Feb 5, 2007 3:00 AM EST
Tonight, fearless Josh Bernstein goes Digging for the Truth (9 pm/ET, History Channel) behind the unsolved death of Egypt's youthful King Tutankhamun.… Read more
Archaeological mysteries are explored.
Premiered: January 24, 2005
The Aztecs were the largest civilization to ever rule Mesoamerica, and they were also the bloodiest. In recent years, archeology and modern science are shedding new light on their prolific practice of human sacrifice. Could the gruesome tales of sacrifice and dismemberment, as told in the Spanish chronicles of the 16th century possibly be true? Could 80,400 people have been sacrificed in just 4 days in 1487? Josh travels to Mexico City to investigate and use forensic science to examine the bones of sacrificial rituals. He'll try his hand at the weapons of the Aztecs, sample the potions of the priests and even cut through flesh using the technology of the ancients.
Decades ago, archaeologists found rolls of dusty manuscripts dating to the 1st century AD hidden in caves in Israel. But one of these manuscripts wasn't written on leather or papyrus -- it was inscribed on a copper scroll! Scholars believe the copper scroll is an inventory list of treasures from Jerusalem's Second Temple, and holds clues to their whereabouts. But where is the treasure today? In his search, Josh rappels into caves outside Qumran, creates his own copper scroll, and uses ground-penetrating radar inside a newly excavated tunnel hundreds of yards underground in search of the lost treasures of the Copper Scroll.
In the Old Testament, King David is the shepherd poet who, after slaying the giant Goliath, goes on to become the first king of a united Israel. But was he a real historical figure, or a mythological King? According to some scientists the archaeological evidence appears to call the story into question; others claim they have already found the evidence to prove it's true. To find out, Josh examines an ancient basalt slab inscribed with David's name, recreates his famous fight with Goliath, and descends through a 'secret' waterway into the heart of Jerusalem.
In the Bolivian Andes, a sprawling ancient city rests 13,000 feet above sea level -- Tiwanaku. With its giant, freestanding monoliths and grand design, Tiwanaku has long been compared to Stonehenge in England. The two sites were built on opposite sides of the globe, but they both share a design that pays tribute to the sun. What's the 'real' connection between Stonehenge and the "Stonehenge of the Americas"? Flying out from La Paz, Josh tours Tiwanaku from both the air and on the ground. He harvests and transports the very stone used to build Tiwanaku. And, he dives Lake Titicaca to explore evidence of a lost civilization.