace and tranquillity in a Japanese temple and meditation garden.

But in China, the tension of war and peace reasserts itself as he stalks the Great Wall of China and contemplates the massed ranks of the Terracotta army - 8000 soldiers individually modelled on real people. Again he finds peace in a unique creation - the Empress of China's marble boat - a miraculous and surreal vision on the waters of the Summer Palace lake.

As the smog of modern China descends, the authorities do their best to stop Dan seeing the ancient porcelain in the Forbidden City before he makes his escape from officialdom into the space age world of high-rise Shanghai.

[edit] India to Sri Lanka

Fertility and sex are recurrent themes in the fifth leg of Dan Cruickshank's epic journey to seek out humanity's greatest creations.

In Calcutta he tangles with a ten-armed naked goddess and is moved to passion in the Cave of Heavenly Maidens. Everything becomes clearer when he meets the triple-breasted goddess Menakshi.

Dan's personal journey of enlightenment is marked out by beautiful and noble giant Buddhas. He finds the key to the cosmos in the celestial city of Jaipur, worships at the Temple of the Tooth, loses at cricket and revels in a palace of smells. Finally, he is blessed by an elephant before ending up in the world's greatest temple to love, the Taj Mahal.

[edit] Uzbekistan to Syria

In the latest leg of Dan Cruickshank's journey Around the World in 80 Treasures, our intrepid presenter hits some of the most mysterious and secret countries in the world - where the weary western traveller cannot be sure of a warm welcome. But he's in for a surprise as he is accosted by young girls in Bukhara and Persian carpet sellers in Iran. He couldn't be more welcome if he tried!

Tile-making in Samarkand, the extraordinary Trading Domes of Uzbekistan and the Fire Temple of Azerbaijan take Dan to some incredible but least visited in the world. There is also a real mystery to solve as he gingerly edges himself up a cliff-face towards the biggest archaeological puzzle of the 19th century, the Bisitun carvings.

After the pleasures of Iran, Dan heads for one of the glories of the ancient world - the great city of Persepolis - vanquished by Alexander the Great in 330BC. In its day it was the most beautiful city in the world and there's more than enough left to savour the brilliance - like the Palace of One Hundred Columns and the Gate of All Nations.

Lastly Dan hit Damascus in Syria and one of the most exotic souks - or markets in the world. Worn to a frazzle he heads for the local hammam, the town steam bath, for some well-earned rest and relaxation

[edit] Jordan to Ethiopia

Dan Cruickshank goes in search of the Arc of the Covenant, the legendary gold box which held the Ten Commandments. His journey takes him from Jordan to the Holy Land of Israel and Palestine and finally to Ethiopia, Africa's Garden of Eden.

From start to finish this leg of his journey has the atmosphere of an endurance test. The astonishing city of Petra, so fine and intricate in its decoration yet carved directly out of the rock face, must be reached by donkey along a precipitous gorge; then Dan must get past the Guardian Monk of Ethiopia, who allows no-one to pass, and riskiest of all he must climb the vertical cliff face at Debre Damo to reach the treasures hidden inside the monastery on top of the mountain.

Along the way Dan encounters prehistoric skyscrapers and the most powerful king in Africa: King Lalibela. His ultimate prize is unexpected: to be cleansed of all shame by an ancient relic that wields its mystical powers beneath the Star of David. And the Arc of the Covenant? Maybe he finds it maybe not, but at least he escapes without being turned into a pile of ashes.

[edit] Mali to Egypt

Dan Cruickshank's journey reaches new heights of discomfort in the heat and dust of the desert - via the breathtaking but remote circumcision paintings of the Dogon in Africa to a love affair in Egypt with the most beautiful woman in history, for whom he must brave two giant jackals.

In between he witnesses the grotesque masks of Mali that connect the world of the living with the world of the dead; survives a powercut in the middle of the deepest, darkest chamber of the dead in the Great Pyramid outside Cairo; chooses to live a day in the life of a Roman trader in Leptis Magna; and identifies with Laurence of Arabia rather than Colonel Gadaffi in the desert of Libya.

One amazing surprise is the biggest mud building in the world, which cools down in the African sun through 104 saucepan lids on its roof - possibly the simplest ventilation system in the world, but also the most ingenious.

As he floats into the sunset down the Nile, Dan contemplates how it will feel to re-enter Europe after four months away.

[edit] Turkey to Germany

Dan's penultimate journey takes him above Turkey in a hot air balloon. He moves on to Russia's St Petersburg before heading toward the arctic circle and the remote monastery of Solovki. He then takes a personal journey back to Poland, where he grew up, before moving on to Berlin where he determines he must salvage something from the wreckage of Nazi Germany.

[edit] Bosnia to France and Home

The end is in sight and Dan's circumnavigation of the globe is almost complete. First there are some of the most brilliant treasures of all to enjoy - Venice, Florence and Rome revive an exhausted but ebullient Dan about to take his 92nd flight of the trip before he sails for home.

His first destination would have been a dangerous place to visit just a few years ago; Mostar and its famous bridge spanning the Christian and Muslim worlds. Destroyed by missiles, it has now been rebuilt.

Then it's on to Athens and the glories of the Parthenon before heading for the ultimate treasure trove of Italy - the beauties of Venice, the splendour of the Pantheon in Rome and the fabulous chapel of the Medici princes in Florence.

In Spain, Dan is astonished by the unrivaled brilliance of the Alhambra and echoes of the days when a large part of Europe was under the Islamic rule of the sultan.

At last it's time for Dan to reflect on the immensity of his journey around the world. How has it changed him and what is he to make of it all? What can we all learn as human beings from the fantastic variety of mankind's creations that Dan has seen? And what single thing more than any other has inspired man to create?

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: XVID
  • Video Bitrate: 1550 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 368x688 (height x width)
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 13x24 (1:1,87)
  • Audio Codec: FAST Multimedia AG DVM (Dolby AC3) <0x2000>
  • Audio BitRate: 192 kbps
  • Audio Streams: 1
  • RunTime Per Part: 59 min 24,04 s (89101 Frames)
  • Part Size: 744,05 MB

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  • Published by BBC

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