What can the past teach us about the present? Come along as charismatic historian Michael Wood (The Story of India) travels the globe to trace the origins of six great civilizations: Iraq, ... See full summary »

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What can the past teach us about the present? Come along as charismatic historian Michael Wood (The Story of India) travels the globe to trace the origins of six great civilizations: Iraq, India, China, Egypt, Central America, and Western Europe. Each journey offers surprising perspectives on questions that matter today-about the environment, the individual, society, and spirituality. Written by Anonymous

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13 August 1991 (UK)  »

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An outstanding portrayal of the rise of cities and civilization
20 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Michael Woods, British archaeologist, presents a journey through Iraq before the first Gulf War of 1991, visiting the sites of the first cities and civilization of ancient Sumer. Wandering through the blasted ruins of Uruk, Eridu, Ninevah, and the still-inhabited sites of Erbil and Mosul, he talks about the conditions that led to the rise of the first city-states, and their ultimate destruction under the pressure of overpopulation, outside conquest, and over-irrigation of the sensitive soils of southern Iraq. He relates the stories and myths of ancient Sumer to later stories of the Creation, the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the dispersal of peoples following the fall of Sumerian civilization. He also talks about Mesopotamia as the cradle of some of the world's great religions -- Judaism, Christianity, Sufism, and Islam. The film is beautifully photographed, and the soundtrack is outstanding. I wish this could be reissued on DVD!


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