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Lost King of the Maya

Program Overview


NOVA follows archeologist Bill Fash and his team as they excavate the burial site of the founder of a Maya dynasty in Copán, Honduras, and explores startling new information about Copán revealed by linguistic analysis and biological anthropology.

The program:

  • introduces Yax K'uk Mo', the legendary king who entered Copán as a conqueror and remained to found a dynasty.

  • reviews the history of the Maya people, who built towering pyramids and developed sophisticated systems of writing and astronomy more than a thousand years ago.

  • reveals the involvement of the Maya in ritual warfare and human sacrifice.

  • examines the purpose of Maya observations of the stars and planets.

  • recounts how the Maya symbol code was broken in the 1980s.

  • chronicles the 400-year dynasty of Maya Holy Lords, founded by Yax K'uk Mo'.

  • offers a new historical insight into the collapse of the Maya empire.

Teacher's Guide
Lost King of the Maya
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