Jan 29, 2008
Season 35 Episode 10
For 25 centuries, the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, and disfigured by misguided restorations. Now, a team of architects and engineers is investigating the many mysteries of this icon of Western Civilization: How did the ancient Greeks design and build their masterpiece so quickly? How did they achieve such precision and perfection without modern tools and architectural aids that we take for granted today, such as comprehensive plans or drawings? With unprecedented access to the Greek government’s Acropolis Restoration Project, which has been restoring the Parthenon for over three decades, NOVA takes viewers inside the minds of the ancient Greeks as they created their most enduring architectural miracle. Secrets of the Parthenon features suspenseful action as Greek master craftsmen struggle with 10-ton blocks and strive to rediscover the lost tools and techniques of their ancestors. And it ends in a final dazzling discovery, as a trick of sunlight reveals a hidden carving that solves the last, most baffling riddle of all.