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)





[04/19/21 - 10:04 AM]
FX Sets Premiere Date for Season Two of "Dave"
Season two guest stars will include CL, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Benny Blanco, Kyle Kuzma, Doja Cat, J Balvin, Rae Sremmurd (Swae Lee & Slim Jxmmi), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lil Yachty, Lil Nas X, Kevin Hart and more.

[04/19/21 - 09:16 AM]
All That Glitters Is Gold for Bravo When "Shahs of Sunset" Returns on Sunday, May 16 at 8PM ET/PT
Returning for season nine: Reza Farahan, Mercedes "MJ" Javid, Mike Shouhed, Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi, Destiney Rose, and Nema Vand.

[04/19/21 - 09:00 AM]
Video: HBO Max Comedy Series "That Damn Michael Che" Releases Teaser Ahead of May 6 Premiere
Fellow "SNL" cast members Cecily Strong, Heidi Gardner, Colin Quinn, Ellen Cleghorne and Colin Jost lend their talents along with guest stars Omari Hardwick, Geoffrey Owens, Godfrey, Billy Porter and Method Man.

[04/19/21 - 09:00 AM]
New AMC+ Original "Too Close" Starring Emily Watson Joins May Lineup
For the month of May, AMC+ offers subscribers a wide variety of critically acclaimed and commercial-free programming, including compelling new dramas, fan-favorite franchises, and film collections from across the company's entertainment networks and targeted streaming services.

[04/19/21 - 09:00 AM]
Amazon Original Anthology Series "Solos" to Premiere May 21 on Prime Video
Academy Award-winning actors Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway and Helen Mirren, Emmy Award-winning actor Uzo Aduba, Nicole Beharie, Anthony Mackie, Dan Stevens, and Constance Wu are among the featured talent.

[04/19/21 - 08:08 AM]
Acorn TV Original Seaside Murder Mystery "Whitstable Pearl" Docks Monday, May 24
The six-part British detective drama explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of the picturesque English seaside town of Whitstable, famous for its native oysters and buffeted by the prevailing winds and spray of the North Sea.

[04/19/21 - 07:20 AM]
MTV's "Deliciousness" Returns with All-New Episodes Monday, April 26th
Hosted by Tiffani Thiessen, her and the dais of foodies including Angela Kinsey, Kel Mitchell and Tim Chantarangsu celebrate the things we love to indulge in - food and drink.

[04/19/21 - 07:01 AM]
Video: "Love Death + Robots" Volume 2 - Official Trailer - Netflix
From wild adventures on far-flung planets to unsettling encounters close to home: The Emmy-winning anthology returns with a crop of provocative tales.

[04/19/21 - 06:01 AM]
Video: "Maradona: Blessed Dream" - Teaser Trailer - Prime Video
A god that emerged from mud and fire - "Maradona: Blessed Dream" coming soon to Amazon Prime Video.

[04/19/21 - 06:00 AM]
Amazon Studios' Musical "Annette" Will Open the 74th Cannes Film Festival, Release in Late Summer 2021 in Theaters and on Amazon Prime Video
Directed by Leos Carax, and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Annette will make its world premiere on July 6 on the Croisette, marking the return of the film festival after last year's cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[04/19/21 - 02:28 AM]
Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Thalissa Teixeira Join Lucy Hale as Leads in AMC's Serial Killer Thriller "Ragdoll"
The series will begin production today in London, and Freddy Syborn is spearheading the adaptation of the six-part, darkly witted thriller.

[04/19/21 - 01:01 AM]
Video: "Ferry" - Official Trailer - Netflix
Before he built a drug empire, Ferry Bouman returns to his hometown on a revenge mission that finds his loyalty tested - and a love that alters his life.

[04/18/21 - 04:00 PM]
Paramount+ Reveals Heartfelt Unscripted Series "From Cradle to Stage" Created by Dave Grohl and Virginia Hanlon Grohl to Premiere Exclusively May 6
Honest, humorous and emotional, each episode features a famous performer and their mother, alongside Dave and Virginia, as they take an impassioned journey home and explore each artists' upbringing and the tools they received as a young talent to survive the turbulence of success.

[04/17/21 - 10:08 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Viewers, Demos with "Blue Bloods"
The Eye holds off the competition in total viewers, shares the demo crown with ABC and FOX.

[04/17/21 - 09:01 AM]
Video: "Haunted" Season 3 - Official Trailer - Netflix
More real people share scary stories from their past - and the truth is terrifying.