Smithsonian sets two September series premieres

The U.S. cable net will examine religious locations around the globe, and recount tales of daring WWII raids, via two doc series. (Pictured: Sacred Sites)
August 25, 2016

Some of the world’s most remarkable and mysterious shrines, monuments, temples and tombs are the focus of a new, five-episode series from Smithsonian Channel.

Sacred Sites is set to bow Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, offering fresh perspectives, based on scientific breakthroughs and archaeological and historical research, on religious locations around the globe.

The series begins with a look at the ancient cities of Petra and Hegra in Jordan and Saudi Arabia where the people known as the Nabataeans carved great temples and tombs from the rock approximately 2,000 years ago. Solar alignments, ancient inscriptions and new discoveries suggest that Petra and Hegra could have been centers of a ‘lost matriarchy’, in which women enjoyed unrivaled power and privilege.

Following episodes, airing every Monday, explore the power and mystery behind the Knights Templar (Sept. 19), the Oracle of Delphi in Ancient Greece (Sept. 26), ancient Egypt (Oct. 3) and early Native American civilization in the remote desert valley of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (Oct. 10).

The series is produced by Tile Films for Smithsonian Channel. Stephen Rooke is executive producer for Tile Films, while David Royle and Tim Evans serve as executive producers for Smithsonian.

Also coming soon via the cable network is WWII’s Most Daring Raids, a six-episode series that details some of the most dangerous raids of the conflict. From the British paratroopers who launched a midnight raid to nab Hitler’s secret radar to the six Norwegian agents who parachuted into occupied Norway to foil the German leader’s nuclear weaponry ambitions, the series will use first person testimony, cinematic reconstructions, expert commentary, weapons demonstrations and video game style graphics to recount the stories.

The series, produced by Raid Production Ltd. and Smithsonian Channel, makes its debut on September 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

(With files from Barry Walsh)

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Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.