Planet Egypt: Secrets of the Pharaohs Empire

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[edit] General Information

History Documentary hosted by Tom Zahner, published by ZDF in 2011 - English narration

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Image: Planet-Egypt-Secrets-of-the-Pharaohs-Empire-Cover.jpg

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Why was the world's first great civilization also its longest-lasting? Other TV series have looked at individual aspects of ancient Egypt. "Planet Egypt" gives a unique overview, from Dynasty Zero to the end of the New Kingdom. Experts visit every corner of this first nation-state to reveal the secrets of its unparalleled success. Each episode focuses on one of the vital foundation stones at the base of this civilization, such as the founding of the Empire and the rise of the Nile Kingdom to world power. More than 5,000 years ago, the territories of Upper and Lower Egypt were first united into a single kingdom. It was a seismic moment in history - the beginning of one of the most successful civilizations the world has ever known. The Nile Kingdom would flourish for over 3000 years. Ruled by 31 dynasties of "divine" Pharaohs, Ancient Egypt's achievements are without parallel, including the world's first territorial state and some of the most outstanding monuments known to man. Few civilizations displayed as much artistic and creative power as that of the Ancient Egyptians. How did they do it? What was the secret of their success. For decades, experts have been trying to solve the mystery of what kept the Nile civilization going for more than three millennia. Planet Egypt, a groundbreaking documentary series produced for international television, delves deep into the history of the Pharaohs. The series examines the unification of Egypt under King Narmer, the rise of the Nile Kingdom to world power under Thutmose III, the religious revolution at the time of the heretic king Akhenaten and the enormous surge in construction activity during the rule of Ramses the Great. With the help of dramatic re-enactments and lavish computer animations, Planet Egypt recreates the world of the Ancient Egyptians. Entire cities like Hierakonpolis, Thebes and Amarna are brought back to life through 3-D animations. Each episode sheds new light on one of the foundation stones at the base of this extraordinary civilisation. A Gruppe 5 Film production for ZDF in association with ARTE, History Channel and ZDF Enterprises

[edit] Birth of an Empire

Birth of an Empire looks at how Egypt was founded. King Narmer claimed it was warfare. We discover that peace and collaboration were at least as important as the big battle that united Upper and Lower Egypt. Both war and peaceful collaboration laid the foundations for the Egyptian success story lasting more than 3000 years.
The history of Egypt is one of unparalled success. For 3,000 years the Pharaohs ruled the land without interruption. But how was the Kingdom of Egypt united in the first place? New archaeological clues shed fresh light on the mysterious surrounding the birth of Ancient Egypt.
The Narmer Palette, a 5,000 year old stone tablet, is crucial. One of the oldest documents in the world, the palette depicts the brutal subjugation of the enemies of Egypt by the mysterious King Narmer. It also includes images depicting the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Taken at face value, this ancient stone document suggests that Narmer was the country's first true Pharaoh.
But was the Nile civilization really united through a huge battle, as the palette suggests, or are its images of warfare an early example of political propaganda? To solve the mystery how Egypt was first united, we follow archaeologists as they examine the very beginning of the rule of the Pharaohs. It's the time now known as Dynasty Zero - Egypt's pre-dynastic period - a previously little known episode that sets Egypt on course for some of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. The film discovers that, through both war and peace, it was the Mysterious King Narmer who laid the foundations for the continuing rule of the Pharaohs - a success story lasting more than 3,000 years.

[edit] Pharaohs at War

Pharaohs at War asks how Egypt maintained its relative independence for 3000 years. We answer this through Thutmosis III. He conquers more land than any other pharaoh. Yet ultimately he has no interest in establishing an expanding empire abroad. Like all pharaohs he is guided by the wish to establish peace and stability at home and secure the borders through forward defense. The pursuit of peace remains a key part of Egypt's success story.
For many centuries the Pharaohs managed to shield Egypt from the outside world, protected by the desert in the east and west, and by the inaccessible Nile Delta in the north. Eventually, the immigrants became so powerful that they would rule the north of Egypt for almost a century. To the Egyptians they became known as the Hyksos, the foreign rulers.
Although the foreigners were eventually driven out, Hyksos rule marked the end of Egypt's period of 'splendid isolation'. From now on, foreign kings would regularly threaten the Nile Kingdom from their base in the Middle East
The film focuses on the time around 1400 BC, when an invasion by the warrior tribes of Canaan (today's Palestine and Syria) loomed. To secure Egypt's borders, the young Pharaoh Thutmose III decided to flex his military muscle. For 20 years, Thutmose mounted military campaigns against the Canaanite principalities, even crossing the Euphrates in what today is southern Turkey. One of the most brilliant war leaders of Antiquity, Thutmose employed new weapons technology, a standing army and all his diplomatic skills to expand the Egyptian Empire. After defeating his neighbors, he shrewdly entered into military alliances with them, thus securing Egypt's borders for centuries to come.

[edit] Temples of Power

Ancient Egypt is unimaginable without its gods. Over the course of centuries, the Egyptian priests steadily gained in power. The Amun Temple in Karnak, the most sacred site in the whole country, came to wield almost as much power as the Pharaoh himself. Until the year 1350 BC, when King Akhenaten comes to the throne. He declares war on the ancient gods and breaks with the cult that has kept the country together for more than 1500 years. He sweeps away the power of the priesthood and their temples. Huge numbers of Egyptians lose their livelihoods and face starvation. It is the greatest cultural revolution in the history of Egypt.
The film explores the roots and impulses that underpinned this radical break with the past. Archaeologists excavating at he most important sites of Akhenaten's rule find clues to the motives of the Heretic King. Evidence from Luxor and Tell el Amarna suggests that Akhenaten's father, Pharaoh Amenophis III, had an important role to play in paving the way for his son's revolution. Egypt's Solar God is the focal point of the revolution instigated by the Pharaohs. The sun had always been the highest deity in Egypt. But now its status is enhanced even further. The old imperial God Amun is banned – a challenge to the age old religious tradition and continuity underpinning the Egyptian civilization.
This episode depicts the dramatic rise and fall of Akhenaten and the central role religion played in the 3000-year success story of the Pharaohs.

[edit] Quest for Eternity

Quest for Eternity asks how Egypt's belief in the afterlife could be part of its long term success. How could a society apparently obsessed with death survive for so long? We discover that Egypt's specific belief in the afterlife was essential to the longevity of her civilization. The Egyptians liked their life so much; they wanted it to continue after their demise. Egypt's belief in the afterlife provided focus for the population for more than 3000 years.
From the days of the first Pharaoh's tombs to the end of their era, Egyptians were united by one burning desire: to extend their lives to all eternity. This is why they built the gigantic pyramids, the splendid temples and the magnificent tombs that have become the hallmark of Egyptian civilization. The cult of the dead also became an important commercial factor. It was both an emotional bond and a way of glorifying life. The Egyptians regarded their existence on the Nile as paradise on Earth. It was in order to extend this paradise to all eternity that they developed visions of the afterlife in elaborate detail.
To unravel the secrets of this seemingly morbid obsession with death, episode 4 of Planet Egypt examines Egypt's most elaborate tomb builder – Ramses the Great. His long rule is also considered Egypt's Golden Age. Ramses became the biggest tomb builder in Egyptian history. Excavations in Egypt's oldest royal cemetary and in the famous Valley of the Kings help archaeologists track down the mysteries of the Egyptian afterlife. Planet Egypt also investigates the magical rituals associated with the Egyptian death cult, from mummification to the tradition of equipping the dead body with all items that could possibly be required after death.
The film discovers how the ancient Egyptians crafted an intricate balance between the world of the living and what lies beyond. Strange as it seems, Egypt's celebration of death holds the secret to the culture's longevity.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.2
Video Bitrate: 3 700 kb/s
Video Resolution: 1920x1080
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000
Audio Codec: E-AC3
Audio Bitrate: 224 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 47 min
Number Of Parts: 4
Part Size: 1.31 GB
Source: WEB DL (Thanks to 'RCVR')
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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