HISTORY

Chachapoya: Solving the Mystery of a Lost Civilisation

High in the cloud forests of Peru the stone walls of a mysterious mountaintop fortress rise out of the jungle. These 60-foot walls are filled with the bones of vanished people called the Chachapoya, or the Cloud Warriors. From AD 800 to the mid-1500’s they lived high in the Andes and became a culture of warriors and shamans, travelling a network of trade routes between the coast and the Amazon. It took an intense struggle by the powerful Incan empire to gain control of the fiercely independent Chachapoya tribes. But did the Inca ever succeed in conquering the Chachapoya stronghold of Kuelap? Archeologists at Kuelap have uncovered hundreds of elaborate burial sites throughout the settlement that have revealed tantalising clues about the identity of the Chachapoya people and how and why they built such a massive fortress. But the mystery remains unsolved: why did the entire Chachapoya civilisation abruptly disappear in the middle of the sixteenth century? Now, we join a team of archaeologists led by Alfredo Narvaez as they uncover some startling evidence.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 6

For centuries, people have wondered if accounts describing “a great flood” in dozens of ancient cultures could be evidence of a single catastrophic event. Now, Bulgarian scientists believe they have evidence that reveals not only where such a Great Flood happened, but what caused it. One investigator searches for clues that could reveal the series of events that led to the devastating natural disaster. Then, head to the Scottish highlands where ancient monoliths inscribed with mysterious markings and symbols are scattered across Scotland. Baffling and undecipherable, they have remained one of ancient Britain’s great enigmas. But Dr Rob Lee believes he may have cracked their code and could be on the brink of revealing the language and wisdom of an ancient civilisation.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 6 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 5

For centuries, archeologists have searched for these original “cities of sin” supposedly destroyed by the wrath of God. But have the experts been looking in the wrong place all these years? Archaeological excavations have uncovered the scorched remains of ancient pottery shards super-heated in a catastrophic event with the intensity of a nuclear blast. Could this be evidence of a supernatural intervention? Then, head to Italy to explore the darkest secrets of Rome, Venice and Milan as author Nick Pelling attempts to decode what has been called “the most mysterious text in the world” – the Voynich Text. Filled with cryptic lettering and bizarre imagery, the document has stumped historians and code breakers for over a century, but Pelling believes he can succeed where others have failed and finally decode this strange text.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 5 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 4

In 591, Pope Gregory gave a sermon describing Mary Magdalene as a harlot and this notorious reputation of her has stuck. But in recent years, Mary Magdalene has attracted new attention as some have embraced the idea that she was not only Jesus Christ’s spouse, but also the mother of his children and the victim of the biggest conspiracy in the history of the Church. Join author Margarat Starbird as she sets out to investigate these claims, witnesses a haunting ritual performed by a group that venerates Mary Magdalene as the wife of Christ and examines evidence that women may have played a more significant role in the early Christian church than previously thought.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 4 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 3

Canonized as a saint on the eve of World War I, Joan of Arc remains France’s national heroine and a symbol of French pride. The nineteen-year old leader of the French army was burnt as a witch at the stake. Or was she? One investigator has uncovered controversial evidence that Joan may have not only survived her execution, but went on to live a full life. Then, prophecies and predictions of the apocalypse are common among many religions. In Christian belief, the end of the world will be marked by the return of Christ and the construction of a great holy city, “a New Jerusalem,” with a sacred temple at its heart. Author Adrian Gilbert believes this New Jerusalem may have already been built to fulfil the vision of the Knights Templar and the Freemasons – in the very city of London.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 3 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 2

For years, historians thought that Incan khipus – a series of knotted cords on a line – were simple counting devices, like a woollen abacus. But one investigator believes khipus are actually a three-dimensional system for record keeping. By examining an ancient khipu with a multi-spectral scanner, she hopes to crack the code of the Incas and reveal their secrets. Then, journey to the other side of the world where Vikings spread their terror across the high seas. Considered fearsome warriors with superior navigational skills, they reached North America hundreds of years before Columbus. Historians still don’t know how they did it without a magnetic compass. Their sagas mention the existence of magic crystals – stones which, according to legend, guided them across the seas. Now, one woman, a Viking descendant and an expert on bird migration, investigates the legend of these mysterious sunstones.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 2 of 6


 

Ancient X files II – Episode 1

Trek to a remote corner of eastern Turkey, where archaeologists have uncovered what is thought to be the oldest man-made structure on the planet: Gobekli Tepe. Built more than 12,000 years ago, the structure predates any known civilisation with the architectural or engineering know-how. Could Gobekli Tepe be evidence of a lost civilization and the world’s first religion? Then, head to Ireland where almost perfectly preserved prehistoric bodies have been unearthed from the peat bogs for centuries. Mutilated and decapitated, the bog bodies have been thought to be victims of Iron Age justice who were executed for their crimes. One archaeologist believes the bodies could actually be ancient kings ritually sacrificed to satisfy the hunger of the gods


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2012

Episode: 1 of 7


 

Rise of The Black Pharaohs

The Egypt of the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Valley of the Kings was an empire of indomitable might. Yet around 800 BC, the impossible happened. Kush, a subject kingdom from the south, rose up, conquered Egypt and enthroned his own Pharaohs and ruled for nearly one hundred years. These were the mysterious Black Pharaohs of what is today Sudan, the Nubian kings, whose reign has become legendary among Africans and written off as heresy by early archaeologists who refused to believe that dark skinned Africans could have risen so high. National Geographic follows the experts to learn the real story of the Rise of the Black Pharaohs.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2014

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Nefertiti & The Lost Dynasty

Over 3,000 years ago, they tore ancient Egypt apart. And then they vanished….Nefertiti, the perfect one – the legendary beauty – and her husband, Akhenaten, the radical king…This revolutionary couple would shake the foundations of Egypt as they set out to reinvent a civilisation. They threw out the old government, the old capital city, and even replaced the old gods. In less than 20 years they would turn Egypt on its head, and they themselves would disappear from history. Where did they end up? The debate has been raging for decades.

Now a brand new scientific investigation is about to begin. An international team, funded by National Geographic, is bringing state of the art CT scans to the Valley of the Kings, for only the second time in history, on the hunt for this mysterious family of pharaohs…. A family most famous for the little boy believed to be Akhenaten’s son – the son who would grow up to be King Tut. Now, they are trying to put together the pieces of his Egyptian dynasty. Using non-invasive, three dimensional volumetric imagery, they conduct a pharonic forensic investigation of a kind never before undertaken – tracking 21st century clues to a mystery from 1,300 BC.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2007

Episode: 1 of 1


 

Lost Gospel of Judas

He’s one of the most hated men in history – the apostle who betrayed Jesus Christ. For centuries, his name has meant treachery and deceit – Judas Iscariot. Now, hidden for nearly 1700 years, an ancient Gospel emerges from the sands of Egypt. It tells a different story – one that turns the tale of Jesus Christ’s betrayal on its head. National Geographic Television explores the history, message, and global impact of perhaps the most important discovery in Biblical archaeology in sixty years, in the exclusive two-hour television event, The Lost Gospel of Judas. According to the best available sources, the Gospel’s modern story began in Middle Egypt in 1978 when a farmer found a codex containing it in a cave.

Unable to read its ancient script, he had no idea it contained a controversial Christian Gospel, one that was branded ‘heresy’ in antiquity, then lost for nearly 1700 years. The farmer sold the codex through a middleman to an antiquities dealer in Cairo. There, in the Egyptian capital, it was promptly stolen! And so began the manuscript’s decades-long journey of mischief, mayhem, and international intrigue. Rumours of its existence circulated until 2000, when it was purchased by antiquities dealer Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos. Tchacos transferred the codex to the Zurich-based Maecenas Foundation. With support from the National Geographic Society and the Waite Institute For Historical Discovery, they brought in a crack team of experts to preserve and translate the document.


Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2006

Episode: 1 of 1


 

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