NOVA: The Great Inca Rebellion
The Great Inca Rebellion
Wednesday May 16, 2012 9pm
In an impoverished suburb of Lima, Peru, Peruvian archaeologist Guillermo Cock excavates an ancient cemetery crammed with mummies. 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: a protracted and complex war of astonishing brutality. View preview below.
The dead expectantly face the rising sun; symbol of rebirth. | Image Courtesy of Guillermo Cock