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The Greatest Tomb on Earth: Secrets of Ancient China (2016)



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Release Date:

16 October 2016 (UK) See more »

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Opportunity missed
18 October 2016 | by sjm_maloneySee all my reviews

Having watched Dan Snow's recent documentary around a secret Nazi tunnel (a real waste of an hour) I had concerns that this piece would be rather content light; it was.

Given the sheer scale of the first emperor's tomb, and the diversity of the artifacts so far discovered, there was a huge opportunity to explore what is known; and what is yet to be discovered. Instead, an obsessive agenda around whether 'the Greeks' built the complex was followed, with very scant conclusions. Alice spend her brief time examining a single skull, which turned out to be non-Western, and the chap who had 'unprecedented access' to an aerial view of the complex was only able to postulate a road heading in the wrong direction; and a smaller anomaly possibly going in the right direction. However that would only lead to a known border town anyway. Those wishing to look for a proto silk road, should be starting at the edge of China's boundaries at the time in the first place; not in the capital. Dan had the best of it, showing that a 'lost wax' method had been used to create some of the bronzes. Quite why they couldn't have been imports was not explained. It should also be noted that the Egyptians passed on their knowledge to the Greeks around creating colossal sculpture, and should be given some of the credit if due.

Much more could be said. It's worth a watch, simply because the complex and findings are utterly fascinating in of themselves; a missed opportunity though.

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