Nat Geo Board History Doc featuring the largest Mayan ruins ever discovered

Exclusive: National Geographic has been the board of French history docs The Rise and Fall of the Mayas.

Disney-owned Factual Network is among three new pre-buyers attached to the series, which was originally ordered by France’s RMC Decovert and pre-purchased in the country by Histoire TV.

Nat Geo Parnell Media takes US rights to the four-parter, ZDFinfo takes German-speaking Europe and TV5 Quebec takes French-speaking Canada. In France, Histoire launched on free TV on RMC Decouverte before getting a second window for pay-TV.

ZDF Studios has distribution rights in German-speaking Europe, and Parnell sells it elsewhere.

The Rise and Fall of the Mayas (Les Mayas, Des Origines à la Chute) tells the full story of the great Mayan civilization, which inhabited what is now Central America.

Notably, dock access to a groundbreaking expedition to Aguada Fenix, the oldest and largest Mayan site ever found. Archaeologists discovered the ruins near the Mexico-Guatemala border in 2020 using LIDAR technology. It is believed to be about 1,500 years older than other famous sites such as Tikal and Chichen Itza, and suggests that the first Mayan people could have lived 3,000 years earlier. The civilization collapsed around 1500AD although about 8 million people of Mayan descent lived in Central America.

The doc series is executive produced by Parnell’s Celine Payot Lehmann and Samuel Kisses.

“Telling the story of a great civilization from beginning to end is a rare privilege that we’ve managed by securing exclusives on ground-breaking archaeological finds. That’s what convinced our partners to come on board,” said Peyote Lehmann.

On Friday, Art France commissioned Parnell to look at Jewish ghettos in World War II

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