Sixteen hundred years agoa 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.
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 ritualsthese 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 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 entriesinterviews 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.
Long before Columbusthe Maya established one of the most highly developed civilizations of their time in the jungles of Mexico and Central America. Yet this advanced society of priests, astronomers, artisans, and farmers suddenly and mysteriously collapsed more than a thousand years ago. Accompany archeologists to Copan, Dos Pilas, and other spectacular Classic Maya ruins as they unearth artifacts and huge temples of incredible beauty. Recently deciphered hieroglyphics and other new discoveries offer astounding clues to the lives of these ancient people.
History of the Christian faithlooking at its origins, development and turbulent past. High profile British personalities examine a religion that has particular resonance for them. Channel 4 series, not the BBC one. Episode 8 The Future of Christianity – Leading British lawyer and committed Catholic Cherie Blair investigates Christianity over the last 100 years and explores its future prospects. There is one part of the western world where Christianity has bucked the downward trend and has never been stronger – the USA. Cherie uncovers the reasons for its continued success there and looks at what the future holds for Christianity.
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 entriesinterviews 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.
The Crucified Soldier refers to the widespread story of an Allied soldier serving in the Canadian Army who may have been crucified with bayonets on a barn door or a tree while fighting on the Western Front during World War I. But there was no conclusive proof a crucifixion actually occurred. Nevertheless the story made headline news around the world and the Allies repeatedly used the supposed incident in their war propagandalike other propoganda such as the Rape of Belgium and the Angels of Mons and the German corpse factory. A three foot bronze sculpture by British artist Francis Derwent Wood of a crucified soldier titled Canada’s Golgotha was included in an 1919 exhibition of wartime art in London but the sculpture was withdrawn from the exhibit after protest. The German government protested the falseness of this atrocity story and after the end of the war they formally requested the Canadian government provide proof. With no knowledge of the identity of the soldier and having only a few eyewitness accounts the crucifixion story was left unproven by a British inquiry after the War, but new sources require a re-examination.
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 storiesif 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.
Three part series that goes exploring the world’s oil producing regionsbeyond 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.
At a time when immigration reform continues to be one of the most heated topics in political and business circlesthis feature length special reexamines the controversial war that resulted in the United States taking control of what was nearly half of Mexico’s territory. Featuring lavish reenactments, and interviews with both Mexican and American historians to tell the story of President Polk’s desire to expand US territory to the Pacific Ocean. Hosted by Oscar de la Hoya.
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 storiesif 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.
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 societyto 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.
In September 2004on 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.
The Tomb of the Red Queen is a burial chamber containing the remains of an unknown noblewoman located inside Temple XIII in the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Palenquenow the Palenque National Park, in the Chiapas state in southern Mexico. It has been dated to between 600 and 700 A.D. The tomb was discovered in 1994 by the Mexican archeologist Arnoldo Gonzalez Cruz. It takes its popular name from the fact that the remains of the noblewoman and the objects in the sarcophagus were covered with bright red cinnabar powder when the tomb was discovered. Discover the secrets of the identity of the Red Queen in this amazing documentary.
When the explorer Cortes arrived in the New World in 1519he found the present day nation of Mexico dominated by the Aztecs. Skilled farmers, builders and merchants, the Aztecs were also savage warriors who practiced human sacrifice on a massive scale fueled by the belief that blood nourished their gods and sustained the world. This is the definitive profile of one of the most fascinating civilizations of the Ancient World where beauty was balanced by savagery, and mysticism was soaked in blood. Leading scholars trace the rise of the Aztecs from their island in present day Mexico City to the pre-eminent culture of ancient America, and reveal how the Spanish were able to bring this mighty society to its knees in mere months! Tour the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan in Mexico City, where ongoing excavations are unraveling some of the enduring enigmas of the Aztecs. Director Eduardo Matos Moctezuma provides a behind the scenes look at the seat of the ancient empire and reveals astonishing new discoveries. And see how the long vanished civilization’s influence is still felt in Mexico today.
2012 The Final Prophecy What if the Maya were right about the end of humanity as we know it? Would fire pour from the skybuildings shatter, floods destroy Washington DC and Los Angeles slide into the Pacific? That’s how Hollywood has interpreted December 21,2012, in the movie 2012 with John Cusack. The Maya believed that everything including creation and destruction occurred in cycles. Some believe the end of the current cycle on December 21,2012, is an apocalyptic sign. And those who see a connection between the complex and incredibly accurate Maya calendar and a prophecy that the world will end in 2012 point to an unexpected discovery made in 2003. This captivating documentary looks for the truth behind the compelling myth is there evidence of global upheaval on a massive scale? We follow scientist Adam Maloof to three continents on a detective story that spans eons, with clues embedded in the oldest rocks on the planet.
In September 2004on 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.
This documentary combines computer animation with live action footage to show how dinosaurs might have looked striding over the landscapes of the United States. Each portion of the U.S. is profiled to show what it looked like millions of years ago and what animals strode that particular portion of the continent.
As the world approaches the 21st centurythis 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.
Ancient and deadly spear points were found near ClovisNew Mexico in the 1930s. Many archeologists believed that this type of weapon originated with the first settlers of the New World, who supposedly migrated from Asia at the end of the last ice age. This documentary examines new evidence that challenges this widely held view. The hunt for clues takes this documentary to sites of stunning discoveries in western Pennsylvania and southern Chile, to southern France, to the high arctic, and to a remarkable find in central Texas that may hold the key to who invented the Clovis technology. Many archeologists concluded that hunters equipped with Clovis technology were the first settlers of the Americas and that they probably arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age about 13,500 years ago, when lower sea level allowed hunters to cross a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska. But there is growing evidence that humans were in the Americas long before the Clovis hunters.
In September 2004on 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 5 Cauldron of War – Europe fights to control American resources, turning Indian homelands into a Cauldron of War. Many indigenous nations side with the French but when the defeated country leaves its Indian allies vulnerable determined leaderPontiac, rises to prominence.
How could a civilization which thrived for over two thousand years just suddenly disappear? Today many believe that a giant drought killed off the Mayabut 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.
MonsterQuest uses the latest high tech equipment to take a scientific look at legendary creatures around the worldcreatures 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.
Through the lens of modern science the grave has become a window on the past. Today we can learn intimate detail about how the ancients lived and how they died. Bit by bit their portraits emerge from flesh bones and DNA. The unearthing of the past reveals the tangled roots ofvour family tree. But some see only the desecration of our ancestors. Through this documentary listen to the voices of the dead. Ancient human grave sites speak volumes to those who listen. These haunting human time capsules have been uncovered all over the world. Some even reach a certain level of fameThe Ampato maiden sacrificed on an Andes peak. The Alpine Ice Man, the oldest frozen mummy ever found. England’s 9,000 year old Cheddar Man. Others’ stories are known only to the ages, like a cache of elaborately adorned 7,000 year old mummies unearthed in Chile, and the thousands of Egyptian mummies actually burned as train fuel in the 19th century. Modern science now allows us to explore these human treasures without destroying them, and connects us all to the secrets of the ancient dead.
In September 2004on 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 7 Roads Across The Plains – Native tribes of the Great Plains watched their lifestyles end as American settlers extinguished huge buffalo herds. Though native leaders pursue a path of peace it is met with tragedy at Sand Creek. The massacre suffers severe repercussions.
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.
This is the profile of an extraterrestrial mass murderer: one whose existence was denied by scientific orthodoxy for nearly two decadesbut 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.
In the late 19th centurypaleontologists Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh uncovered the remains of hundreds of prehistoric animals in the American West, including dozens of previously undiscovered dinosaur species. In the summer of 1868, paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh boarded a Union Pacific train for a sight-seeing excursion through the heart of the newly-opened American West. While most passengers simply saw magnificent landscapes, Marsh soon realized he was traveling through the greatest dinosaur burial ground of all time. Ruthless, jealous and insanely competitive, Marsh would wrestle over the discovery with the other leading paleontologist of his generation, Edward Drinker Cope. Over time, the two rivals would uncover the remains of dozens of prehistoric animals, including over 130 dinosaur species, collect thousands of specimens, provide ample evidence to prove Charles Darwin’s hotly disputed theory of evolution and put American science on the world stage. But their professional rivalry eventually spiraled out of control. What began with denigrating comments in scientific publications led to espionage, the destruction of fossils and political maneuvering that ultimately left both men alone and almost penniless.
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.
Through breathtaking discoveriesarchaeologists 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.
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 soldiersas 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 15 The Aztecs – The Aztecs sacrifice captured enemies. Dear sonyou must understand that your home is not here where you have been born, for you are a warrior. You are a bird and the house where you have been born is just a nest. Your mission is to give the sun the blood of enemies to drink and to feed the earth with their bodies In the time of Columbus Europe discovered a strange new world, where every boy was born to fight and men fought for living flesh. Mortals to be sacrificed to slate the thirst of a god for blood.
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 2003strange 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.
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 involvedtheir 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.
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 soldiersas 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 period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described hereeach one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 5 The Panama Canal – Having completed the building of the Suez Canal in 1869, a Frenchman, Vicomte Ferdinand de Lesseps, dreamed of an even bolder scheme: the Panama Canal. Making the world itself would seem a smaller place. Once out in the tropical heat of Panama, however, the French found themselves facing impenetrable jungle, dangerous mudslides and deathly tropical diseases, as the project proved to be an undertaking of nightmare proportions. The extravagant dream eventually came true, but in the process it stole over 25,000 lives, and 25 years had to elapse before the oceans were finally united.