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The award-winning team behind the acclaimed BBC series on the life of Jesus, Son Of God, use a similar mix of live action, state-of-the-art computer technology and archaeology to tell the Arthurian legend, re-create the real Dark Ages counterpart to Camelot, and to bring to life the battlefields where the king won his greatest victories.
The story of King Arthur was written in the medieval period but it was actually set hundreds of years earlier. Richard Harris finds evidence that a real 6th-century Celtic warlord actually did exist and that many of the most famous icons and settings of the story – such as the Round Table, the sword in the stone, Camelot and the Isle of Avalon – may well have been inspired by real places and events.
The story begins in Tintagel, the windswept and romantic headland off the north coast of Cornwall in England, where the legend says Arthur was conceived.The ruins visible to tourists today are medieval, but below them archaeologists have unearthed remains of a 5th-century royal stronghold – evidence that a powerful king did rule from Tintagel in the Dark Ages. Computer graphics re-create the original.
New and intriguing archaeological finds are also shedding light on two of the most fantastic chapters in the legend – Arthur pulling the sword from the stone and taking Excalibur from the Lady in the Lake.
Bronze Age swords were made by pouring molten bronze into a stone mould, waiting for the bronze to set, and then pulling the blade clean out of the mould. And at the bottom of many British lakes archaeologists have found the remains of swords that had been thrown in as offerings to gods and goddesses.
Camelot, the brilliant royal city of legend is a medieval fantasy; in the Dark Ages kings and warlords ruled from hillforts. Archaeologists have excavated Cadbury Hillfort in Somerset, which may well have been Arthur’s real headquarters.
According to the legend Arthur died when he was mortally wounded in battle.The story goes that he was taken by boat to the Isle of Avalon.This episode has also been dismissed as a fantasy, but the programme reveals compelling evidence why the Isle of Avalon may be Glastonbury Tor. Ancient records show that medieval monks at Glastonbury Abbey dug up the body of Arthur and Guinevere in the Abbey cemetery. And historical records reveal that in the Dark Ages the low-lying plain surrounding Glastonbury Tor would flood every year turning Glastonbury Tor into an island.
The abbey is also connected to the Holy Grail. Legend has it that Jesus’ great-uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, came to Glastonbury, bearing the Holy Grail which he is said to have buried just below the Tor.
|Run Time:||90 mins + bonus content|
|Number of Discs:||2|
|UPC Code :||883929578290|