Want to know the true story of what happened on the Titanic all those years ago? Or get in-depth into the reasons and repercussions behind Bloody Sunday? How about discovering which Allied banks did business with Hitler throughout World War II? Each episode of Timewatch investigates a moment from history and tells the story in a way no one has told it before, disclosing new information and insights into these sometimes-familiar tales.
THE VICTORIAN WAY OF DEATH
Not so long ago, bodies were flung into mass graves, barely covered with a shovelful of dirt and left to decay. Sometimes, mourning relatives would return to the gravesite of their loved one, only to discover that the body had been dug up and removed. Enterprising bodysnatchers were running a tidy profit by selling the stolen bodies to medical schools. They could name their price if they had a fresh piece of meat for students to study. These robberies inspired a wave of change in the burial process, including the installation of graveyard walls and gates, the popularisation of cremation and tales of vampires and other monsters rising from the dead.
THE LOST LINER AND THE EMPIRE'S GOLD
When the SS Persia set sail in December 1915 from Marseilles it was said to be loaded with more than £1 million worth of gold and jewels (which would be about £50 million today). As it neared Crete a single torpedo from Max Valentiner's U-boat ended the ship's voyage and the lives of more than 300 passengers. The ocean liner lay at the bottom of the sea undiscovered for 85 years. Eventually salvage experts discovered the wreck. They turned the misfortunes of the unlucky people who were killed to their advantage as they explored the ship and removed the treasure still on board. Click here to find out more
POMPEII: THE LAST DAY
Overnight, Pompeii was transformed from a bustling prosperous city in which people shopped, worked and socialized into the site of the ancient world's most devastating natural disaster. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79AD, more than 5,000 people were killed by a searing, poisonous cloud from the volcano. A 15-foot deep layer of mud and ash covered the city, hardening almost immediately, effectively mummifying a moment in time. Eventually the city was forgotten, and it took more than 1500 years for people to rediscover it. The first excavations were smash and grab jobs, with looters looking to turn a quick profit. Later, archaeologists excavated much of the city, but the unique site remains unprotected from weather, tourists and packs of wild dogs that roam its streets. Click here to find out more
KARNAK - A HIDDEN HISTORY
Egypt's great Temple of Karnak is a ruin today, but at one time it was the most magnificent religious site of the ancient world. And no wonder. Construction of the site lasted for more than 2,000 years. The sacred enclosure of Amon would hold about 10 average-sized European cathedrals while St Paul's and Notre Dame could both fit inside the great Temple of Karnak, with room to spare. This extravagant site was erected for Amon, a little known god, with no miracles or myths to his name. His legacy lies in the awe-inspiring buildings his people left behind. Click here to find out more