Machines Time Forgot

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History Documentary hosted by Geoffrey Palmer, published by Channel 4 in 2003 - English narration

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Image: Machines-Time-Forgot-Cover.jpg

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History is littered with mysterious achievements, feats that cannot be explained by the known technology of the time. This series tackles four of these exploits, glimpsed through centuries-old literature and art, which were miraculously advanced for their time. Now, historians, technicians and artisans have come together to try to equal their forebears' genius and expertise and understand how these major achievements came about.

[edit] Crane

Eight hundred years ago, the biggest building boom the world had ever seen exploded across Europe. All over the continent rival towns and cities competed with each other to build vast cathedrals that towered higher than any other buildings in Europe. But this craze for Gothic architecture also called for the development of a machine that could raise enormous quantities of stone to extreme heights. A handful of medieval illustrations show a type of giant crane, perched high on the top of these gothic buildings. Powered by people walking inside a large treadwheel, just how did medieval craftsmen build such cranes? This programme attempts to reconstruct the medieval cathedral crane using traditional methods, but not everything goes according to plan.

[edit] Fireship

In 674 AD the gates of Constantinople were under attack from the massed armies of the emerging Islamic world. It seemed as if the most prestigious city in Christendom was about to fall to the infidels, but then Constantinople unleashed a secret, new and highly powerful weapon: the fireship. Now two teams of specialists are aiming to recreate the fireship. It had on board two formidable weapons: a catapult and a flame-thrower. In France, one team re-build the catapult, with its complicated firing mechanisms; in the UK another team develop the pump system used to project the blazing oil. When the two teams meet up in a Maltese harbour to test out their work, results are, initially at least, somewhat mixed.

[edit] Submarine

In September 1776 a unique event marked the start of a whole new field of warfare: the world's first submarine attack. Designed to place a mine on the hull of a British warship in New York harbour, the submarine would be unrecognisable today. Made of wood, it was shaped like two turtle shells stuck together. So unlikely was its design that many doubt it ever existed. In order to test whether it could have ever achieved its mission, a group of amateur submarine enthusiasts attempt to rebuild the turtle using only the materials and tools available to its original designer.

[edit] Chariot

Between the 9th and 7th century BC, Assyrian warrior kings created a great empire in the Middle East. They were helped by their battalions of charioteers - the first that the world had seen. In the 21st century, a carriage-maker, a horse trainer and historians – using only a few existing wall reliefs as guides - try to figure out how the chariots were made.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC
  • Video Bitrate: 1800 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.777:1
  • Video Resolution: 1024x576
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps CBR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 49 mins
  • Framerate: 25 FPS
  • Number of Parts: 4
  • Part Size: 680 MB
  • Source: HDTV (upscaled)
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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