Art of Europe: Stone Age to Ancient Greece (preview)

A preview of Rick Steves Art of Europe: Stone Age to Ancient Greece. Watch the full episode at, or check your local public television listings.

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Rick Steves, America’s most respected authority on European travel, writes European travel guidebooks, and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio.


Foreign Roughly 8 000 years ago across Europe The last part of the Stone Age was Marked by tribes settling down shifting From hunter-gatherers to Farmers This was the late Stone Age also called The Neolithic Age still before the Advent of metalworking On the Isle of orkney at the far north Of Scotland in what seems like just Another field is a remarkable burial Mound or chambered tomb For 5 000 years people have lowered Their heads to enter this Sacred Space Wow this is great tell me about this Place this is a Barrio chamber And to our right and our left and behind You are three tombs On winter solstice at Sunset the sun Streams through this position here and Illuminates the back chamber The stone is sandstone and it's been Hand carved and corbled vaulted into Position to make this beautiful chamber And how Neolithic man managed to build This structure No one really knows By 500 BC Athens was becoming the Bustling center of a growing Greek-speaking world the energetic Athenians built up their sacred Hill the Acropolis turning it into the heart of Their culture they topped the Acropolis With glorious temples statues and

Monuments honoring the gods and Celebrating their own achievements This Temple was famed for its carrier Tits beautiful maidens functioning as Columns striking for their realism and Relaxed poses But the greatest Temple was the Parthenon dedicated to Athena the patron Of Athens In its Heyday the temple was decorated With colorful painted sculpture And inside stood a 40-foot tall golden Ivory statue this is a reproduction of The goddess Athena dazzling in both Beauty and power both the statue and the Temple had a huge impact on people The temple is massive 230 feet long and A hundred feet wide made from the finest White marble and assembled here like a 70 000 piece jigsaw puzzle Its 34 foot tall columns are simple yet Elegant The Architects used clever if subtle Optical illusions that added to the Harmonious effect the steps Intentionally Arc upward in the middle To compensate for how a flat line Appears to sag The Columns lean together just slightly In bulge in the middle as if absorbing The weight of the stone roof all Together it's organic rather than static Stone it feels alive with perfect Proportions as if heroically connecting

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With the gods subconsciously it works a 2500 year old architectural Triumph