Preview: Bettany Hughes’ Treasures of the World

The ingenuity and craft involved in these builds is on full display for Hughes to guide us through. Photo: Channel 4

In this episode of her new series, Bettany Hughes explores Malta, a cultural hub laden with some of the world’s most precious treasures and diverse influences. This is an island where civilisations from East, West, North and South have met and mingled to create something singularly Maltese.

Hughes and her team are the first who are welcome to film inside the incredible Hypogeum underground temple: a burial place for up to 7000 individuals. Hughes holds a replica of a 5500-year-old figurine of a fecund woman, representing the transition between birth and death.

Before restoration begins, Bettany is invited to show us inside the Villa Guardamangia: Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip’s romantic hideaway. She also explores deep inside the tunnels of the Second World War, and Lascaris War Rooms. Home to hundreds of families during the war, she finds their kitchen plates, bottles and prayers – remnants of a time of incredible endurance.

Bettany Hughes’ Treasures of the World – Saturday at 8pm on Channel 4