Lost Maya City

Descriptive Transcript


 The video opens up with Dr. Charles Golden, a Professor and Archaeologist at Brandeis university saying,"
Since the mid 1990s, we've been able to read a lot of the inscriptions on the monuments from the classic period.
You can actually translate them and get down to understanding the names of historical figures and places
that are in the Maya world."
as Dr. Golden is saying this you can see pictures of Mayan inscriptions flashing forward and
pictures of the Sak Tz'i' excavation site. Within the pictures are a couple of people excavating within a long hole
surrounded by trees and jungle brush.
Dr. Golden continues,"One of these places is called Sak Tz’i’ or White Dog. It's a relatively small kingdom,
and it's smaller than the neighbors around it that were talking about it in all these inscriptions.
So why was this small place so important to them?"
You see old Maya art depicting a ruler being spoken to by several women while they stand on working class
people. He continues,"Some other kingdoms talked about it in terms of captives they had taken.
But just where was this place?"
Cut to a title screen, you see the title,"Sak Tz'i' The Lost Maya City" with a starry background behind the text.
A young Brandeis student starts speaking,"My name is Alexandra Bazarsky, I'm a fourth year undergraduate here
in my freshman year. That's when I started to talk to Charles and to get a sense of what his research was.
And that's when he invited me to go to the field." As she is speaking a picture appears showing Alex on her first day
in Mexico, in the middle of the jungle, smiling at the camera.
Dr. Golden starts speaking,"In 2014. One of the grad students who was working with our project
was approached by somebody who had a picture of an inscribed monument, and he showed this to the graduate student.
And immediately upon seeing it, he knew that this monument came from the capital of this place. Sak Tz’i’,
this white dog kingdom." You see a timelapse of an old Maya pyramid called "Calakmul" in Campeche.
Alex says,"The Sak Tz’i’ kingdom is one of the smaller kingdoms in this region that we look at. from
how many times it's mentioned it was a pretty important place. But to the extent we don't know yet,
it was either a really big power people were afraid of, or it was one that was trying to make its own path,
was trying to become a larger kingdom." Varying pictures appear. One of Alex writing on a notepad in an excavation site and
one of an open field with Jungle like trees and tall grass.
Dr. Golden begins speaking,"What's really of interest to us as well is that it's a small kingdom, but it was able to withstand
all these assaults from these much bigger neighbors. How did it do that? How did it go on for hundreds of years
in the face of these conflicts and these challenges?" Artistic depictions of destroyed Maya pyrmaids and Maya warrios
pop in.
Alex says,"I would say it was definitely a transition period for the first week and a half, two weeks
of really getting into speaking Spanish every day and remembering how to conjugate things, but also getting
used to the environment. I've never been in an environment that hot before." Pictures fade in of Alex in the Mexican
You hear and see rain drops falling onto puddles on the ground. Dr. Charles Golden says,"Sometimes the rain is a bit much to
take. And we were in the field for 28 days. For 27 of those 28 days. It rained every day, all day. And so really
what we were dealing with was slogging through the mud to get back to our wet tents and a struggle to keep
anything dry. Our passports got moldy, our clothes got moldy, and even our food began to get moldy."
Several pictures of the Mexican environment appear, a row of people walk alongside a small and beautiful waterfall, in
a different picture, a row of people walk in an open field, with tall grass, towards hills in the distance.
Dr. Golden continues,"When you begin to work with students of your own, when you are the professor taking undergraduates
or graduate students to the field and you see the excitement and you see the the newness of it all through their eyes
That's, that's really exciting."
Pictures of a Sak Tz'i' excavation site appear while Dr. Golden says,"So the discovery of the Sak Tz’i’
kingdom doesn't revolutionize the discipline in any real way. What it does is clarify a lot of questions that we have,
and it makes clear the political map of this ancient world in a way that we didn't really have before.
There's an importance to conducting archaeological research just because it is important to people to really feel
that connectivity to a human past, the experience of understanding that we're part of this longer human trajectory,
I think is fundamentally important."
the video fades to white and says "Brandeis University"
then to a starry background with credits,"All research is carried out under the permission of the Instituto Nacional
de Antropologia e Historia (INAH)"
"All images are property of the Proyeto Arqueologico Busilja-Chocolja
Co-directed by Dr. Charles Golden (Brandeis University) and Dr. Answer Scherer (Brown University)"
"This research was carried out with funding from the Alphawood Foundation of Chicago,
The National Science Foundation (BCS-1917671), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
(Shanti Morell-Hart, PI; 435-2019-0837), Brandeis University (Provost's Research Fund, the Theodore and
Jane Norman Fund, the Jane's Fund from the Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Program), Brown University
(Salomon Fund), and McMaster University (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)."
"Special Thanks to Dr. Charles Golden
Alex Bazarsky"
Matheus De Araujo Fortunato
Jonathan Duran
Matheus De Araujo Fortunato
Executive Producers
Dan Kim
Julie Jette"