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China's Forgotten Emperor

Format: 1 x 52
Broadcaster(s):  Channel 4,  Smithsonian Channel
Available in HD
Available in 4K

“Murderess”, “tyrant”, “pervert” – Empress Wu was a monster who plumbed the depths of evil.  Historians condemned her as a woman who brought China to the edge of ruin. For more than a thousand years that verdict stood. But now, China’s breakneck economic development is uncovering a new story...

As archaeologists excavate the tombs, palaces, fortresses, workshops from the Tang era – all have begun to give up their secrets. Using the latest archaeological and scientific techniques, archaeologists are now piecing together a fascinating new story of the only woman in Chinese history who dared to call herself “Emperor”.

When Europe was plunged in the Dark Ages, Emperor Wu’s China - it now emerges - was a commercial, technological and military super-power,  and a cultural magnet that drew people from all over the world, from Japan to Persia and even to Greece.

Combining cutting-edge CGI and drone technology with dramatic reconstructions, this  new documentary shows how researchers are piecing together the new, true story of China’s “empress of all evil” and how Emperor Wu was in fact the woman who made Dark Ages China a super power.

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