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Back in 1969, BBC produced Civilisation, which was a 13-part examination of Western European culture. Developed by David Attenborough and presented by Kenneth Clark, the show set a benchmark for television treatments of history and culture around the world, writes The Washington Post, and without it, many other shows never would have been created. That includes Civilizations, a nine-part history of world art that begins airing Tuesday on PBS. It is an attempt to update Clark’s series, but it is also an unprecedented undertaking in the world of television.
The original Civilisation was focused on Western art from the so-called Dark Ages until the 20th century. PBS’s Civilization is global and reaches all the way back to cave painting. The series focuses on objects and how they were made, instead of just ideas or colorful personalities, but the series does have room for all three.
The Washington Post writes that the show is in no way perfect, and there are things left out. The reboot is structured thematically and chronologically and begins with recent footage of the destruction by ISIS of archaeological sites at Palmyra in Syria. They want you to know what’s at stake. Check out the trailer below.Read the full story at The Washington Post