Please help me find this documentary
September 23, 2009 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I am going bonkers trying to find a documentary that I saw on PBS or the History Channel. I have googled for hours over the last few months to no avail. It was about the fall of Mayan or Aztecs. I now admit defeat and turn to the hive...

Ok, approximately a year ago I saw a show about the decline of the Mayan civilization. The title (I think) implied a doomsday scenario. It spanned the arrival of the Spanish and then a large portion was dedicated to the possibility of a great plague and then climate change as reasons for the their disappearance. I thought it was one of the History Channels "Decoding the Past" series but I can find no mention of plague or climate in any of the synopses on any of the websites that I have searched: History Channel, PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, Amazon, or the mighty Google. I think the show was 2 hours long. Help?
posted by futz to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It wasn't Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, was it?
posted by crunchtopmuffin at 9:20 AM on September 23, 2009

Is it this?
posted by TheRaven at 9:24 AM on September 23, 2009

Could it have been Decoding the Past: Mayan Doomsday Prophecy? I haven't seen it, but I believe it focuses on the doomsday scenarios folks have come up with surrounding 2012. More info on this episode here.
posted by brina at 9:28 AM on September 23, 2009

Response by poster: It very well may be Decoding the Past: Mayan Doomsday Prophecy. But I see no mention of a plague or climate and that was a HUGE part of the one I saw. They discussed slavery to the Spanish, growing corn, disease, tree rings and and evidence of plague. It was really heavy on science and it may have mentioned 2012 but it wasn't the focus.

It wasn't Guns, Germs and Steel or the one TheRaven linked.

Thanks so far!
posted by futz at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2009

How about this one?

It's the Timelife Series called "Lost Civilizations". This is the Maya episode.
posted by dealing away at 10:26 AM on September 23, 2009

Lost King of the Maya?

It was a Nova documentary that while not about "doomsday" seemed to imply that the demise of Copan was in line with their own views on the cyclical nature of time. I believe it discussed but was not primarily focused on the many possible reasons for the city's decline. If not, it's still worth a viewing.
posted by MasonDixon at 10:38 AM on September 23, 2009

I'm not sure which one it was, but I'm pretty sure I saw it too...

Might it have been on National Geographic: Last Days of the Maya?
posted by leahwrenn at 10:52 AM on September 23, 2009

Response by poster: I don't think it is leahwrenn's suggestion but it did have that high level of production. I now want to see that one too! Some of the others mentioned are too old. I think the one that I am looking for was made within the last 3 years or so. One reason that I found it so interesting was that is was mirroring current events such as the drought cycle in SW America and Mexico and a devastating disease (flu or plague and now H1N1) and how they may be related. Corn seemed to play a part and how they may have abused their land.
posted by futz at 11:36 AM on September 23, 2009

There was a BBC documentary a few years ago called Conquistadors, which focussed on the fall of the Incas, it was released through PBS in the US. Could it have been that?
posted by biffa at 12:36 PM on September 23, 2009

Response by poster: That is not it either, but thank you.

Just to clarify, H1N1 was not mentioned in the program but it had just entered the news at the time.
posted by futz at 12:43 PM on September 23, 2009

Is it Secrets of the Dead: Aztec Massacre?
posted by orrnyereg at 2:26 PM on September 23, 2009

Was it Cities of The Underworld - Maya Underground on the History Channel?
posted by ourroute at 3:58 PM on September 23, 2009

Is it maybe Ancient Apocalypse - The Maya Collapse?
posted by CarolynG at 5:17 PM on September 23, 2009

Who knew there were so many Aztec/Maya documentaries?
posted by orrnyereg at 6:18 PM on September 23, 2009

Response by poster: Alas, none of those either. I am stumped.

Thanks everyone!
posted by futz at 10:02 AM on September 24, 2009

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