National Geographic - The Edge Of The Orient .DVD NEW SEALED. 1997
NEW SEALED IN CASE. National Geographic Society, DVD:Region 2 (Europe, Japan, Middle East...) Running Time 52 Minutes
Biblical accounts of the wealth and glory of Mesopotamia have long begged the question: where are the riches that such a powerful nation as Babylon must have created?
Early in the 19th century, the fog that long had shrouded Mesopotamia began to lift, in large part due to French-born Austen Henry Layard. Layard was completely awestruck by the tales he read in ‘Arabian Nights’ and from a young age he wanted to explore and discover.
Although he was trained as a lawyer, he decided to look for fame rather than for a legal career. He immersed himself in the local culture and found the Great Mound of Nimrud. Layard excavated the huge mound and discovered the great Assyrian cities of Nimrud and Nineveh.
Journeying to the upper Tigris valley, Layard gained the right to excavate along the banks of the river, and discovered the most fantastic artwork and architectural remains found anywhere outside of Egypt, including the largest works of art ever known to have been created. Many of his greatest discoveries are still in the British Museum.
Fifty years later, Gertrude Bell, uninterested in the conventional and predictable life of a Victorian woman, travelled extensively throughout the Middle East studying both its language and its past. She became known as the ‘Desert Queen’ and took 1000s of photographs, after gaining the respect of sheiks and local tribe leaders.
Often called the brains behind T.E. Lawrence, who would make his fame as Lawrence of Arabia in the battle of Aqaba against the Ottoman Turks, Bell served as an intelligence agent in the Middle East during WWI. Her travels through ancient Mesopotamia added greatly to our understanding of what is often called ‘the seat of civilisation’.
She firmly believed that the prehistoric remnants, which would probably still be in their original condition, could be found in the Turkish part of the region, which is believed the place where Noah’s ark landed after the Flood.
The founder of the Baghdad Museum, she was also instrumental in drawing the boundaries of present day Iraq. For a time, she was considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire and this documentary shows her in photos with King Faisal, Winston Churchill and other heads of state.
This documentary is part of the highly acclaimed ‘Treasure Seekers’ series, produced for National Geographic.
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