Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World season 2 — air date, locations, interview, episode guide and about all about the latest series

Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World returns to Channel 4 for 2023.
Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World returns to Channel 4 for 2023. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World returns for a second series on Channel 4, with the TV history buff and professor taking us on another tour of unfolding excavations and new historical discoveries. 

After Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World season 1 in 2021 took Bettany to Greece, Turkey, Gibraltar, Malta and Italy, season 2  will see her back in Turkey, but also venturing to Arabia, Cyprus, Oman, Albania, Jordan and the silk roads of Azerbaijan where she introduces us to archeological finds that redefine the way we think of history. 

So here's everything you need to know about Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World season 2 on Channel 4...

Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World release date

Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World season 2 is a seven-part series that launches weekly on Channel 4 from Saturday February 11 at 7pm. This 2023 series will also become available on All4. We'll update when international air dates are announced.

Episode 1: Arabia

Bettany's first episode in season 2 is in Arabia. The archeological city of Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world but very little is known about the Nabateans, the ancient civilisation that built it. But in this second episode of her series, Professor Bettany Hughes uncovers their history as she explores ancient Arabia, which covered Saudi Arabia and southern Jordan. 

"The Nabateans are a treasure and a wonder for me," says Bettany. "They started life as itinerant goat herders and they seized the opportunity of the incense trade to become the wheeler-dealer entrepreneurs of this entire region."

Bettany was thrilled to be allowed to enter the usually off-limits treasury at Petra. "It was incredible," she says. "It was only because the Bedouin guards recognised me as they had just been watching a programme I’d done on Egypt. It was such a privilege." 

Bettany also discovers ancient rock art in the desert and dives in the Red Sea. But she says some of the most memorable moments of her trip came from enjoying the legendary hospitality of the Bedouins.  "What you don’t see in the film is they gave me a baby goat to take home," she says. "I tried to explain I couldn’t take it on the plane but they were so generous, they wouldn’t accept it back. Luckily my driver also came from a Bedouin family so we took a detour in the desert to drop it off there. So I briefly had a goat and it was the sweetest thing."

Bettany has a wild Arabian adventure in episode 1.

Bettany has a wild Arabian adventure in episode 1. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Episode 2: Jordan

As a strategic crossing point between east and west, Jordan has been the centre of great civilisations throughout history. Now, Professor Bettany Hughes explores the incredible country, taking in the archeological wonders of Petra and beyond. "Biblical Jordan is the site of remarkable monuments and events and morality tales that have endured for centuries and are cherished by multiple faiths," says Bettany. "This is the home of some of the greatest stories on earth."

Bettany visits the site of one such story when she travels to Machaerus, where John the Baptist was beheaded. "It’s Herod’s palace on this massive, steep natural citadel and I was amazed by how small it was," says Bettany. "The idea of him being imprisoned in this really small fort and that horrible, sinister thing of hearing the guards coming and then there’s a beheading. It was very moving to be there and imagine the reality of it." 

Bettany also explores a 2000-year-old luxury Nabatean mansion, which still has gold paint on the walls, and she visits Jerash, the site of a devastating earthquake. "Jerash survived war and plague and regime change but in the end it was a natural disaster that delivered the killer blow," says Bettany. "These stories serve as a reminder of how connected we all are across time. Although we should never live in the past, we’re fools if we don’t admit that we live with it." 

Turkey: The Delights Of The East

In a later epsiode called Turkey: the Delights of the East she gets to see the world’s first stone storyboard, which has only just been discovered. 

"It’s 11,000 years old, so to see something that’s just been excavated and nobody else has seen is absolutely incredible," explains Bettany. "It’s humans telling a story about their lives.’"

Bettany also hikes up Mount Nemrut to a 2,000-year-old mausoleum and visits Zeugma, an ancient Roman city submerged in the river. 

"It was a real privilege to be able to enter the women’s quarters there," says Bettany. "They have only just been excavated and restored so they are as good if not better than a lot of Pompeii. Archeology forces you to be empathetic and respectful. You are literally walking through other people’s homes, picking up their objects or trying to imagine their worlds. The comforting thing about history is that if you enter the lives and worlds of others, you’re never alone."

Bettany finds some wonders on Mount Nemrute in eastern Turkey.

(Image credit: Channel 4)

More episodes of Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World

We'll be updating each episode of Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World season as the Channel 4 series progresses so please do check back for updates on her later trips to Jordan, Turkey Sea and Secrets, Cyprus, Albania, Oman and Azerbaijan.

Bettany Hughes is in Arabia for episode 2.

Bettany Hughes arrives in Saudi Arabia for episode 2. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Is there a trailer for Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World series 2?

Channel 4 hasn't yet released a trailer for Bettany Hughes' Treasures Of The World season 2, so we'll post it when it's available. In the meantime do enjoy the trailer to season 1 below.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.

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