Nature “Christmas at Yellowstone” at 7 pm
As snow falls and Christmas lights glow in Jackson Hole, a holiday season of a different sort settles in just beyond the town, in the great winter world of Yellowstone. Breathtaking landscapes frame intimate scenes of wolves and coyotes, elk and bison, bears and otters as they make their way through their most challenging season of the year. NATURE journeys in the footsteps of the men who first explored the park, and travels with their modern-day counterpart on his own journey of discovery. From the unique crystals of individual snowflakes to the grand sweep of Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley, this is a Christmas like no other.
NOVA “Riddles of the Sphinx” at 8 pm
The Great Sphinx is disappearing. It would not be the first time in its nearly 5,000-year history that the sands of Egypt have buried this wonder of the ancient world. But today the Sphinx confronts a threat far worse than being blanketed by dunes. The face of the mysterious Pharaoh is being sandblasted to oblivion, its features eroded beyond recognition by whipping winds while its limestone lion’s body is dissolved by rising saltwater and sewage and shaken by planes, cars and construction. Now, an international team of archeologists, architects and engineers, led by Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner, is racing against time to save the Sphinx. With the aid of the most advanced digital 3D model ever constructed, they hope to save the Sphinx before it is too late. Along the way, they’ll also solve the riddles that have eluded the rescue missions of Pharaohs, Caesars and Emperors for more than 3,000 years. Who is the Sphinx and what did it symbolize? How was it built, when and by whom? NOVA follows the team to find out if they can reverse the destructive forces of man and nature to save this wonder of the ancient world.
NOVA “Building Pharaoh’s Ship” at 9 pm
A magnificent trading vessel embarks on a royal expedition to a mysterious, treasure-laden land called Punt. Is this journey, intricately depicted on the wall of one of Egypt’s most impressive temples, mere myth — or was it a reality? NOVA travels to the legendary temple, built some 3,500 years ago for the celebrated female pharaoh Hatshepsut, in search of answers to this tantalizing archeological mystery. Did Punt exist and, if so, where was it? Did the ancient Egyptians, who built elaborate barges to sail down the Nile, also have the expertise to embark on a long sea voyage? NOVA follows a team of archeologists and boat builders as they reconstruct the mighty vessel shown on the mysterious carving, and then finally launch it in to the Red Sea on a unique voyage of discovery.