The Naked Archaeologist (Season 3)

13 x 30 minutes • Documentary Series • Produced in association with: VisionTV and History International • Production year: 2010

Ever wonder why boiled fish guts are considered ancient civilization’s condiment of choice? Or how ancient make up is made?

In its third season, THE NAKED ARCHAEOLOGIST takes viewers on yet another fun, fact-filled journey into the fascinating world of Biblical archaeology.

From Rome to Istanbul, from Petra to Jerusalem, from bustling marketplaces to ancient fishing villages on the Sea of Galilee, multi-award winning filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici travels far and wide to bring viewers face-to-face with living history.

Join us as we learn the secrets of ancient beauty, the mythical properties of glass making and how a simple fish became the symbol of Christianity.

THE NAKED ARCHAEOLOGIST continues to educate, enlighten and entertain archaeology fans of all ages.

The archaeology is naked. The archaeologist is clothed.

EP 301 MOSES & AKHENATEN
The Bible says that Moses was the first person to bring the idea of Monotheism – the worship of one God and one God only – to the ancients. But Sigmund Freud has a different idea. The famous psychoanalyst wrote a book crediting a little known Pharaoh named Akhenaten with the idea. He says Moses heard about it from Akhenaten, not directly from God. But it all depends on timing. Simcha investigates who came first: Moses or Akhenaten?

EP 302 ANCIENT GLASS
A giant slab of glass is discovered in the middle of an ancient cemetery where important Rabbis are buried. What’s it doing there? Simcha has a theory that it was an unsuccessful attempt at making a window for Herod’s temple renovation in the late 1st century BCE – and therefore Holy. That’s why Rabbis would want to be buried near it. But as he tries to figure out if his theory is correct, he follows the glass trail and discovers that glass may have been invented in Israel – not Egypt, as is commonly believed.

EP 303 BIBLICAL BEAUTY SECRETS
The Naked Archaeologist investigates how important looking and smelling good was in Biblical days, So Simcha learns the secrets from Nefertiti to Queen Esther--and, in the process, learns how to make his own line of Ancient Beauty Products.

EP 304 THE BATH THAT CHANGED HISTORY
Many questions are raised by the Biblical love triangle of King David, Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. Simcha sets out to find evidence of the events that led to the union of David and Bathsheba, which began the Messianic line. It all begins when the king “saw her bathing on the roof”, and Simcha is on a quest to find the place where it happened

EP 305 THE HAIRY SHOW
The Bible is not a picture book so even though it's chock full of references to hair we have no idea what ancient Israelite hair-dos looked like. Did women braid or cover their hair? And did men sport long hair and long beards or just Elvis style sideburns? The Naked Archaeologist goes on a quest to find out.

EP 306 REBUILDING THE TEMPLE
Over two thousand years ago, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, but now it is being rebuilt in some surprising places. Simcha travels from Texas to Jerusalem to London to visit model builders obsessed with discovering what Solomon’s Temple looked like. For decades, they have studied all the evidence and are making spectacular models of computer and clay. But why do they do it?

EP 307 GONE FISHING
The Gospels tell us Jesus was a 'tekton' or a builder but there's not a single stone mason or carpenter among his disciples. Why were fishermen so important to Jesus’ ministry and why did he choose to spread his word among the fishing culture of the Sea of Galilee?

EP 308 NAKED LETTERS
Simcha answers letters sent in to The Naked Archaeologist. Viewers’ questions take him from Israel to Egypt to Istanbul, as he investigates ancient sports, Biblical sex quandaries, and we learn fascinating things about our forbearers, everything from their fashion sense to where their bones ended up.

EP 309 LILITH: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
According to a rabbinical interpretation of the Book of Genesis, Adam's first wife wasn't Eve, but a woman named Lilith. But where did the rabbis get the idea of Lilith from? Tracking backwards in time, The Naked Archaeologist uncovers evidence that Lilith was actually a child-killing demon who first shows up in Ancient Babylon.

EP 310 THE FIRST SUPPER
A cross has just been found in a town in the Galilee where Jesus and his disciples hung out, and archaeologically dated to that time. But the cross did not become a symbol for Christianity for another three centuries. The Naked Archaeologist investigates what this cross is doing here, and what its original meaning might have been, which could change our understanding of the Jesus movement.

EP 311 QUEEN ESTHER & PURIM
The Book of Esther tells us that a 5th Century bad guy named Haman wanted to kill all the Jews in Persia. He relied on a game of chance to select the day. But which game of chance was it? The Naked Archaeologist goes on a hunt to uncover archaeological clues that will unravel this ancient mystery.

EP 312 SPIES & APOSTLES PART 1
Simcha follows a spy checklist to see if St. Paul was a secret agent, working for the Romans to infiltrate the Jesus movement. Paul hits every item on the list, and archeology shows that James, the brother of Jesus, may have gotten short shrift in the Gospels, thanks to Paul’s espionage tricks.

EP 313 SPIES & APOSTLES PART 2
A letter addressed to a royal found in the Dead Sea Scrolls sheds light on an apparent rift between the message of St. Paul and the message of James, brother of Jesus. The Scrolls letter leads Simcha to a stunning archeological site in Jerusalem, where walls of what appears to be a royal palace points to an early convert to a version of Christianity that is all James, not Paul’s.

Writers and Directors: Simcha Jacobovici, Christopher Behnisch, Kim Harris, Eric Weinthal, Gary Lang and Scott Blackett

Executive Producers: Simcha Jacobovici, Felix Golubev Series Producer: Leslie Fruman Supervising Producer: Betty Orr

Award highlights:

  • HUGO TV Awards, Certificate of Merit Special Achievement: Concept, 2011
  • Gemini Nomination, Best Visual Research, 2010