Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Ethiopia

Four-part series in which British art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores the pre-colonial history of some of Africa's most important kingdoms.

The African continent is home to nearly a billion people. It has an incredible diversity of communities and cultures, yet we know less of its history than almost anywhere else on earth.

But that is beginning to change. In the last few decades, researchers and archaeologists have begun to uncover a range of histories as impressive and extraordinary as anywhere else in the world.

The series reveals that Africa's stories are preserved for us in its treasures, statues and ancient buildings - in the culture, art and legends of the people.

When Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by the Ethiopian military in 1974, an ancient kingdom came to an end. According to tradition, the imperial dynasty stretched back virtually unbroken to 950 BC and its origins had links to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

The legitimacy of Haile Selassie and the foundations of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church rested on this claim, but was it true?

Casely-Hayford searches for the evidence and discovers why faith in the legend has lasted for centuries. He traces Ethiopia's heritage back in time, investigating its astonishing secrets and legends.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 2 May 2010 20:00

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterGus Casely-Hayford
ProducerMichael Simkin
ProducerRoss Harper
Executive ProducerRachel Bell

Buy online

Buy online

Available on: DVD

From suppliers including: BBC Shop

Where to buy

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss