Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Secrets of Lost Empires I—Colosseum

Program Overview


Ancient structures may generate awe and provide information about the people who built them, but they leave many questions unanswered: How were they constructed? What technologies were available to the builders? What tools did they use?

In this four-part mini series, NOVA brings together experts from diverse fields to reconstruct how these monuments might have been built. For each structure, individual teams are challenged to create a scale model using the materials and scientific knowledge thought to be available at the time of original construction (although at times they resort to modern methods). By applying their knowledge of each culture, their expertise in building techniques, and a process of trial and error, the teams attempt to reconstruct these ancient technological wonders.

Colosseum
Image of the ColosseumCitizens of Rome came to the Colosseum to behold free entertainment that usually came in the form of violent war games and bloody battles between humans and animals. This structure's most impressive feature was a massive canopy that provided shade from the hot sun. In order to investigate the possible forms the roof may have taken, NOVA's team constructs models at a smaller arena in Spain.

Teacher's Guide
Secrets of Lost Empires I—Colosseum
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM TEACHERS
   

Support provided by