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Our world holds remarkable relics that are full of secrets, written in stone, gold, and blood. Discovering the truths behind these mysteries could change history as we know it. Join host Adam Mastrelli as he brings us face-to-face with these puzzling treasures. Explore hidden corners of the world, decipher ancient documents, and apply groundbreaking research and forensic techniques in our quest to discover the truth about these fabled cities, monuments, and remnants.

Monday 8:00 PM et/pt on Smithsonian Channel
1 Season, 30 Episodes
March 9, 2020
Documentary & Biography, History
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Secrets Unlocked Full Episode Guide

  • Evidence shows that the Towel of Babel, subject of one of the Bible's most incredible stories, actually existed.

  • Historians, archaeologists and other experts look into the remains of Queen Anne's Revenge to see what caused its wreckage.

  • The legend of El Dorado has fascinated explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors and sparked what may be the bloodiest gold rush in history. The mythical lost city of gold was inspired by an opulent ancient Colombian tribe, and while the culture has disappeared, an invaluable relic of theirs--a 10-inch golden raft statue--lives on. Host Adam Mastrelli tracks a team of metal experts and archaeologists as they study this artifact in hopes of unlocking the secrets of this fabled city and discovering the truth of a vanished civilization.

  • History's greatest mysteries are revisited and reexamined, using modern research and cutting edge technology.

  • The discovery of a thousand-year-old burial site in Denmark gives clues to what ended the Viking Age.

  • The stone giants of Easter Island are some of the most recognizable statues on Earth, and some of the least understood. How were hundreds of these enormous figures built, and why? And what sent them toppling to the ground? Was Easter Island's cultural decline caused by natural disasters, overpopulation, or war? Join host Adam Mastrelli and a team of experts as they gather evidence on the island in an attempt to understand one of the most mysterious civilizations in the world. Then see how one statue carried away by treasure seekers may help researchers decode what really happened on Easter Island.

  • History's greatest mysteries are revisited and reexamined, using modern research and cutting edge technology.

  • History's greatest mysteries are revisited and reexamined, using modern research and cutting edge technology.

  • History's greatest mysteries are revisited and reexamined, using modern research and cutting edge technology.

  • A giant calendar? A cathedral to unknown gods? Or something more macabre? For centuries, archaeologists have argued over why and how Stonehenge was built. Now, a team of experts is attempting to reveal why this stunning and mysterious monument was created and why its remote location was chosen. Follow them as they comb a vast prehistoric settlement and perform forensic examinations in order to unlock the secrets of this 4,500-year-old prehistoric structure.

  • History's greatest mysteries are revisited and reexamined, using modern research and cutting edge technology.

  • Ramesses II was the most powerful pharaoh to rule Egypt, and his construction of a new capital city, Pi-Ramesses, was his crowning achievement. It was the biggest building program since the pyramids, but somehow, this metropolis completely vanished from history. What happened? Where did it go? And to begin with, where was it built? Join host Adam Mastrelli as we follow the brilliant detective work that may have uncovered the mysterious fate of this magnificent city.

  • In 2011, an astounding discovery was made in Egypt's Valley of the Kings: the first finding of a sealed burial since Tutankhamun's treasure trove nearly a century ago. But more remarkable than the discovery is what archaeologists found inside: a 3,000-year-old crime scene involving a dismembered princess and an additional coffin dated from a different era. Follow scientists as they use modern forensics to unearth the royal tomb's secrets and expose a hidden history of robberies and revolution.

  • Since its discovery a century ago, archaeologists have been trying to unlock the secrets of King Tut's tomb, but many questions remain about for whom the crypt was built. Many of the 5,400 objects found inside seem made for a female, but who could this mystery woman be, and what was her relationship to the Boy King? Where do her remains lie? Experts journey to the Valley of the Kings and attempt to answer these puzzling mysteries.

  • Nearly one million visitors from around the world visit the Neues Museum in Berlin every year to see the bust of the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Pulled from the ground in 1912, this object is one of the world's most famous works of art. But some experts believe it's a fake. Host Adam Mastrelli traces the history of the statue and the woman behind it. See how modern-day forensics and analysis are revealing new truths about the queen and the masterpiece she inspired.

  • The Sphinx is one of the largest, most iconic monuments of the ancient world--and one of the most puzzling. For thousands of years, the mythic statue, with the body of a lion and the head of a man, has captivated and confounded tourists, historians, and the Egyptian people themselves. Why was it built? When was it built? Who built it? Follow a team of investigators as they use the latest research and techniques in an attempt to solve the complex riddle of the Sphinx once and for all.

  • The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest tomb ever built in Egypt, the most ambitious construction project of the ancient world, and one of history's greatest mysteries. How was it built by a Bronze Age society that only had simple hand tools at their disposal? Follow Egyptologist Mark Lehner and engineer Peter James as they attempt to solve this puzzle, armed with a radical new approach and a 4,500-year-old diary that gives an eyewitness account of the monument's construction.

  • Hierakonpolis, one of the ancient world's forgotten cities, was only of passing interest to most archaeologists. That changed with the discovery of a prehistoric cemetery containing Egypt's first kings and the remains of wild and exotic animals. Follow scientists as they unlock the secrets of this 6,000-year-old cemetery, secrets that are redefining everything scholars thought they knew about Egypt in the time before the pharaohs.

  • History's greatest mysteries are revisited and reexamined, using modern research and cutting edge technology.

  • The Ten Plagues of Egypt, as detailed in the Bible's Book of Exodus, features rivers of blood, swarms of locusts, and days of darkness. Now, new discoveries suggest these supernatural events were real natural phenomena, all caused by one catastrophic disaster: a volcanic eruption in Santorini, Greece. Follow a team of archaeologists and scientists to the ruins of an ancient Egyptian temple and the crater of a colossal volcano as they unlock secrets of biblical proportions.

  • Before it landed in a museum in Vienna, the Spear of Destiny had a long and fascinating history...at least according to legend. Claims that it pierced Jesus' side, was carried into battle by Charlemagne, and was coveted by Hitler have made for captivating stories. But is there merit to any of them? Host Adam Mastrelli follows a team of experts as they examine ancient texts and scrutinize the spear, layer-by-layer, through x-ray fluorescence technology.

  • He was painted as a wise king who amassed a fortune in the Old Testament. His name was Solomon, and for centuries, historians have been on the hunt for the source of his legendary wealth. Now, recent discoveries in Israel's Timna Valley have revealed that the industrial-scale complex is actually 200 years younger and could have made King Solomon rich. Have archaeologists found proof that his mines are real? Host Adam Mastrelli takes us inside the state-of-the-art investigation.

  • Few objects in history have been more carefully studied or caused as much controversy as the Turin Shroud. Is it a hoax made by a master craftsman, or could it be the world's oldest photograph? Join host Adam Mastrelli as he follows two experts who are exploring two radically different theories, using groundbreaking research and archaeological expertise in the most thorough testing to date. Their theories may differ, but they share one goal: to decode a treasure that has been revered, rejected, and argued about for over 600 years.

  • The story of the Ark of the Covenant goes back many centuries. According to the Bible, it was built by the Israelites at God's command 3,000 years ago to hold stone tablets engraved with the original Ten Commandments, then vanished 500 years later from Jerusalem--and from history. Host Adam Mastrelli guides us through an international investigation, where teams sift through evidence and hunt for physical clues to prove if the ark was real and to determine if it still exists today.

  • Look at the science behind head-shrinking and how this ancient ritual exploded into a gruesome, Victorian-era craze. Thousands of shrunken heads are in museums around the world, some on display, and others locked away. Shockingly, many of them are real human heads. But what is the true story behind this strange and disturbing phenomenon? Host Adam Mastrelli reveals how a team of anthropologists, historians, and scientists are answering these questions by using modern forensic science and advanced computer modeling. Join us as we uncover the dark tale behind this ancient ritual.

  • On a mission to erase history, ISIS obliterated the shrine of the biblical prophet Jonah in Mosul, Iraq and may have inadvertently revealed the historical reality behind one of the Old Testament's most mysterious stories. Discover how an opportunity born out of the destruction of war helped archaeologists unearth new truths about the tale of Jonah and the Whale. Once dismissed as fiction, new evidence suggests that the prophet, the wicked king he warned to repent, and the original "Sin City" of Nineveh, may have been real.

  • The Garden of Eden, the Bible's most famous story, is considered by many to be an allegory about where humanity originated. But to some there is the possibility that this place exists on Earth. Now, the discovery of an archaeological wonder in southeast Turkey may hold the secret to the location of Adam and Eve's Paradise on Earth. Guided by host Adam Mastrelli, we investigate the oldest monumental structure ever built and see how it has revolutionized our understanding of prehistoric nomads.

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