Sunday, 23 December 2012, 9:00PM – 10:30PM
Joanna Lumley embarks on an epic journey overseas to investigate one of the oldest and most famous stories in the world – Noah’s Ark.
Joanna sets out across two continents to investigate the origins of this ancient tale. Was there a global flood and where did it happen? What was the ‘Ark’ ship like and where is it now? Perhaps most importantly – why does this story hold such resonance and significance for people across so many religions and cultures around the world?
The story of Noah has fascinated many adventurers and explorers who have gone in search of the Ark – from Marco Polo to Sir Walter Raleigh, and more recently NASA astronaut James Irwin. But beyond a physical search for the ship, Joanna is also keen to unearth the symbolism of the story – from the dove as a sign of peace to the rainbow as a sign of hope.
Joanna’s epic adventure takes her from nomads on the slopes of Mount Ararat in Turkey to an ancient Sumerian flood tale on the Mesopotamian flood plain – now on the Turkish/Syrian border. In India a lost civilization, ancient trade routes and the Hindu faith turn up more clues, as do the sinking mountain ranges and maritime history of Oman.
The twists and turns of Joanna’s detective story provide a fresh perspective on how myth, legend, religion and science have come to play their part in understanding a story far older than the Bible itself. The journey to uncover the origins of one of the most enduring tales of all time is a surprising one.