Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

"Search for the Lost Cave People"

PBS Airdate: March 31, 1998
Go to the companion Web site

ANNOUNCER: Tonight on NOVA, they brought their children to this sacred place to do the unthinkable.

THOMAS LEE: These may be children that were offered, sacrificed and placed in here as offerings.

ANNOUNCER: Now, the remote burial chambers offer clues of an advanced ancient culture, drawing a NOVA expedition deep into Mexico's uncharted jungle.

GIUSEPPE OREFICI: It doesn't get any better than this. It's really beautifully preserved.

ANNOUNCER: Join a "Search for the Lost Cave People."

Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation. Dedicated to education and quality television.

This program is funded in part by Northwestern Mutual Life, which has been protecting families and businesses for generations. Have you heard from the Quiet Company? Northwestern Mutual Life.

And by Iomega, makers of personal storage solutions for your computer, so you can create more, share more, save more and do more of whatever it is you do. Iomega. Because it's your stuff.

And by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. And viewers like you.

NARRATOR: Deep in the heart of Southern Mexico lies a wild and unexplored territory. Winding through it—a river—called Rio La Venta. A team of Italian cave experts came here to chart its canyon. As they ventured downriver, they spotted a number of mysterious chambers carved high in the canyon wall. They were not the first to set foot here. In the shadowy recesses lay the mortal remains of a legendary people lost to time. The discovery lured scientists from across the globe. Giuseppe Orefici, of Italy's Center for Pre-Columbian Studies, will lead this team of archaeologists. He is joined by Thomas Lee, who has worked here in Chiapas for over 35 years. They pack not only the tools of their scientific trades, but also mountain climbing and rafting equipment—for this will be no ordinary expedition. With the dream of uncovering a lost civilization, they head into dangerous mountain terrain.

THOMAS LEE: This is a muddy trail. It's a terrible trail in here. The high mountains are uninhabited today by any people, and we don't know of anyone who has ever been in there, because the country is very rugged. It's extremely difficult to cross. It's very high mountains, deep gorges, and filled with lots of vegetation. So, it will be difficult to enter. But we have great expectations of finding something of real scientific value for archeology.

NARRATOR: The jungle has yielded such treasures before. Three centuries ago, Spanish explorers trekking through the hills of Mexico stumbled upon astonishing sights. This city, called Palenque, belonged to the ancient Maya. Its temples and palaces—abandoned since the 10th century—still speak of a glorious civilization. For over 600 years, divine kings and high nobles held court within these walls. With a mastery of stone architecture, the Maya raised colossal monuments to replicate mountains. Their leaders, often dressed as jaguar gods, would stand upon the temple platforms to inspire the masses below. Here, they performed sacred rituals—including human sacrifice. The Maya had an advanced culture, but also a brutal one. Their cities engaged in constant battle with one another—sometimes for the sole purpose of gaining sacrificial victims. In this mural, prisoners are tortured, and beg mercy from a divine king. But only blood would satisfy the gods—often depicted as the fierce jaguar. No aspect of Maya culture is as celebrated as their writing. They were thought to have the first complex writing system on the American continents. But a four-ton stela, pulled from a river bed in 1986, altered this long-held belief. Its beautiful hieroglyphs pre-dated the Classical Maya by centuries. Linguists have only recently broken the code—tracing the language to a modern Indian people called the Zoque. Little remains of ancient Zoque culture. The artifacts that have been found suggest that they shared with the Maya common myths and religious practices—including human sacrifice. But the details of their lives have been elusive. The Zoque lived in what is now Chiapas, Mexico. If more is to be learned about their ancient past, it should be in this region, in the canyon called Rio La Venta. The human remains that were found in caves here may belong to them. These scientists know that a great adventure lies ahead. Still, not all are eager to get their feet wet. The daunting waters and sheer cliffs have kept archaeologists away. This journey is the chance of a lifetime for scholars who study the ancient cultures of Central—or Meso—America. Now, cave expert Tullio Bernebei must get the team to the sites. Rafting downstream is the only way to reach them. But in the often shallow rapids, the rafts are more a burden than a help. It's only the first of many trials. If the river was as difficult to navigate in the time of the ancient Zoque, what compelled them to come here? The answers might be found in the dry caves lining the canyon wall, like this one looming 200 feet above the river. Tullio radios the intrepid team leading the way. They have scaled a near vertical cliff face to install a network of ropes, which should allow even novice climbers to reach the heights. The Zoque may have climbed along vegetation leading up to the cave. If the roots of the vines gave way, the fall was surely fatal. It's still risky today. Even the most athletic of the archaeologists struggles to pull himself up. So, more lines are added to stabilize the system. Some of these scholars are learning the ropes for the first time at over 60. Even being hoisted to the top requires courage. Tullio reassures Thomas Lee that his harness will be secure as he is pulled up 200 feet. For Thomas, the prospect is daunting, but worth it. He once entered this canyon as a young archeologist, but he's never been able to scale its heights.

THOMAS LEE: After 30 years working archeology in Chiapas, I find I'm back in the canyon again, but not on my own two feet, but hanging in the air to get into one of these caves. An archeologist's interest always is the mysterious, the unknown. And that's why we're always shoveling up another shovel full of dirt—or we go in another cave, look for another tomb, look for new information on the ancient civilizations. We're trying really to write their history.

NARRATOR: Here, signs of human history are clearly apparent. At first, the purpose of these platforms is baffling. They offer a vista of the canyon below. Was this a military lookout? Or was this site chosen for other reasons? With a little brushing, clues emerge. Beneath the dust of centuries lies a figure carved in stucco. He wears an elaborate feather headdress—signaling his status.

GIUSEPPE OREFICI: We believe this site must be a ceremonial one for a few reasons. First, the floors are covered in stucco. Secondly, these terraces lead up to converge on a single point—what seems to be an alter for a god. And the ceramics we've found are mostly of a type used in religious ceremonies. Finally, but importantly, we can tell that the cave was used only rarely, based on the fire sites that we find here. It was used, at most, four or five times.

NARRATOR: An ancient people journeyed here, high above the river, in order to perform religious rites. This canyon, with its many caves, was sacred. In Mesoamerican culture, caves were passageways to an underworld inhabited by ancestors and gods. When the sun set in the west, it entered this realm to engage in a fierce battle with forces of darkness. And in order to emerge victorious, the sun needed the nourishment of human blood. There are hundreds of caves here—still unexplored. The team's next target lies 600 feet above the river. But they can reach it, fairly easily, along a narrow ridge. For the final leg, the archaeologists have to tackle yet another sport. And in climbing the rope ladder, they all have their own special styles. It takes a while to get everything—and everyone—up to the cave. As Giuseppe reaches the top, he has no idea what once took place in this cool limestone chamber. He and Eliseo Linares, a Mexican archeologist, inspect the cave for the first time. At first glance, it doesn't seem very interesting. There are no obvious signs of a human presence—until they spot a few pottery shards scattered on the surface, with what looks like Zoque design. Upon closer inspection here and elsewhere, the team reaches back in time. A stucco floor re-emerges. And a sacred object in a rocky niche sees light after 1,000 years. This pyrite mirror, clouded by time, may have once been used to see a spirit world. They stop at the sight of a small, ceramic jaguar, once part of an incense burner. It hints at a certain type of ritual practice. The jaguar gods in Mesoamerica were linked to caves and the underworld. They took many forms. But all had a taste for blood. Giuseppe calls for a full-scale excavation. The archaeologists lay out a grid to mark the precise location of every object. They will be here for the next two weeks. As the dig begins in earnest, the team stirs up a virtual dust storm. While their eyes cake with dirt, and it's difficult to breathe, this arid cloud of dust is welcome.

THOMAS LEE: This cave is very important because it's a dry cave. Therefore, many different kinds of artifacts that the ancients left here would not be found in other kinds of sites, where the rain and wind and acid soil have destroyed them. Things like textiles, basketry, and wooden artifacts will be preserved.

NARRATOR: Even a carved rind of a pumpkin is found here in immaculate shape. And more astounding yet—a cotton cloth over 900 years old.

THOMAS LEE: It's a very open weave, and the design is worked in while it's on the loom. But it's a cloth made for wearing in hot country. It's very light and delicate.

NARRATOR: Not just the archaeologists are excited by the dig. A hive of bees has been stirred up. And everyone decides to take a break. While the stings require minor treatment, at least no one has been bitten by the deadly snakes that inhabit these caves. From the mouth of this cave, Tullio and a colleague survey the other side of the canyon. Even from this vantage point, it's clear that some of the caves have been touched by human hands—their floors leveled and entries altered. But there are still exceptional finds back in this cave.

THOMAS LEE: These are coprolites—human coprolites—that are very important for this study. And they will make an interesting aspect for chemical analysis and microscopic analysis in the laboratory.

NARRATOR: Under the tent of this makeshift laboratory, paleobotanist Luigi Piacenza looks into Zoque daily life.

LUIGI PIACENZA: We've found coprolites—ancient fecal remains—that give us information about what they ate, like seeds. We've found the remains of tiny seeds.

NARRATOR: Here are not only clues to their diet—squash, chili, avocado, and beans—but also the parasites that may have plagued them. And there is unconsumed food here as well. An abundance of corn cobs have also been found.

LUIGI PIACENZA: These ears of corn provide us with some very interesting information. Their size indicates that they had an advanced agricultural system. They must have been using fertilizers and extensive irrigation.

NARRATOR: Farming could not have taken place in the canyon. The food was brought here, perhaps from a city now lost to the jungle. The team settles down for their own meal. The Italians have brought plenty of pasta, but they also subsist on oatmeal and granola. After working long days in the dust and heat, the cool night air provides a welcome respite. The dig so far has found no signs of long-term habitation. The Zoque traveled here to perform important religious ceremonies. And disturbing clues about those rituals begin to surface.

INTERVIEWER: Are they human bones?

ANDREA DRUSINI: Yes. The bones of a baby, about six months, one year old. Here's the pelvis, long bones, maybe related to the corpse.

INTERVIEWER: He was in a bag?

ANDREA DRUSINI: Maybe. This is a little bag of cotton, I think.

NARRATOR: Giuseppe wonders what this portends, and directs further digging in the area. Under a nearby rocky ledge, the floor was plastered with stucco. When the team looks beneath it, they find another cotton bag. This one holds tiny, fragile bones. And elsewhere, other skeletal remains lay strewn on the cave floor. Giuseppe consults with physical anthropologist Andrea Drusini. More than anyone, Andrea can decipher the jumble of bones that have now come to light, and can estimate the age of individuals with as little evidence as a single tooth. While much remains mysterious, at least one pattern is clear. All of the bones belong to young children. Giuseppe suspects this is more than a simple burial ground.

ANDREA DRUSINI: This is an infant's skull, that of a child who died at the age of two or three. The skull was intentionally deformed, flattened and pushed back at an angle. Deforming the skull was a widespread practice in Mesoamerica. A small board was bound to the forehead and the skull became elongated.

NARRATOR: Head-binding was a matter of fashion and aesthetics. And various Mesoamericans, from the Olmec to the Maya, adopted different styles. It was a deeply embedded cultural practice which may have cut across social lines. It doesn't explain why the children are here.

THOMAS LEE: These child burials, as well as being part of the ceremonial aspect of this cave, may as a matter of fact be offerings in themselves. These may be children that were offered, sacrificed and placed in here as offerings.

NARRATOR: But the team must be careful not to rush to judgment. And not all of them are convinced.

ELISEO LINARES VILLANUEVA: We've found some burial sites in which the skull is separated from the body. The initial reaction might be that we're dealing with the sacrifice of children. But I believe it could have been the work of animals, predators that got into the cave. Since the bodies weren't far below the surface, the animals may have reached them and detached the skull to get to the brain. We need the opinion of the physical anthropologist before drawing any conclusions.

ANDREA DRUSINI: This is one of the number of children found inside the cave, all between one year and five years old. And the importance of this discovery: It's all children. There are no adult bones inside of the cave. After careful examination of the bones, we can see if we find human sacrifice markers, for example, fracture of the base of the skull, or vertebrae, or in other parts of the skull.

THOMAS LEE: Small children wrapped up in cloth bundles and left in the back of the cave or buried just under the surface in the cave is a very old tradition in Mesoamerica, where children were sacrificed—among the Aztecs, to the rain god, Plaula. And other gods required children sacrifices. We don't know of a particular instance of that for the Zoque, but it may very well be the same, since they participated in the same general religious system that was prevailing in Mesoamerica.

NARRATOR: Humans were born from the blood of gods, and had to give blood in return. The Aztecs were said to use obsidian knives to cut open their sacrificial victims, and then to rip out their still beating hearts. Human flesh was offered to the gods on special platforms, and drained in receptacles like this. But even kings and nobles drew their own blood to pacify the heavens and serve their people. To understand what happened here in the canyon, Andrea Drusini must take a closer look at the bones of the children. Now that the various skeletal fragments have been collected, he tries to reconstruct each individual. There seem to be 11 different children here, all between the ages of six months and a year, with the exception of one five-year-old. The teeth of the five-year-old show signs of a nutritional disease. But other aspects of the well preserved skull are even more intriguing.

ANDREA DRUSINI: Probably the skull was the object of a ritual. There is evidence supporting this interpretation: the hole in the front, which might be the result of trauma, and how the opening at the base was widened. This hole was produced in the same manner that was usually used to extract the brain in cannibalistic sacrifices. The opening is symmetrical and was probably created by an expert hand, since the edges are fairly clean-cut and sharp. So, we suspect that the ritual included the extraction of the brain for a ritual meal.

THOMAS LEE: The consumption of the sacrificed body was considered not cannibalistic, but in a sense communion. In which case, they did in Mesoamerica consume the flesh of the sacrificial victim who took the place of the god, so that they were really consuming the flesh of the gods.

NARRATOR: The archaeologists prepare to move on, packing their brushes, and items far more precious. A cotton cloth has kept the bones of this child relatively intact. Giuseppe hopes to preserve the fragile bundle for closer study. And to do so requires a gentle touch. As Andrea gathers the last of these anonymous bones, he comes across a final detail that adds to their humanity—a bracelet made of leather, tiny and delicate. While the brief lives of these children remain shrouded by time, the archaeologists strive to find meaning in their deaths.

THOMAS LEE: Child sacrifice in Mesoamerica generally is a sacrifice directed to the rain god. The priests would go into the streets and would buy a child from the mothers, and carry them off to be sacrificed on pyramids. And they took others into the caves to sacrifice them. It's hard to believe this, but the priests were very joyful when the children cried on these trips to be sacrificed, because it was prognosticating a good rainy season the next year. So, the tears were obviously symbolizing the rainfall that would come in the next year.

NARRATOR: Encountering child sacrifice is an emotional experience. But like all practices of the past, it must be seen through the prism of history.

THOMAS LEE: As a humanist, I think about the suffering. I think about the human aspect. That's the first reaction. You can't see the body of a small child without having that as your first reaction. But as a historian interested in trying to understand the past, and trying to interpret that, we have to put that to one side and look at the facts and try to understand how they felt about it, and what it meant to them. Because what we feel about doesn't have much to do—or anything to do—with the interpretation of the history, with the history we're trying to write.

NARRATOR: But there are people in Chiapas whose beliefs do bear on the history of the ancient Zoque. There are thousands of modern Zoque Indians, some still living in villages near the Rio La Venta Canyon And they keep both the language and the traditions of ancient Mesoamerica alive. Many of their celebrations today, like this Mardi Gras festival, give Christianity a Mesoamerican twist. In carnivals, the Zoque still pay tribute to jaguar deities. Despite centuries of European domination, these modern people are still linked to their ancient culture, making them invaluable to archaeologists. Cave expert Tullio Bernebei has come here to pursue an intriguing rumor. The villagers speak of a sacred place buried deep in the jungle. Some of the reported ruins are just a day's journey away. But it's a long, hard day. Trucks aren't much use on the mountain road. And soon, the road disappears altogether. They head into the sweltering heat of the rain forest, not knowing exactly where the path will lead. What at first appears to be a rocky obstacle turns out to be far more interesting. With considerable machete work, a mass of green vines becomes a wall of stone. Was it used for shelter, or fortification? They look for clues in the architectural detail. The encroaching jungle has strangled and displaced many of the stones. Roots have embraced the ruins, reclaiming them for nature. But the distinguishing marks of an ancient people are still apparent. Thomas and Giuseppe struggle to decipher which elements are structural, and which are purely decorative. The stones were laid with great precision, with some left jutting out to form distinctive patterns. And throughout the structure lie enigmatic, and enticing, niches. As they explore both its place in the landscape and its interior spaces, they come to see the ruins as a ceremonial center.

THOMAS LEE: What they were doing in that pre-Columbia era was replicating mountains, because the mountain tops—like that big mountain out there in front—Those were the accesses to the gods. And so, the ceremonial centers are creating artificial mountains on which the priests were in the temples, out of sight of the general community. They would dress in their representations of the gods and then come out and display themselves at a different elevation in front of all the population which was gathered at the base of the pyramid. This would have had the stairway up the front of it, which would have given access for the priest to temple, which would have been up here on top, but has now fallen into ruins.

NARRATOR: The team is more convinced than ever that a large Zoque population once lived within these mountains. Somewhere in the jungle might lie a grand city. And aerial photos hint at broad geometric shapes beneath the canopy of the El Ocoté forest, a vast, unexplored territory on the other side of the river. But before they head to the other side, they are lured by one final challenge in the canyon itself. This cave is in a particularly auspicious location. But it's so difficult to reach that the team has dubbed it "Camino Infinito"—"the Infinite Path." Even the professional climbers take extra precautions, installing a rope pulley system usually reserved for dire mountain rescues. If the flies aren't bad enough, the descent looks worse than expected. It appears, at a minimum, 450 feet down to the cave. And not just the archaeologists, but all their heavy gear must be lowered the whole way. As he prepares himself to make this considerably risky descent, Thomas Lee reflects on the value of life, today and in the past.

THOMAS LEE: When two families would have land problems, for instance, they would line up their people in two lines facing each other, and the first leader, who had a grievance against the other leader, would kill one of his own people. And the other leader would have to respond in kind by killing one of his people. And one by one, they would kill their own people until finally one had decided that he had killed enough of his own people and he lost. So, it's certainly a different way of looking at life and death.

INTERVIEWER: And now, as you are going in the cave, what do you feel?

THOMAS LEE: I'm thinking about death. (Laughs.) No, that's not true! I know we're secure on these ropes. I'm ready. OK. Ready or not, here we go.

NARRATOR: If the ropes rub against the cliff's sharp rocks, they could easily fray.

THOMAS LEE: It's a ride! Just like an elevator! There's no floor, but...

NARRATOR: Slowly shuttling the whole team down on this perilous ride will take several hours. In the distance, there are waterfalls, worshipped by the Zoque. The cave is enormous, and rich with artifacts. Stones, made smooth by running water, were brought here from the river. The team sets to work. Amidst a pile of shattered pottery, they find incense burners still intact, and carved with animal deities. These burners were often used at the end of bloodletting rituals. Blood-stained bark was placed in the bowls and transformed into smoke for the gods. And there is another sign of blood offering—a child's skull on a bed of ash. They remove it with care, and move on.

GIUSEPPE OREFICI: It's an architectural piece, a piece of sculpture that is designed to fit into a building. It was to be inserted into a wall like this, and represents a jaguar.

NARRATOR: While worn by time, this jaguar carries a vivid message: There may be a city nearby. The day wanes, and only the fearless dare to make the ascent. The cavers climb up in the dark. The archaeologists prefer to wait until dawn. The greatest challenge here is finding a spot to sleep, clear of rocks. The team must now face the most grueling terrain that the jungle has to offer. Crossing less than 25 miles will take four full days. Stifling heat and muddy trails work to drag them down. They head toward the vague targets they have seen in the aerial photos. But under the dense canopy of the tropical rain forest, no path is direct. It takes the dream of finding a legendary lost city to keep the exhausted archaeologists going. Finally, their eyes behold a sight that almost defies belief.

THOMAS LEE: It looks like it's built on some natural rock outcrops, but it's huge, building stones that have been practically left in their natural form, but stacked up very regularly, in this huge wall.

NARRATOR: The difficult trek now has its rewards. For the very first time, these archaeologists will walk the steps of an ancient Zoque city. While obscured by the encroaching jungle, it's clear this site is enormous. It will take days just to get the scope of its size, and years to retrieve all its secrets.

THOMAS LEE: This is best Zoque architecture we know of. It doesn't get any better than this. It's really beautifully preserved. And the original inhabitants put a lot of work into this. A lot of sweat and blood and tears went into building this.

NARRATOR: The Zoque had neither metal tools nor the wheel to aid them. In this rugged terrain, the countless stones were brought by hand. As trees cut through walls, and vines displaced stones, the ruins were riddled with distortions. It takes an expert eye to distinguish many details.

THOMAS LEE: This is the doorway. Yeah, this is the entrance. Here is one of the doorways, in any case.

GIUSEPPE OREFICI: Here, we find ourselves in front of a large structure that connects with the other side to form a central piazza. It's another huge stone structure that accompanies the walls that we saw earlier.

INTERVIEWER: It's impossible to see.

GIUSEPPE OREFICI: Yeah, look. The platform is here surrounded by this construction which goes around the other side of this platform which abuts that other building over there.

NARRATOR: But the only way to get a clear picture of the site is through careful survey. And by continuing the hard work of clearing out centuries of growth. After several days, the team is ready to put their findings down on paper. Plotting the buildings in this way helps the archaeologists see their function, and plan their digs for the future. But it's also a springboard for the imagination. Here is what the complex may have looked like nearly 1,000 years ago. These steps lead to the first grant platform, overlooking a court for ceremonial games. Others continue to what Giuseppe saw in the jungle as a towering central piazza. It is surrounded by five separate temples, some containing tombs. The entire complex is covered in stucco, making it glisten in the tropical sun. A grand residence for Zoque leaders, and also a place of pageantry.

GIUSEPPE OREFICI: I didn't think it was possible to still find sites like this, where we've been working the past few days. It's like being transported to a world that I thought was gone forever—the world of the explorers and artists of over a century ago who first described the Maya and other Mesoamerican civilizations. To find buildings this way, in the middle of the jungle, immersed in this vegetation, almost completely engulfed, swallowed, it's a unique sensation, like going back in time.

NARRATOR: This year's expedition to the Rio La Venta Canyon has made many precious finds. But they are only starting points on a longer search for an ever elusive past.

THOMAS LEE: The Zoques have a term for archaeologists. It's the individual who makes the stones speak. Our problem and deep worry is that we make them speak correctly, because what we want is the truth in history.

ANNOUNCER: These Mayan temples and places were once consumed by jungles, until explorers revealed their secrets. See the ruins emerge at

To order this show for $19.95 plus shipping and handling, call 1(800) 949-8670. And to learn more about how science can solve the mysteries of our world, ask about our many other NOVA videos.

NOVA is a production of WGBH Boston.

Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation. Dedicated to education and quality television.

This program is funded in part by Northwestern Mutual Life, which has been protecting families and businesses for generations. Have you heard from the Quiet Company? Northwestern Mutual Life.

And by iomega, makers of the zip drive and 100-megabyte zip disks. Your universe is expanding, but you can save it in your own personal space. iomega. Because it's your stuff.

And by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. And viewers like you.

This is PBS.

ANNOUNCER: Next time on NOVA, The Gulf War. From precision strikes of smart bombs to the stealthy terror of the scuds. What worked? What didn't? And what do the lessons mean for the soldiers and machines of future wars? An inside look at the war machines of tomorrow. That's next time on NOVA.


Search for the
Lost Cave People

Directed by
Antoine de Maximy

Writer /Producer
Catherine Rubin

Stacy Keach

Produced by
Marina Cappabianca
Christian Cascio

Senior Producer for NOVA
Susan K. Lewis

Executive Producer for Gedeon
Stéphan Milli´ere

Executive Producer for Paneikon S.r.l.
Marco Visalberghi

Mike Magidson

Concept /Associate Producer
Tullio Bernabei

Stefano Pancaldi
Pascal Sutra Fourcade
Antoine de Maximy

Jean Baptiste Benoit
Salvatore Bacciu

Expedition Special Assistants
Antonio De Vivo
Giuseppe Casagrande
Corrado Conca
Pasquale Suriano
Marco Topani


Original Music by
Philippe Reverdy
Ray Loring

Sound Editing
Annie Coppens

Additional Editing
Stephanie Munroe

Sound Mix
Thierry Moizant
Richard Bock

Online Editing
Bluedit - Roma
Mark Steele
Jim Deering

Expedition Organized by
La Venta Geographic Association

Scientific Consultants
Giuseppe Orefici
Thomas A. Lee
Davide Domenici
Eliseo Linares Villanueva

Reproductions Authorized by
National Institute for
Anthroplogy and History

Special Thanks
Guy Maxence
Pascal Iris
Jean Serris
Terence Kaufman

John Justeson

NOVA Series Graphics
National Ministry of Design

NOVA Theme
Mason Daring
Martin Brody

Closed Captioning
The Caption Center

Production Secretaries
Queene Coyne
Linda Callahan

Paul Marotta

Production Assistant
Andrea Cross

Unit Managers
Laurie Cahalane
Amy Trahant

Nancy Marshall

Business Manager
Janel Ranney

Post Production Assistant
Pamela B. Jacobson

Associate Producer
Post Production
Kimberly Schaffer

Post Production Editor
Rebecca Nieto

Post Production Supervisor
Mark Geffen

Senior Producer
Coproductions and Acquisitions
Melanie Wallace

Series Producer
Beth Hoppe

Managing Director
Alan Ritsko

Executive Producer, NOVA
Paula S. Apsell

A NOVA production for WGBH/Boston in association with Paneikon S.r.l. and Gedeon Programmes
© 1998 WGBH Educational Foundation
All rights reserved


About NOVA | NOVA Homepage | Support NOVA

© | Created September 2006

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site