Lost King of the Maya



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. It follows archeologist Bill Fash and his team as they excavate the burial site of the founder of a Maya dynasty in Copan, Honduras, and explores startling new information about Copan revealed by linguistic analysis and biological anthropology. The documentary introduces Yax K’uk Mo’, the legendary king who entered Copan as a conqueror and remained to found a dynasty. For generations, scholars thought Yax K’uk Mo’ to be a Maya god. But now archaeologists believe they may have found his tomb. It reviews the history of the Maya people, who built towering pyramids and developed sophisticated systems of writing and astronomy more than a thousand years ago. It reveals the involvement of the Maya in ritual warfare and human sacrifice and examines the purpose of Maya observations of the stars and planets. Narrated by Hector Elizondo.