I hated history at school: I just couldn’t see the point of learning endless dates of battles that didn’t interest me in the slightest. But since then I have developed a fascination with ancient cultures. In the 1990s I collected the Time Life series of books on Lost Civilisations and in the 2000s I collected the IMP series of 54 DVDs on Ancient Civilisations. I avidly watch any documentary on these that I can find, really appreciating how modern technology can help us to reconstruct and visualise what their buildings and artworks would have been like. When I travel I love to understand more about the early peoples of the places I visit, and it never ceases to amaze me at how little I know. There are amazing civilisations spanning many centuries who built the most spectacular structures – that I have never heard of before despite my interest.
Just recently I have been watching a couple of BBC documentary series on Choice TV by Dr Jago Cooper, a British archaeologist and the Curator of the Americas at the British Museum whose career has focused on the archaeology of South America and the Caribbean.
- Lost Kingdoms of South America – exploring the Chachapoya people, the city of Tiwanaku, the legend of El Dorado and the Kingdom of Chimor (2011).
- Lost Kingdoms of Central America focusing on the Olmec, Chiriquí and Taíno people and the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan (2014)
These are also available on YouTube along with another couple of his documentaries that I am keen to watch:
- Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World – re-examines the historic collapse in Rapa Nui society (2013).
- The Inca: Masters of the Clouds (2015)
- Lost Kingdoms of Africa Series 1 – Art historian Gus Casely-Hayford explores the history of the old African kingdoms of Nubia, Ethiopia, Great Zimbabwe and Benin (2010).
- Lost Kingdoms of Africa Series 2 – explores the kingdoms of Asante, Zulu, Berber, Bunyoro and Buganda (2012)
Intrepid Travel (a range of different travel styles – see my post on travel styles)
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
Note: After people telling me they had booked an Intrepid Tour on my recommendation, I now have affiliate links with the Intrepid Travel group of companies and may receive a commission if you book a tour online within a couple of months after clicking through to these sites. So if you are enjoying my tips and stories and finding them useful in choosing your own travel, please click on these links and help me to bring you more ☺.