As the world approaches the 21st century, this new series hosted by Michael Woods and produced in 1991, reminds us that other nations and cultures prospered for hundreds or even thousands of years. Now all that remains is the legacy of their civilizations, present and influential in our own. Shot on location on four continents, Legacy takes a different viewpoint from other series that concentrate primarily on the the Western view of history. Visiting China, India, Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Meso-America, this series traces the rise of both Asian and western civilization. Central America The Burden of Time – Isolated from the rest of the world, the Mayans and Aztecs created sophisticated civilizations that in many ways paralleled ancient Mediterranean empires. god like kings and a priestly ruling class dominated splendid cities of temples and pyramids.
How could a civilization which thrived for over two thousand years just suddenly disappear? Today many believe that a giant drought killed off the Maya, but is this really the case? World Maya Expert, Nikolai Grube began by looking at the Maya’s own historical records their fantastic hieroglyphic writing. Hidden within them he found two extraordinary figures: Dark Bat King and a Cold Killer Queen. Never before has the story of these remarkable individuals been brought to life. By resurrecting their spirit, Grube has come to the groundbreaking theory that the Maya collapse cannot be blamed on natural forces, but on the violent world of human politics and power struggles.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Cortes Conqueror of Mexico – See how a Conquistador ordered not to engage in combat destroyed the mightiest empire in the New World. He is one of the greatest conquerors in history, and among the most brutal. Hernan Cortes’ thirst for gold and power led him to Mexico in 1519, where he launched a conquest unlike any other in history. In approximately two years, Cortes owned the Aztec empire, and their once proud ruler Montezuma was dead. Through brilliant execution, from an often precarious military position, Cortes killed hundreds of thousands of Aztecs and brought down the 300 year old empire the first major American civilization to fall to the Spanish.
Each half hour episode looks at a major fighting people or force and charts the reasons for their rise to dominance and subsequent fall. The show explores the motivations of ancient soldiers, as well as how they lived, fought, trained, died, and changed the world. It also uses battle re-enactments and computer graphics to demonstrate military strategy. This series from the Discovery Channel is especially good for the lesser known groups of warriors. Episode 20 The Sioux Warriors of the Plains – Dakota history and warrior tactics, the Dakota battle American settlers, massacre at Wounded Knee. When the American west was still wild, they were its master. On the back of the horse, they swept across the plains. At a river called the Little Big Horn, under a warrior called Crazy Horse, they humbled a nation and won the greatest victory in the wars for the west.
The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script, carved on monuments, painted on pottery, and drawn in handmade bark paper books. For centuries, scholars considered it too complex ever to understand until recently, when an ingenious series of breakthroughs finally cracked the code and unleashed a torrent of new insights into the Mayas’ turbulent past. For the first time, NOVA presents the epic inside story of how the decoding was done traveling to the remote jungles of southern Mexico and Central America to investigate how the code was broken and what Maya writings now reveal.
Mega Disasters also released as series Prehistoric Megastorms. Mega Disasters explores potential catastrophic threats to individual cities, countries, and the entire globe. The two “mega-disasters” of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 inspired the series and provided a reference point for many of the episodes. Excepting only two shows devoted to man-made disasters, the threats explored can be divided into three general categories: meteorological, geological, and cosmic hazards. Episode 1 Hypercane – 65 million years ago the asteroid of the Yucatan Peninsula could have caused a giant storm that might have killed 70 percent of all animals on earth.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Fremont Conqueror of California – Meet the larger than life personality who fomented the Bear Flag Rebellion and helped bring California into the Union. It was one of the most significant land grabs in history. Acting on what many believe to be secret orders from President Polk, John Charles Fremont fomented the Bear Flag Rebellion in June of 1846, which led to Mexico ceding the vast California territory to the United States. It was just one chapter in the full life of the man who mapped the Oregon Trail and became Arizona’s first governor. The Conquerors explores the tense relationship among Fremont, Commodore Robert Field Stockton and General Stephen Watts Kearney, who worked together to wrest California from Mexico. See how Fremont came to occupy the dominant place in this rivalry, and examine his accomplishments both during the Mexican War and in the years afterwards.
Graphic images contained in this program. Blood for the Gods is the Discovery Channel documentary series that looks at rituals of death and self mutilation throughout history. From fertility sacrifices to death rituals, these acts of mutilation and death were committed to gain favor with their gods. Through re-enactments, expert analysis and computer graphics, we see the stories behind the bloody acts, and learn why these cultures committed them. Episode 1 Fertility Sacrifices – This episode explores the truth behind ancient fertility sacrifices.
This is the profile of an extraterrestrial mass murderer: one whose existence was denied by scientific orthodoxy for nearly two decades, but has now been tracked down. 65 million years ago a 15 kilometers wide asteroid hit the Earth. In 1978 Walter Alvarez, a Nobel prize winning physicist, and his son Luis, first proposed the outrageous idea that a meteorite strike blasted the dinosaurs into extinction, taking with them half of life on the planet. Their theory was hotly disputed. Now the irrefutable evidence is rolling in. Martin Belderson’s dramatic film retraces the hunt for evidence for the hidden “smoking cannon” the crater left by the impact 65 million years ago.
MonsterQuest uses the latest high tech equipment to take a scientific look at legendary creatures around the world, creatures eyewitnesses claim to see to this day. Each episode will examine all the evidence available, from pictures and video to hair and bones, as well as the eyewitness accounts themselves. Believers, skeptics and scientists will weigh in, but what will the evidence reveal? Episode 9 Sierra Sasquatch – Ancient petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains depict footprints left by frightening packs of hairy man like beasts. Now, MonsterQuest heads to the heart of California where witnesses are encountering aggressively territorial packs of Sasquatch. The team will investigate groups of large footprints found here and analyze compelling new video which could be that of the beast.
Three part series that goes exploring the world’s oil producing regions, beyond the familiar territory of the Middle East. Unlike other documentaries that are full of gloomy predictions of perishable reserves of oil. Bill Cran’s series takes the view that there are ample supplies of oil, the problem is that most of it lies in the wrong places. Requiring the first world to deal with nasty governments or destroying the wilderness. But the relationship between oil companies, consumers and those who live where the oil is extracted is changing very rapidly. It is becoming possible for native populations to obstruct oil companies. The series concludes there are no easy answers. Episode 3 The Wilderness – Examines how political instabilities in the Middle East have led companies to search for oil elsewhere. In Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is soon to be the site of extensive development, despite protests from environmentalists and locals fearing for their way of life. Meanwhile, in Alberta a huge oil reserve has been discovered deep beneath an ancient forest, but getting at it could well be the most environmentally damaging operation in history.
For the first time in 65 million years, innovative imaging technology enables viewers to see deep inside the body of a dinosaur to reveal the secrets of these ultimate prehistoric survival machines. Combining cinematic photo-real 3D graphics and leading edge anatomy and paleontology this series peels back the skin, muscles and bones to show how they survived in such a violent world. Episode 3 The Defenders – According to the latest scientific evidence, predators don’t dominate the Cretaceous, plant eaters do. And their bodies are built to take a beating. The latest science reveals the anatomical secrets that made the world?s largest vegetarians such successful survivors in a world of claws and teeth. The defenses used by Sauroposeidon, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus and Triceratops against predators are featured.
Through breathtaking discoveries, archaeologists are uncovering the early years of the ancient Maya to reveal a dynamic, sophisticated culture that was flourishing before the time of Christ. The Preclassic Maya once dismissed as primitive created massive pyramids, elaborate art, early writing, and more. Join National Geographic’s Dawn of the Maya as it investigates the rise one of the world’s greatest and most mysterious civilizations.
Also Called Land of Lost Monsters when it aired on Animal Planet. The first humans left their African homeland 100,000 years ago and began an epic journey that was to end with mankind dominating the globe. On their voyages they encountered monster like creatures and perilous lands that would test their powers of survival to the very limit. In this series we journey with them into an unknown world where no man had set foot before. Each film is a dramatic reconstruction of personal stories of our ancestors’ struggle for survival in a primaeval wilderness dominated by formidable predators. A world where man was both hunter and hunted. Episode 1 The Eternal Frontier – North America 13,000 years ago While the world was still in the grip of the last ice age, humans first crossed Siberia and entered the New World. They encountered creatures familiar to them from their travels, such as the woolly mammoth and the steppe bison. The Americas was the only continent where humans ever came face to face with sabre toothed cats, giant ground sloths or the massive short faced bears.
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 2 Mexico – Follow the dramatic and tragic history of the Mexican Indian nations from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization. Witness the rise and fall of the Toltecs and the growth of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec city of an empire.
Time Life’s Lost Civilizations combines cutting edge digital effects technology (for 1995) with powerful dramatization. Dazzling spectacles re-create rituals and events, original location cinematography in 25 countries. Computer graphics make lost worlds live again! Episode 7 Maya The Blood of Kings – Witness the dark rituals of human mutilation as the Maya rulers draw their own blood to offer to the gods. This episode reveals Maya culture at its peak while its cities matched the sophistication and power of those in Europe in AD 800, this civilization declined suddenly a century later leaving behind questions and enigmas.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered. Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of the Spanish adventures. The Fall of the Aztecs – Hernan Cortes left Cuba in 1519 seeking riches in the island to the west. Instead he discovered, and ultimately destroyed, a hitherto unknown civilization. Spanish eyewitness accounts that describe the conquistadors’ awe at the Aztec achievements and the lust for native treasure. Learn the Aztec side through pictographs that tell of the agonizing fall of the empire.
The cities of the Maya were abandoned to the jungle 1000 years ago. They were rediscovered in the 19th century. Explorers came to try and learn what was here and what it meant. Now scholars are beginning to see the individuals involved, their names, the dates, their arrivals, all of this very specific information is now coming out through epigraphy, the study of hieroglyphics. The Maya ruins of the central american jungle are are full of hieroglyphs, but the missionaries of the Spanish conquest deliberately wiped out the memory of how to read these stones. The Maya kept calendars of immense complexity and accuracy. The view developed that these cities were centers of a wise and peaceful civilization that had a deep understanding of nature and the universe. But now we are learning the truth about the classic Maya cities, and the truth is that the Lords of the Maya set up a form of rule that destroyed human lives and even nature itself. This documentary charts the rise and fall of a specific Mayan Lord Yax K’uk’ Mo (pronounced yash-cook-moe), and through it the brutal world the Mayans lived in without passing judgment on the Mayans themselves.
Also Called Land of Lost Monsters when it aired on Animal Planet. The first humans left their African homeland 100,000 years ago and began an epic journey that was to end with mankind dominating the globe. On their voyages they encountered monster like creatures and perilous lands that would test their powers of survival to the very limit. In this series we journey with them into an unknown world where no man had set foot before. Each film is a dramatic reconstruction of personal stories of our ancestors’ struggle for survival in a primaeval wilderness dominated by formidable predators. A world where man was both hunter and hunted. Episode 2 The Burning – Humans travelled out of Africa and reached South east Asia perhaps as early as 90,000 years ago. Then around 65,000 years ago discovered Australia. Ancient Australia was a land of drought and fire, with a unique fauna dominated by marsupials, reptiles and giant flightless birds. The first Australians shared their home with the two ton Diprotodon, the giant short faced kangaroo and the platypus.
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 3 Clash of Cultures – Explore the conflict between indigenous peoples and Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. As native nations defy a plundering advance by outsiders, they are subject to two unconquerable weapons, muskets and disease.
John Rhys-Davies hosts this 1991 series that explores various archeological subjects and their link to stories of the past. The show explores the efforts of archaeologists and the methods they use to discover the answers to these mysteries. Episode Clash Of The Maya Kings – From the early ideas that the Maya were a peace loving society, to the slow realisation that they were state controlled, warring and bloodletting cities of warriors and priests, this programme looks at city sites such as Calakmul and Tikal. Maya kings were the centers of power for the Maya civilization. Each Maya city-state was controlled by a dynasty of kings. Maya kings and queens felt obliged to legitimize their claim to power. One of the ways to do this was to build a temple or pyramid. Pacal’s Temple of Inscriptions still towers today amid the ruins of Palenque, as the supreme symbol of Pacal’s influence and power in Palenque.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered. Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of the Spanish adventures. All World is Human – Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked off the coast of Texas in 1528 and lived with Indians for eight years. Upon his return to Spain, he wrote a book based on his experiences. His tale is one of empathy and respect for the Indians.
Sixteen hundred years ago, a mysterious left-handed warrior seized control of the Mayan city of Copan, founding a dynasty that would last for 400 years. Eventually the Maya abandoned Copan and all other Mayan cities, which lay undisturbed for over 1,000 years. Then, in the 19th century, explorers John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood stumbled on the vine strangled remains of huge complexes of temples and monuments covered with strange portraits and hieroglyphs. This documentary takes viewers deep into the Central American rain forest to the resurrected ruins of Copan, a once majestic jewel of Mayan civilization which was inexplicably abandoned over a thousand years ago.
The series features various subjects related to science and technology. Some of the views expressed might be considered fringe or pseudo-science. Episode 2 Super Volcano – In spring 2003, strange things began happening in America’s most famous national park, Yellowstone. The tallest geyser in the world, which can go 50 years without erupting, burst into life. There were new cracks in the ground, the ground heated up to the point where the National Park Service had to close some trails. Not long after, a group of bison collapsed and died, victims of poisonous fumes from below the ground. Satellite pictures revealed that something ominous was happening beneath the earth.
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 4 Invasion Of The Coast – As more foreigners arrive in North America, tensions rise as native peoples lives are impacted. At Jamestown, the story of the Powhatan princess, Pocahontas, unfolds. Thanksgiving at Plymouth leads to the bloodiest of colonial Indian wars in 1675.