A team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots on Nova | Building Pharoah’s Chariot Wednesday at 8 pm. They discover astonishingly advanced features, including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and even a convex shaped rear mirror, leading one of them to compare the level of design to the engineering standards of 1930′s-era Buicks! By driving our pair of replicas to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA’s experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.
On Penguins: Spy in the Huddle Wednesday at 7 pm, newborn emperor penguins in Antarctica are caught walking on their mothers’ feet and taking their own first unsteady steps. In the Falklands, rockhopper chicks meet their unruly and predatory neighbors while eggcams provide unique views of the colony. In Peru, Humboldt chicks take on fur seals and take aim at gulls.
Around 800 BC, Kush, a little-known subject state of Egypt, rose up and conquered Egypt, enthroned its own Pharaohs and ruled for nearly 100 years. Find out more about this unlikely chapter of history that has been buried by the Egyptians and belittled by early archaeologists on Rise of the Black Pharoahs Wednesday at 9 pm. Now, in the heart of Sudan, archeologists are finding indisputable evidence of an advanced African society with powerful armies, vast reach and spiritually-driven imperial aspirations to rival the Egyptians’.