Science Night: Conquest 7/20

Wednesday Science Night investigates the early conquests into territories all over the world from the Amazon to Peru, and uncovers all new facts that could change the records of history. 

Secrets of the Dead Lost in the Amazon 7 pm
This program is a modern day quest to find the truth behind one of exploration’s greatest mysteries: what happened to famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett, who went looking for a city of gold — the Lost City of “Z” — in the Amazon in 1925 and disappeared in the jungles of Brazil forever. The program unravels the truth of what really happened to Fawcett and shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited Amazon rainforest. Trekking along the paths that Fawcett followed, the search for clues ends at a Xinguano-Kuikuro village in the heart of the Mato Grosso: where a new archaeological discovery may reveal the true location of the Lost City of Z.

NOVA The Great Inca Rebellion 8 pm
In an impoverished suburb of Lima, in an ancient cemetery crammed with more than 1,000 pre-Columbian mummies, Peruvian archaeologist Guillermo Cock makes a startling find. He discovers dozens of corpses that differ from all the rest: they were hastily buried and disfigured by appalling wounds and fractures inflicted by steel blades and crude bullets. The battle turns out to be a decisive turning point that helps explain a long-standing mystery about the Spanish conquest of Peru. With the help of this new evidence from the Lima cemetery, NOVA reveals the untold final chapter of the conquest: not the Spanish walkover familiar from popular accounts, but rather a protracted and complex war of astonishing brutality that almost led to the Spanish losing their precarious foothold in the Andes.

Secrets of the Dead Aztec Massacre at 9 pm
Throughout recent times, historians have believed that when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Aztec territory in the 15th century, they were welcomed as returning light-skinned gods by the Aztecs, who put up little resistance to their conquest. But now, a new find outside of Mexico City is turning history on its head. The discovery: more than 400 bodies, many of which show signs of having been mutilated and even eaten. More important, more than 40 of the bodies appear to be European, indicating that the Aztecs not only resisted the invaders, they sacrificed them to their gods, pulling their still-beating hearts from chests and stringing their heads (along with the heads of their horses) on wooden skull racks for public display. This program paints a new picture of the violent relations between the Aztecs and the Conquistadors and rewrites much of what we thought we knew about the Aztec civilization.