History

First Civilizations

Using the latest in archaeology, anthropology and genetics, this series tells the story of where the modern world began. Incorporating studies of artifacts, renowned sites of archaeological interest and interviews with leading experts, it moves around the geographic zones of the world, exploring how and why civilization first sparked into life.

Trade

53m 41s

Examine an ancient civilization unlike any other, that of the Indus Valley. Rather than imposing order through war or religion, it relied on the free flow of trade. The exchange of goods promoted wealth, co-operation and trust.

Episodes

  • Trade: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trade

    S1 E4 - 53m 41s

    Examine an ancient civilization unlike any other, that of the Indus Valley. Rather than imposing order through war or religion, it relied on the free flow of trade. The exchange of goods promoted wealth, co-operation and trust.

  • Cities: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Cities

    S1 E3 - 54m 11s

    View the birthplace of civilization: the Middle East, site of the world’s first villages, towns and cities, from the hills of Turkey to the plains of Iraq. They were crucibles of invention and innovation — turbo-charging the pace of progress.

  • Religion: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Religion

    S1 E2 - 54m 10s

    Discover the secret to the stability and cohesion of Ancient Egypt — religion. When people share a core set of beliefs, they are more likely to identify as one. That was true for the first civilizations and it’s just as true today.

  • War: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    War

    S1 E1 - 54m 10s

    Examine the process of “destructive creation” — the idea that fear, rivalry and conflict strengthen community bonds while stimulating an arms race of technological progress. The result is civilization. Ancient Mesoamerica exemplifies this development.

Extras + Features

  • Rise of International Trade: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Rise of International Trade

    S1 E4 - 3m 13s

    Archaeologist Jeff Rose examines the history of a petroglyph in Oman and its connection to the rise of international trade.

  • Episode 4 Preview | Trade: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 4 Preview | Trade

    S1 E4 - 30s

    Examine an ancient civilization unlike any other, that of the Indus Valley. Rather than imposing order through war or religion, it relied on the free flow of trade. The exchange of goods promoted wealth, co-operation and trust.

  • Episode 3 Preview | Cities: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 3 Preview | Cities

    S1 E3 - 30s

    View the birthplace of civilization: the Middle East, site of the world’s first villages, towns and cities, from the hills of Turkey to the plains of Iraq. They were crucibles of invention and innovation—turbo-charging the pace of progress.

  • Humans Are Social: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Humans Are Social

    S1 E3 - 3m 13s

    Humans are social creatures. Evolutionary Psychologist Michael Muthukrishna explains why sociability is at the heart of civilization.

  • Rise of Inequality: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Rise of Inequality

    S1 E3 - 3m 29s

    Explore the rise of inequality and threat of dictatorship.

  • Episode 2 Preview | Religion: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 2 Preview | Religion

    S1 E2 - 30s

    Discover the secret to the stability and cohesion of Ancient Egypt: religion. When people share a core set of beliefs, they are more likely to identify as one. That was true for the first civilizations and it’s just as true today.

  • Kings Become Gods: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Kings Become Gods

    S1 E2 - 2m 22s

    In Ancient Egypt, at the site of Nekhen, kings were recognized as living gods.

  • Nabta Playa: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Nabta Playa

    S1 E2 - 3m

    Nabta Playa, 10 square miles of stones, was a religious monument where people could come together to worship.

  • Ritual: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ritual

    S1 E2 - 3m 42s

    Anthropologist Dimitris Xygalatas records the ritual of Sufis in Istanbul to see how the physical experience affects their bodies.

  • Raiding Oaxaca Valley: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Raiding Oaxaca Valley

    S1 E1 - 2m 36s

    The birth place of agriculture in Mesoamerica, Oaxaca Valley became an area of conflict as raiding occurred between villages over resources.

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