National Archaeological Museum
ATHENS: The world’s most important museum dedicated to the history of ancient Greece, the National Archaeological Museum boasts 11,000 exhibits from 7000 BC to the Roman conquest. In this episode, we accelerate an ancient warship to ramming speed to discover why Athenian democracy beat Persian tyranny, then visit a king’s grave to reveal how bogus archeology helped fuel the pseudo-historical ravings of Adolf Hitler. We suit volunteers in armor made of bronze and armor made of linen, and then shoot arrows at them to discover which is better. (Spoiler: Alexander the Great preferred linen.) We visit the cave where Plato and Pythagoras secretly imbibed psychedelic chemicals, then go underground to face our fears in the labyrinth that inspired the myth of the Minotaur. And finally, we meet an engineer who has spent a lifetime recreating an ancient gadget called the Antikythera Mechanism to reveal its mysterious purpose.
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