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Secrets of Lost Empires I—Inca

Program Overview


Ancient structures may generate awe and provide information about the people who built them, but they leave many questions unanswered: How were they constructed? What technologies were available to the builders? What tools did they use?

In this four-part mini series, NOVA brings together experts from diverse fields to reconstruct how these monuments might have been built. For each structure, individual teams are challenged to create a scale model using the materials and scientific knowledge thought to be available at the time of original construction (although at times they resort to modern methods). By applying their knowledge of each culture, their expertise in building techniques, and a process of trial and error, the teams attempt to reconstruct these ancient technological wonders.

Inca
Inca iconEven without such technological advances as wheels, arches, draft animals, iron tools, or a system of writing, the Inca—utilizing a tradition of shared labor—achieved a number of engineering feats. The NOVA team explores both stonework and bridge building, experimenting with dragging and fitting huge stones, and working with the people of an Andean village to create a suspension bridge made only of grass ropes.

Teacher's Guide
Secrets of Lost Empires I—Inca
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