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Secrets of Lost Empires II—Roman Bath

Program Overview


Uncover the Latest Secrets from NOVA
Magnificent structures—symbols of faith, power, commerce, or comfort—are the intriguing legacies of the civilizations featured in this five-part miniseries, Secrets of Lost Empires. Without modern technology, these ancient builders achieved construction feats that still impress today.

NOVA travels to the sites of these once-mighty empires to answer the question, "How did they do that?" Expert teams of engineers, archeologists, and master builders attempt to recreate the structures, using the materials, tools, and techniques thought to have been available to their ancient counterparts. The researchers draw on tantalizing clues found in ruins, paintings, and documents to guide them. But in this real-world laboratory, things don't always go as planned. The teams demonstrate science inquiry in action, refining their hypotheses through trial and error. In the process, they gain a deeper understanding of the ancient builders and their worlds.


Roman Bath
Many of the Roman Empire's best-known engineering feats were first used in their bathhouses: vaulted roofs, watertight concrete, and elaborate plumbing and heating systems. In the hills of Turkey, a team of engineers, historians, archeologists, and local craftspeople build a working Roman bath. The challenges they face—from cracking tiles and leaky tubs to heavy rains—require cooperative problem-solving along the way.

Teacher's Guide
Secrets of Lost Empires II—Roman Bath
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