© Tim Knight

New series exploring the treasures of the Mediterranean with the first episode focussed on Greece

As at 24th August 2021

This 5-part 60-minute series was an answer to the claustrophobia and joylessness of lockdown. Professor Bettany Hughes OBE wanted to try to do what she does best.  Finding inspiration from across history, to explore household-name treasures and new finds from the past, to help us navigate the story of the world and the challenges of the pandemic. To draw lessons and light from the lives of others. And to capture all that in cinematic beauty.

The Treasures series takes viewers on armchair travel at its most vivid, delightful and memorable and champions what ordinary people, through time, can achieve through sheer force of will, inspiration and collaboration. This is a story of the world and the story of all of us.

On a mission to find positive through the trauma, Bettany picked up the phone to her friends and contacts across the world to see what they were working on, and what they wanted to share. Many invited her to explore new discoveries and gave rare and incredible access to significant and surprising places. The sense of collaboration was palpable, inspirational.

Covid couldn’t keep Bettany and her team back. They formed a crew bubble, and travelled when safe and legal (often not returning home to loved ones!) to keep their travel impact down.  On the road they had unprecedented access to unfolding excavations, unearthing, even live on camera, some of the best finds of recent years.  Among the remarkable highlights are Greece’s live digs of the palace of Alexander the Great in Pella.

Greek destinations visited in this episode:
  • Athens
  • Nafplion
  • Sparta
  • Aegae
  • Olympia
  • Epidaurus

Greece is home to an epic landscape and epic human stories. Birthplace of an astonishing culture that changed the way the world thinks.  Bettany explores Athens, the crowning landmark of ancient Greek civilisation and a symbol of intellect and democracy the world over.  She travels to Nafplion, one of Greece’s most romantic cities. A place that embodies the grand sweep of Greece’s history and is a home of heroes ancient and modern. In Sparta, Bettany discovers that it is not just their superb artistic achievements and epic monuments that made the Greeks famous, but their ideas.

Bettany moves on to the new digs of Alexander the Great’s birthplace, Philip II’s palace in Aegae, Northern Greece.  While filming a column-capital is revealed, bringing Bettany close to the most powerful on earth.

Finally, Bettany’s invited to an empty Olympia, which is normally rammed with tourists, and to witness the new digs at Epidaurus which may reveal an underground pit to contain snakes as part of the mystical healing process here.  And Bettany proves the ancient theatre here is still acoustically perfect.

© Tim Knight

“We are utterly excited about the new Bettany Hughes’ Treasures of the World TV series showcasing the breathtaking cultural treasures of Greece. We couldn’t ask for a more appropriate ambassador to help the UK audience discover all the hidden gems and Greece’s cultural wealth. We are sure that the viewers will be captivated by all the different areas that Bettany explores by putting her unique twist in presenting our national landmarks” (Emy Anagnostopoulou, GNTO UK & Ireland Director).

Bettany Hughes adds: “It is always a joy to go to Greece and spend time with its heartwarming people and discover more about its incredible history.”

SandStone Global has put together an award-winning team of filmmakers and creatives to produce an epic cinematic journey showcasing the world’s amazing sites and stories. A gorgeous, immersive, joyful, once in a lifetime journey to the heart of the human story. Escapist. Compelling. Unforgettable.