Episode Information

NOVA: The Great Inca Rebellion
Aired:
05/20/2008
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In this episode:

Discover the truth behind an ancient civilization

 


Classic Inca burial in crouched sitting position. Classic Inca burial in crouched sitting position.

NOVA

The Great Inca Rebellion

Aired Tuesday, May 20, at 8:00 p.m. on CPTV

The first NOVA/National Geographic Television special goes to an impoverished suburb of Lima, Peru, where an ancient cemetery crammed with mummies is excavated by Peruvian archaeologist Guillermo Cock. In a truly startling find, he discovers corpses that differ from all the rest. They have been hastily buried and disfigured by multiple, appalling wounds and fractures. Forensic experts help to determine that these remains are victims of a battle that pitted club-wielding Inca warriors against Spanish cavalry. The forensic evidence may be a decisive clue that helps explain a long-standing mystery about the Spanish conquest of Peru. How, in 1532, did a tiny band of Spanish soldiers crush the mighty Inca Empire, then the most powerful civilization in the Americas? Were the conquistadors' obvious advantages - steel arms, gunpowder and horses - the key to their success, as is generally supposed? Or were disease and civil war more significant factors that were downplayed by the invaders? By uncovering new evidence from the Lima cemetery, NOVA and National Geographic reveal the untold final chapter of the conquest: not the Spanish walkover familiar from well-known accounts, but rather a protracted and complex war of astonishing brutality that almost led to the Spanish losing their precarious foothold in the Andes. visit the website...


 
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