Maya Lords of the Jungle

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Science Documentary hosted by Richard Provost, published by PBS broadcasted as part of PBS Odyssey series in 1981 - English narration

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Image: Maya-Lords-of-the-Jungle-Cover.jpg

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The great Maya civilization of Central America has long intrigued archaeologists, who have investigated its economic, social, and political bases, and its mysterious collapse around 900 A.D. Until recently, archaeologists theorized that the ancient Maya peoples practiced slash-and-burn agriculture that required great tracts of forest land, and that as population grew the dwindling forest resources could no longer support the civilization. It was thought that a small, centralized, priestly elite was supported by an undifferentiated mass of people in the countryside which surrounded temple complexes. This film takes another look at older theories and recent archaeological advances, and suggests an interpretation of Maya society in which a flourishing trade in salt was complemented by a form of intensive agriculture based on artificially raised fields on swampy land. This economic base could have sustained the large population while necessitating the more elaborate social hierarchies and political structures that are suggested by recent excavations. A link between the ecological system and political power is found in stone: the water lily, carved on glyphs that symbolized the powers of the king, apparently also played a significant ecological function in the system of swamp-raised agriculture. About Odyssey series In an attempt to cut the often esoteric ice of anthropology, PBS released in 1980 the first season of ODYSSEY, a newly-created series of anthropological documentaries, with a second season in 1981. The entire series was produced by Public Broadcasting Associates of Boston, with major funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Polaroid. Michael Ambrosino is the Executive Producer of the series.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
  • Video Bitrate: ~2500 Kbps (CRF 19)
  • Video Resolution: 640x472
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Framerate: 23.976 fps
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC (Nero)
  • Audio Quality: 0.48 48KHz (~160 Kbps)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 58mn 50s
  • Number of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 1.11 GiB
  • Container: MKV
  • Released: 1981
  • Source: VHS (Commercial - NTSC)
  • Capper: KarMa

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