or


[02/01/18 - 11:01 AM]
"Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings" Rewrites History as New National Geographic Special Reveals Unprecedented Scale and Sophistication of Mysterious Ancient Civilization
The one-hour special premieres this Tuesday, February 6 at 9:00/8:00c.

[via press release from National Geographic Channel]

"There are entire cities that have never been found before, that are all of a sudden being revealed" - National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin in Lost Treasures of The Maya Snake Kings.

"LOST TREASURES OF THE MAYA SNAKE KINGS" REWRITES HISTORY AS NEW NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SPECIAL REVEALS UNPRECEDENTED SCALE AND SOPHISTICATION OF MYSTERIOUS ANCIENT CIVILIZATION

Aerial LiDAR Survey Of Guatemalan Jungle Peels Away the Canopy To Reveal Unknown Cities And More Than 60,000 Man-Made Structures, Confirming Maya Civilization Was Much Larger Than Previously Thought

One Hour, Archaeology-in-Action Special Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 9/8c on National Geographic

(Washington, D.C./Guatemala City - February 1, 2018) - From Egypt to China, the great civilizations of the ancient world have been long-studied and are instantly recognizable. The Maya, one of the more mysterious ancient civilizations, has never been considered on the same scale, until now. A pioneering new survey of the Guatemalan jungle using a remote surveying method to see through the forest canopy, has mapped the ground below to reveal more than 60,000 previously unknown structures that reveal a vast, interconnected network of cities, fortifications, farms and highways. It also reveals an engineered and managed landscape with specialized areas of agriculture capable of sustaining a massive population with food on an almost industrial scale. This complete re-write of long-held beliefs about the Maya is told for the very first time in National Geographic's Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings, premiering Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 9/8c.

For decades, archaeologists toiled in dense jungle to piece together their knowledge of the Maya. Hampered by the thick forest, their findings lead to the theory that Maya cities were largely isolated and self-sufficient. However, this long-held belief is now being overturned by Guatemala's PACUNAM LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Initiative, a consortium of over 30 scientists and archaeologists from leading academic institutions worldwide organised and funded by the PACUNAM Foundation, which has used expensive technology to survey over 2,000 square kilometres of Guatemalan forest by plane. The findings - depicted in epic new digital maps and an Augmented Reality application translating the aerial data into a ground view that was custom-designed for the documentary - lay bare the landscape below the foliage without a single tree or creeper having to be cut down. They suggest earlier Maya population assessments of one to two million fall far short of new estimates up to 20 million inhabitants across the Maya Lowlands - a figure that places around half the entire population of Europe at the time, in an area roughly the size of Italy.

"It's like a magic trick," one of the archaeologists leading the project, Tom Garrison, says in the one-hour special, adding, "The survey is the most important development in Maya archaeology in 100 years."

As archaeologists piece together details about the complexity and extent of the Maya civilization, they are also looking closely at who was responsible for ruling such a vast society. Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings reveals how an obscure royal dynasty known as the Snake Kings rose to dominate the Maya world through conquest, marriage and puppet kings. Until experts had deciphered Mayan inscriptions, the Snake Kings were completely unknown. Now, the evidence points to their power extending from Mexico and Belize, down through Guatemala. In 562, they even conquered Tikal, the greatest Maya city of all.

Tikal, a popular tourist destination and one of the most studied cities of the Maya world, is now being seen in a new light, with the LiDAR survey revealing a previously unknown pyramid in the very center of the city. Overlooked by archaeologists as a natural feature, this is one of the most important findings in central Tikal in decades. Additionally, the LiDAR data reveals the city is three to four times larger than previously thought. On the outskirts of Tikal and many other locations, the LiDAR data reveals extensive defenses and fortifications, supporting the radical new theory that the Maya engaged in large scale wars.

Francisco Estrada-Belli, a National Geographic Explorer and one of the archaeologists jointly leading the Initiative has been exploring the ancient Maya city of Holmul for nearly two decades, encountering evidence of the Snake Kings' legacy along the way. Excavating a giant frieze carved in stone and a royal tomb deep within the city's pyramids, he has pieced together clues about a seventh century king and queen, and how they fit into the Snake King's vast dynasty. In the swampy valley around the city, he uses the LiDAR data to show how thousands of acres were drained, irrigated and converted into farmland on an astonishing scale. Akin to the central valley of California, the 20 kilometre-long area would have been covered with farms and capable of supplying food to potentially the entire region around Tikal.

"There are entire cities we didn't know about now showing up in the survey data," says Estrada-Belli in the special. "There are 20,000 square kilometres more to be explored and there are going to be hundreds of cities in there that we don't know about. I guarantee you."

One of those previously unknown sites is where National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin heads off to in Lost Treasure of the Maya Snake Kings. With the new LiDAR data as his guide, he is dropped into the jungle and must hike for miles on foot to locate the newly revealed structure. Having only mapped one tenth of the targeted area, the PACUNAM LiDAR Initiative still has much to reveal, but Lin locates the pyramid he is seeking. Seven-stories high, it is still mostly intact but so covered in growth it is near invisible to the naked eye. It will take generations of scientific effort to fully explore all of the new findings.

"We just followed a map created by lasers in the sky, using a helicopter to get into the jungle, and then bush whacked for hours to this point, to find this," Lin says while standing before the pyramid in Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings. He adds, "This LiDAR data is essentially re-writing the history of the Maya."

Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings is produced by Wild Blue Media for National Geographic. For Wild Blue Media, executive producer is Cameron Balbirnie. For National Geographic, the executive producer is Carolyn Payne; Hamish Mykura is executive vice president, programming and development; and Tim Pastore is president of original programming and production.

# # #

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, Nat Geo People) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of the world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now it is committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for consumers... all while reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month. NGP returns 27 percent of its proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com.

About Fundación Patrimonio Cultural y Natural Maya, PACUNAM

Fundación Pacunam (Patrimonio Cultural y Natural Maya) was founded in 2006 in Guatemala as a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering scientific research, conservation and sustainable development of cultural and natural resources in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a protected area of over 21,000 square kilometres in northern Guatemala. Funding for Pacunam comes from leading Guatemalan organisations, including Cerveceria Centroamericana, Grupo Campollo, Cementos Progreso, Blue Oil, Banco Industrial, and ASAZGUA (Asociación de Azucareros de Guatemala), among others; as well as international donors, including Hitz Foundation.





  [february 2018]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
    


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[01/18/21 - 09:43 AM]
Series Nominations Announced for the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards
The winners will be revealed live on The CW on Sunday, March 7, with acclaimed film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs returning to host for his third consecutive time.

[01/18/21 - 08:01 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: NFL Playoffs Deliver Victory for FOX
The network's coverage towers over the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[01/16/21 - 03:05 PM]
Video: First Promo for New Unscripted Variety Show "Game of Talents," Coming This March to FOX
Emmy winner Wayne Brady is set to host and executive produce the program, due in March.

[01/16/21 - 08:52 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC, FOX Share Demo Crown; CBS Leads Total Viewers
The Alphabet's "Shark Tank" is the night's top draw among adults 18-49.

[01/15/21 - 11:29 PM]
Development Update: Friday, January 15
Updates include: Ethan Hawke set as villain in "Moon Knight" at Disney+; Kantemir Balagov to helm HBO's "The Last of Us"; and Apple TV+ fills out cast of Kevin Durant's "Swagger."

[01/15/21 - 04:00 PM]
discovery+ True Crime Highlights - Weeks of January 18 and January 25
Investigation Discovery's "Still a Mystery," "The Clown and the Candyman," "The Murder Tapes" and "American Monster" are among the latest to move originals to discovery+.

[01/15/21 - 01:05 PM]
NBC Set Premiere Dates for Its Two Upcoming Comedies "Young Rock" and "Kenan"
Look for both series back-to-back beginning Tuesday, February 16 in place of "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," which will return in the spring.

[01/15/21 - 12:50 PM]
BET Announces Its Multiplatform Programming Strategy for Inauguration 2021
Live coverage is scheduled to begin Wednesday, January 20 at 11:00 am ET/10c on BET.

[01/15/21 - 12:12 PM]
Video: "A Closer Look with Brian McKnight" - Official Trailer - ALLBLK
The show's latest installment bows Thursday, January 21 on the streaming service.

[01/15/21 - 11:50 AM]
ABC News Announces Special Coverage of the Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19
At 8:00 p.m. EST ABC News presents a primetime program, "The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. - An ABC News Special," that will provide reporting on and analysis of the historic moments from the day.

[01/15/21 - 11:38 AM]
Discovery Documents the Cutting-Edge Science Behind Creating a Vaccine to Conquer COVID-19
"The Vaccine: Conquering Covid" premiering Sunday, February 21 at 8 PM PT/ET on Discovery and streaming on discovery+.

[01/15/21 - 11:21 AM]
Netflix Partners with Renowned Author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to Bring Three of His Bestselling Books to Life Onscreen
"Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America," "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You," and "Antiracist Baby" are the featured projects.

[01/15/21 - 11:01 AM]
"Selena: The Series" Captivates Fans Ahead of Anticipated Finale on May 14
25 million households around the world sang "Como la flor" along with part one in the first four weeks after it premiered in December.

[01/15/21 - 10:51 AM]
"Crikey! It's the Irwins" Returns with a New Season of Reopenings, Rescues, Newborn Wildlife and Exciting News About the Future Generation of the Irwin Family on Discovery+ Feb. 7
A sneak peek of the premiere episode will air on Animal Planet directly out of "Puppy Bowl XVII" on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 5 PM ET/PT.

[01/15/21 - 10:00 AM]
"Super Bowl Greatest Commercials 2021" Special Hosted by Boomer Esiason and Daniela Ruah to Be Broadcast Feb. 3 on CBS
Beginning today, viewers can watch and vote for their favorite Super Bowl commercial from the past 20 years at https://www.cbs.com/SBGC.