Ancient Greece and Asia Minor Documentary Film Page

Ancient Greece and Asia Minor Documentary Film Page

Asst Professor Dr Steven A Martin

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies in Sociology and Anthropology

Intended for students of "World Civilization" and "Searching and Referencing"


The following videos on archaeology and ancient history of Greece, Asia Minor and the Eastern Mediterranean were systematically selected based on content and accessibility. Videos are intended to compliment course curriculum in Eastern and Western Civilization, as well as my ongoing Greece and Istanbul Learning Adventure pages.

Searching and referencing online educational films and videos

With digital transformations in education, online films and videos bring to light more than just content, we are exposed to – and adapt to – the use of technology in teaching and learning. For example, searching and referencing videos on YouTube suggest an awareness of search strategies one might employ while identifying diverse genres of videos and experts in a given field or topic area.

In the case of searching and referencing Greece and Asia Minor videos – free and available on YouTube – the following genres come to light and are explored.

  • Academic lectures and presentations
  • Mainstream documentary films and series
  • Diverse videos of interest
  • Animated video presentations
  • Travel videos and vlogs


Select videos featured here bring to light various genres of academic presentations and technologies, including videotaped lecture series with professors addressing their students, experts presenting at large academic conferences, experts speaking to small, private social groups, and the use of online powerpoints supported by audio recordings.

Prof. Donald Kagan | Yale Lecture Series

Personal note: my intellectual curiosity and research on ancient Greece and Asia Minor has been greatly influenced by Professor Donald Kagan (1932-2021).

The following playlist offers 24 seperate 1-hour lectures by Yale University Professor Donald Kagan titled Introduction to Ancient Greek History. Kagan, a distinguished professor who specialized in ancient and classical Greek history, is perhaps best remembered for his research and publications on the Peloponnesian War.

Donald Kagan | Introduction to Ancient Greek History | 24-video playlist

Lectures and presentations of interest

Based of my experience in Turkey and developing this webpage, I am increasingly interested in the field of Luwain Studies as proposed by Eberhard Zangger. Below, Zangger's 2015 Keynote speech at the Winterseminar in Switzerland.

Luwian Studies | Eberhard Zangger | 49:00

New Discoveries in Ancient Turkey | Brian Rose | 58:34

Mycenaeans & Minoans Today | Bryan Burns | 1:03:52

1177 BC – The Year Civilization Collapsed | Eric Cline | 52:18

Minoan Civilization | Thersites the Historian | 39:54

Gobekli Tepe, southern Turkey | In memory of Klaus Schmidt

On occasion, the TEDx Talks platform features the work of prominent archaeologists. Featured here, German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt (1953-2014) shares 20 years of personal experience and fieldwork at the 12,000-year-old Gobekli Tepe site in southern Turkey.

His talk, delivered in July, 2014, in Prague, was his last public appearance, and he died just 12 days after the video was posted.

Goebekli Tepe | Klaus Schmidt | TEDx | 17:06


Professionally shot and edited documentary films and series produced by mainstream media organizations, such as the BBC, PBS and Timeline, are increasing available online and offer teachers and students a great deal of educational material and introduce key scholars and experts in the field.

However, one must learn to navigate through mountains of duplicated and reposted videos by nefarious YouTube channels when locating full and original content for referencing.

BBC | Ancient Greece – Greatest Show on Earth

According to the BBC, the documentary looks at Greek drama and theater in three contexts: (1) how drama in Athens was deeply connected to Athenian democracy; (2) the decline of Athens and the success and transformation of theater; and (3) the role played by the Romans in the preservation of theater.

1/3 Democrats | 58:59

2/3 Kings | 58:59

3/3 Romans | 59:00

PBS Empires | Ancient Greeks – Crucible of Civilization

According to PBS, the documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the civilization of ancient Greece, highlighting the birth of science, politics, philosophy and drama as achievements that still shape our world. Narrated by Liam Neeson.

1/3 Revolution | 54:58

2/3 Golden Age | 55:00

3/3 Empire | 55:01

Timeline | World History

Focused on world history documentaries, Timeline offers educational series from the world's top broadcasters, including the BBC, Discovery and PBS.

Lost Worlds – Troy | 49:53

Minotaur's Island | 48:47

Sparta | Bettany Hughes

Hughes' witty insider and clever feminine perspectives offer a well-rounded understanding of the Spartans, a civilization cornerstone to ancient and classical Greek cultural development.

Spartans 1/3 | 48:07

Spartans 2/3 | 47:51

Spartans 3/3 | 48:45

Secrets of Archaeology | 25-30 min. episodes

Clear and informative short films highlighting segments of ancient archaeology. Selected from a global documentary series of 27 films, I have organised a shortlist of videos relevant to the study of ancient Greece, Asia Minor and the Eastern Mediterranean.

5/27 | Athens

8/27 | Greek Italy

12/27 | Anatolia

13/27 | Greece

15/27 | Phoenicians

22/27 | Minoans

23/27 | Hellenism

24/27 | Apollo

25/27 | Greek Sicily

26/27 | Ionia

27/27 | Mycenaeans


I sifted through a great deal of material on YouTube to select the videos featured here. Each video points to a subject area for discussion, such as maritime archaeology, how ancient civilizations influenced each other through communication, trade and conquest, or the heated debate over legal and ethical removal and transport of archaeological materials overseas, with the Pergamon Altar as case in point.

Uluburun Shipwreck | Southwest Turkey | 2:57 (trailer)

The Hittites | 2003 | 1:58:59

Plunder – Pergamon Altar | 1995 | 24:46

Secrets of Aegean Apocalypse | World Doc | 44:24

Alexander the Great | Epic History TV | 2017 | 53:12

Genetics of the Greeks | Masaman | 11:20


YouTube channels featuring historical topics combined with original animated figures, maps and other visuals are able to condense complicated subjects into easy-to-follow storylines and frameworks.

Featured here, the creative works of Epimetheus.

Mycenaeans | 6:05

Hittites | 10:05

Sea People | 10:05


YouTube channels featuring travel films and vlogs offer available content and may provide inspiration for others interested in video making. Rapidly developing smartphone video technology, including automated editing software, allow nearly everyone to shoot, edit and post their own documentary materials.

Rick Steve's Europe

Flamboyant and fact-filled, Rick Steves is among the earliest and most prolific travel show hosts and YouTubers. His work began in the late 1970s with The Experimental College at the University of Washington.

Although catering to the tourism industry, his work is informative and encourages learning and appreciation of ancient history and culture. Since the debut of Travels in Europe with Rick Steves on public television (PBS) in 1991, it was my late Grandmother's favorite weekly show, and her enthusiasm for the program and European history made a lasting impression on me.

The Peloponnese | 24:56

Western Turkey | 25:03

Best Documentary | Pierre Brouwers

Providing a view of history, culture and geography, French filmmaker Peter Brouwers offers facts, figures, and personal insight to the sights, sounds and peoples of the region. I find Brouwers' travel documentaries grow on me as I continue to review his work.

Greece | Athens & Islands | 52:19

Istanbul | Byzantium Forever | 52:12

University Filmworks | Greece and Turkey

University Filmworks is my personal YouTube channel with fun and original content. Production details are available at

While the Greece and Asia Minor Documentary Page is orientated towards searching and organizing free online content found on YouTube, I would like to introduce the idea of creating and posting one's own content. From my experience, creating videos is a dynamic learning experience, including the process of editing shots and correctly labeling locations, dates and details.

GREECE | Temple of Aphaia | 2:11

GREECE | Acropolis & Parthenon | 2:52

Istanbul, Turkey | iPhone X Memory Videos

Shot, edited and posted on location with iPhone X!

ISTANBUL | Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar & Taksim Square | 1:26

ISTANBUL | Bosphorus Cruise & Black Sea | 1:10

ISTANBUL | Topkapi Palace & Archaeology Museums | 1:22

Istanbul Time & Tradition

Istanbul Time & Tradition


For students of Eastern Civilization, Western Civilization, and general readership

Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul – Three names for the same city suggesting time, tradition and empire. As we walked through this majestic city of art, architecture, cuisine, culture and religion, the streets transformed from a tourist site into a one-of-kind Learning Adventure.

Hagia Sophia | Istanbul, Turkey | CE 537

With 15 million people, ancient castles, grand palaces, and modern museums, Istanbul spans two continents (Europe and Asia) and links two seas (the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea).

This is our story and what impressed us most.

View of the Golden Horn from Galata, Beyoglu, Istanbul | iPhone X panorama

1840 Map of Constantinople – Istanbul, Turkey | SDUK steel plate engraving

Traveling with my wife, Jantanee, we explored the city's architecture, the world-class Istanbul Archaeology Museums, and local bookstores. We learned about prehistory and the Hittite civilization, studied the expansion of Greek trade and culture, touched the ancient walls of the Eastern Roman Empire, and dazzled at the heights of Ottoman palace life, prestige and power.

We hope you enjoy our photos, videos, and the information in the links provided.

iPhone X Memory  Videos

The videos featured here were shot, edited and posted by iPhone X Memories computer-generated editing software.

iPhone X video | Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Taksim Square

iPhone X video | Bosphorus Cruise, Black Sea

iPhone X video | Topkapi Palace, Archaeology Museums

Below, feature photos were shot with our Panasonic GH5 body and Lumix 12-60 mm lense.

Click on images to enlarge.

Bosphorus and Black Sea

A ship enters the Bosphorus from the Black Sea

Bosphorus fishers | View of Galata and Beyoglu across the strait

Jantanee boarding a Bosphorus taxi to Anadolu Kavagi and the Black Sea

Coastal residences on the Bosphorus

Rumelihisari (Rumelian Castle) | Beginning 1452 with Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (Mehmed II)

Istanbul Archaeological Museums | Beginning 1891

Collectively, the Istanbul Archaeological Museums as an entity was founded in 1891 with the development of the main Archaeological Museum and later the Museum of the Ancient Orient in 1935, followed by the Museum of Islamic Art in 1953 (originally Mehmed II's Tiled Kiosk of 1472, one of the oldest structures in Istanbul).

Entrance ticket for the Istanbul Archaeological Museums

What impressed us most about the museums was the quality and quantity of ancient artifacts on display, with buildings, floors and glass cases packed with statuary, orthostats and cuneiform tablets from Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Syria, representing long lost civilizations – Assyrian, Hittite and Sumerian.

Courtyard of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums

Painting by Sirinoz 1994 | Based on Schedel 1493 Engraving of Byzantine Istanbul Turkey – Chain across the Golden Horn

King Shalmaneser IV of Assyria | 8th century BCE stele with inscription

The Hittite Treaty of Kadesh | c. 1259 BCE

As a university lecturer of Asian Studies in anthropology, it was certainly a pleasure to see, and photograph, the original c.1259 BCE Treaty of Kadesh -- a.k.a. the Egyptian/Hittite Peace Treaty -- generally considered to be the world’s oldest peace treaty. One of the most important documents in Near Eastern history, the treaty was made following the infamous 1274 BCE Battle of Kadesh between the Hittites of Asia Minor and the Egyptians led by Ramses II. The battle took place near the current day Lebanon-Syria border.

Peace Treaty of Kadesh (Hittite version) 1259 BCE | Museum of the Ancient Orient

Two versions of the treaty survive, one engraved in hieroglyphics at the Temple of Karnak, Egypt, the other found at the ancient Hittite capital city of Hattusa (Bogazkale, Turkey) in 1906, inscribed in cuneiform in the Akkadian language. In respective versions, each party claims victory. Today the treaty serves as a global symbol of conflict resolution, with a copy on permanent exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters, New York City.

Topkapi Palace | Beginning CE 1459

Books and YouTube never really prepared us for the size, detail and grandeur of the Topkapi Palace Conservation Area, part of the Sultanahmet Archaeological Park.

As we walked through 500 years of Ottoman history and got lost in intimate parks, gardens, palaces, rooms, corridors and chambers, what impressed us most was the display of wealth and empire, as if everything the Sultans had collected through centuries of conquest and diplomacy was now protected, available and public. It was all there – an extravaganza of exposition.

The Imperial Hall and throne of the Sultan, Topkapi Palace

Constructed by Mehmed II (a.k.a. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror) beginning 1459 after his infamous siege of Constantinople, the palace became the administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans until 1923 when the Ministry of Culture and Tourism transformed the property into a national museum.

Courtyard of the Favourites | The Harem

Among the most elaborate areas of the palace complex is the Imperial Harem, a labyrinth of 400 private rooms and courtyards designed for the sultan’s mother, wives, concubines and children.

The Golden Road of the Harem

Hagia Sophia | Beginning CE 537

Hagia Sophia, Greek for ‘holy wisdom’, is Turkey's most visited tourist attraction. Conceived in CE 537 by Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I, it remained the world’s largest cathedral and embodiment of Byzantine architecture until 1453 when Constantinople was overpowered by Mehmed II.

From CE 537, the Hagia Sophia was celebrated by Byzantine emperors and Ottoman sultans alike

Through the ages, the Hagia Sophia evolved into an Ottoman imperial mosque, complete with four minarets, until 1935 when the Turkish government secularized the site and opened it to the public as the Ayasofya Museum.

Ayasofya Museum balcony

We found the mosque an eclectic mingling of Christian and Islamic art history, from enormous round symbols of Islamic calligraphy hung high overhead, to the restored mosaics of Holy Roman emperors as contemporaries of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

Islamic features include the Mihrab (center) and Minbar (right) | iPhone X panorama

Taksim Square and Istiklal walking street

Located on the European side of Istanbul, Taksim Square, Beyoglu, is the heart of the modern city, where the Istiklal walking street (Istiklal Caddesi or Independence Avenue) intersects with the Istanbul Metro and the 1928 Republic Monument.

1928 Republic Monument at Taksim Square

The monument has been an important location for political protests and represents the founding of the Republic of Turkey after the Turkish War of Independence.

Jantanee rides the Taksim street car | Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue)

During our walks, highlights included traditional lokanta restaurants serving hot pre-cooked Turkish food, the sound of the historic hand-rung bell of the red and white Taksim Tunel  tramway, the touristic draw of the Koska shops selling Turkish sweets, and the historical and archaeological English language sections of bookstores.

Koska Turkish sweets | Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue)

Student resources | Maps of Turkey

Geographical map of Turkey | Click to enlarge

Good reads

Beyoglu, Istanbul, has a number of charming book stores featuring locally-published works. We were impressed by the many titles on archaeology in Asia Minor, ranging from specific sites to great civilizations in the region, such as the Hittites and Luwians.

Here are few good reads, suggestions and author websites.


The Hittites | 2011 Fatih Cimok

Greco-Roman Cities of Aegean Turkey | 2014 Henry Matthews

The Luwian Civilization – Missing Link in the Aegean Bronze Age | 2016 Eberhard Zangger

Greece and Asia Minor documentary film page

Featuring 30 documentary films of interest on ancient Greece, Turkey, and the civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Click to Greece and Asia Minor Documentary Film Page

Special thanks to Daru Sultan Hotel Galata

Hospitality can make or break a hotel, city, or even an entire country. In our case, Seyit and Ugur 'made' our Learning Adventure through their charm, humor and insider travel suggestions.

Seyit (left) and Ugur (right) | Daru Sultan Hotel Galata

Thank you for visiting our Istanbul Learning Adventure page.

We hope you enjoy the photos, videos, and the information in the links provided. If you feel motivated to learn more about Turkey or other Learning Adventures, or would like to arrange for me to give a public talk, please let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

–Steven Martin