East to West is an exciting seven part series charting the birth of a flourishing civilisation in the Near and Middle East, and its dynamic influence on the West. Examining a largely untold story with a fresh perspective, the series follows the spread of civilisation across the globe from the first cities of Mesopotamia.
Episode 1 – Between Two Rivers
This episode follows the birth of civilisation in Anatolia and the Middle East. We go back to the very beginnings, when hunter-gatherers pause in Gobekli Tepe and start to build the world’s first structures around 12,000 years ago. This episode follow the first stages of civilisation: the rise of agriculture, governance and writing in Mesopotamia.
The latter part of the episode explores Alexander’s arrival in Troy and his conquest of the Persian Empire – a journey that made him realise what he owed to the East. In Miletus remarkable new finds show that the Greek god Aphrodite began as the eastern god Ishtar.
A range of archaeological and other evidence is marshalled to present a compelling case for cultural transfer from East to West. There is a wide-ranging description and discussion of eastern civilisation with some emphasis on the Babylonians.
For younger students this program would be an ideal an overview of the ancient world with the exploration of the idea of civilisation. Older students may find this an introduction to an interesting perspective on Alexander the Great.