Secrets of the Stone Age

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History Documentary hosted by Richard Rudgley, published by Channel 4 in 1999 - English narration

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According to the history books, civilization began with the ancient Egyptians. But in this intriguing three-part series, iconoclastic anthropologist Richard Rudgley, author of the provocative "Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age", argues that it began earlier — much earlier. We view our distant ancestors as nothing more than cave-dwelling savages but 100,000 years ago there were people who walked the earth every bit as gifted as us, who looked and thought just as we do today... In SECRETS OF THE STONE AGE, anthropologist Richard Rudgley offers a lively account of his journey across the continents in search of the lost legacy of prehistoric man. He takes us to Ancient Egypt, where excavations at Abydos have unearthed hieroglyphs belonging to an age before the pharaohs, and to the stone circles and burial chambers in Ireland, which precede Stonehenge by two millennia. In central Turkey, he discovers a Neolithic city over 9,000 years old. In the Alps, we are introduced to the Ice Man, a 5,300-year-old mummy, whose body reveals that acupuncture was practiced in Stone Age Europe, and to the awe-inspiring cave paintings of Ice Age France. In the Czech Republic he reveals a thriving textile industry dating from 24,000 BC. Delving further back still, Rudgley discovers many so-called 'modern attributes' amongst the Neanderthals of the Old Stone Age: the beginnings of art, symbolic communication and even seafaring in the days of Homo Erectus, at the very dawn of humanity's existence. In Indonesia, we examine stone tools that prove pre-Neanderthal man undertook raft voyages across the open sea --700,000 years before the Kon Tiki! Produced & Directed by Christopher Salt; A Granada Production for Channel Four Television

[edit] The Wisdom of the Stones: Life in the Neolithic Age

In this program, anthropologist Richard Rudgley strives to roll back the limits of history to include the remarkable achievements of the Neolithic Age. Engineering skills, as demonstrated by the temple of Hagar Qim and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, in Malta; indications of well-developed religious systems; evidence of acupuncture techniques; examples of bookkeeping via clay tokens; and proof of an intricate social structure through the digs at Catal Hoyuk and Asikli Hoyuk, in Turkey, reveal the depth and the genius of the Neolithic peoples.
In this first episode of the documentary series, Rudgley travels from New York to Egypt in search of evidence of writing, medicine and architecture from the Neolithic Age - 8000 to 3000 BC. He visits 5000 year old Oetzi the Ice Man, New York's Central Park, temples to a Mother Goddess in Malta and probably the oldest city in the world - a settlement in Turkey. Architect Richard England, writing specialist Denise Schmandt Besserat, and others support Rudgley's thesis with expert analysis.

[edit] Frozen in Time: Life in the Upper Paleolithic Age

This edition asks whether our primitive ancestors possessed unsuspected talents in art, medicine and mathematics. Anthropologically speaking, social complexity and technological skill are generally considered recent human developments. Could these qualities have appeared much longer ago than previously suspected? In this program, anthropologist Richard Rudgley shatters the stereotype of life in what is commonly referred to as the Ice Age. Rudgley shows that mammoths and primitive cave paintings are not the only relics of the Ice Age. He visits a 35,000 year old bead factory, finds a collection of sculpted female figurines and explores the beautifully painted cave cathedrals buried deep in the earth.
Such findings sketch a plausible portrait of a society in which women and children were equal to men and daily tasks required being just as intelligent as humans are today. The programme dismisses the traditional view of cave men and replaces it with a portrait of an intelligent society where women and children were very important.

[edit] The Human Story: Traces of Humankind's Oldest Relatives

In this program, anthropologist Richard Rudgley presents the results of his research into Neanderthal society, skewering the popular misconception that Neanderthals were subhuman. After a visit to Israel, where Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons once coexisted, Rudgley travels to Portugal, where he talks about the 24,500-year-old skeleton of a child that appears to be a Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon hybrid. Finally, seeking back even farther in time, he examines the few remaining clues to the thoughts and lives of humankind's most distant relatives: some ochre stains, shaped stones, and tools crafted with fossils embedded in their handles.
Rudgley shows that as many as 800,000 years ago people were able to cross water, probably had rafts and were capable of communication. He speculates on what can be learnt from our Stone Age ancestors.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 2 007 Kbps
Video Resolution: 720x408
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 50 min
Number Of Parts: 3
Part Size: 793 MB
Source: DVD
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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