Geologist Dr Iain Stewart shows how the rocks beneath our feet have shaped the history of the Mediterranean. In this series he takes us on a tour of the Med and shows us how geology is behind everything from the rise and fall of civilizations to religion, architecture and food.
Risky Rocks – Earthquakes created a huge network of cracks in the ground that have had a huge impact on human history. These faults are pathways for materials to rise to the surface which can bring life or death. They are behind everything from catastrophic volcanoes to natural health spas and valuable mineral deposits. Filmed in Greece, Turkey and Jordan.
Architecture – The architecture of ancient civilisations was largely dictated by the types of rocks that were accessible to their builders. Iain Stewart reveals how geology influenced the Egyptians to build pyramids, the Greeks to build squares and the Romans to build perfect arches. It all comes down to how the rocks were formed millions of years ago. Filmed in Egypt, Italy and Greece.
Art – Geology has had a huge influence in shaping the history of art. Early cave painters scraped their colours from rocks on the earth’s surface, while the Egyptians and Arabs developed ingenious techniques to dramatically broaden the range of their palettes. As well as exploring ancient techniques, Iain Stewart looks at how advances in our understanding of rocks have given each generation of artists new options. Filmed in Egypt, France and Spain.
Belief – Geological events have influenced the way we believe the world around us works. From the birth of Christianity to recent discoveries about the extinction of dinosaurs, geology has played a vital role in our perception of where we came from. Filmed in Greece, Italy and Portugal.
Water – Iain Stewart tells the story of man’s 10,000-year battle with water. Because water is so crucial, the really successful ancient civilisations were the ones that learned how best to exploit it. From the catastrophic flooding of Stone Age hunting grounds at the Black Sea, to the fall of the Roman Empire, water played a crucial role. Even today, we ignore the power of water at our peril. Filmed in Greece, Spain and Jordan.
Salt – Salt has played a crucial role in everything from the existence of ice ages to the preservation of food and dead bodies in ancient Egypt. Filmed in Egypt, Venice and Sicily.