In this episode of Empire Builders we explore the remarkable history of one of the world’s greatest ancient civilisations, the Maya. We travel through the remote jungles of Central America to discover the extraordinary history of the grandest and most spectacular cities they created. 60 mins.
- Hidden in the remote jungle of northern Guatemala, the spectacular lost city of Yaxha wasn’t discovered until the early 20th century, despite the massive size of its temples and pyramids.
When Palenque’s greatest ruler Pacal the Great died in 683 AD at the then remarkable age of 80, he was buried beneath a fabulous funerary monument, today known as the Temple of the Inscriptions.
Copan is renowned for its Hieroglyphic Stairway, the longest known Maya hieroglyphic text, while Tikal, a huge city, covering over 6 square miles, with a population of perhaps as many as 100, 000, remarkably was built in very difficult terrain without any water source apart from rainwater.
Built not in the rainforest, but in the arid Puuc region of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Uxmal remains one of the best preserved of all ancient Maya cities. Nearby Chichen Itza was one of the most magnificent of all ancient Maya cities– the centre piece here is the great Temple of the Feathered Serpent, otherwise known as El Castillo.
Using CGI, contributions from experts and re-enactments bring to life the story of The Maya empire as we walk the ruins, and explore the historic sites of:
- Yaxha, Guatemala
- Palenque, Mexico
- Copan, Honduras
- Tikal, Guatemala
- Uxmal, Mexico
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
- Tulum, Mexico
- Mixco Viejo, Guatemala
- Flores Island, Guatemala