This film examines one of the greatest tragedies in human history – the destruction of the Native Amerindians by European disease.


Produced & Directed by Philip J Day
Edge West Productions
for National Geographic
Lost Cities Of The Amazon on National Geographic

The Amazon is the largest tropical rain forest on the planet that until the twentieth century seemed untouched by man. But today, science is pealing back the canopy to reveal an untold history, one in which great swathes of the dense jungle were once gardens or farms, successfully managed by a huge and organized civilization. This new evidence suggests that legends of lost cities, like the mythical El Dorado, might be based in truth.

In 1542 conquistador Francesco de Orellana was searching for the mythical City of Gold, El Dorado, but got hopelessly lost. A diary kept of his epic adventure tells of a sophisticated population living in a network of gleaming white cities. But the diary was dismissed as a hoax. This film reconstructs his epic journey to discover the truth.

Today archeologist Eduardo Neves has found more than a hundred ancient sites around in central Amazon. Fertile man-made soil, more than a thousand years old, has been found all across the rainforest. The soil discovered would cover an area the size of France.

With the aid of satellite photographs archeologist Professor Michael Heckenerger has unveiled a huge complex of huge villages connected by 150 feet wide roads, into what he calls a ‘sprawling city like modern Los Angeles’. Today the Kuikuro tribe lives much as they did 500 years ago but their existence is being threatened by deforestation. Heckenberger reveals how these survived and prospered in the jungle and why they need help if they are to survive.