There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Each of them offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of two particularly intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Great Wall of China and the sacred Buddhist landscape of Bagan. Each lavishly illustrated program goes far beyond the typical tourist experience by incorporating the insights of the latest scholarship and research.
Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. He is also the host of a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses.
Please Note: Individual sessions are available for purchase.
December 7 The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a marvel of human engineering and ingenuity, but its history is shrouded in myth and misinformation. Jacobs sifts through the legends to provide a more historically accurate understanding of just where, when, and why the Great Wall was built, how it was built and used, and how our perceptions of its utility have evolved over the past several centuries.
December 14 The Sacred Buddhist Landscape of Bagan
Nearly 4,000 Buddhist stupas, temples, and monasteries dot the arid plains of Bagan in Upper Myanmar, dating mostly from the 11th to 13th centuries. Jacobs examines one of the earliest and most spectacular Buddhist kingdoms in Southeast Asia, with a focus on the art and architecture of the ancient walled city of Bagan and the religious monuments erected during the height of its power.
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