Wednesday, September 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Throughout recent times, historians have believed that when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Aztec territory in the 15th century, they were welcomed as returning light-skinned gods by the Aztecs, who put up little resistance to their conquest. But now, a new find outside of Mexico City is turning history on its head. The discovery: more than 400 bodies, many of which show signs of having been mutilated and even eaten. More important, more than 40 of the bodies appear to be European, indicating that the Aztecs not only resisted the invaders, they sacrificed them to their gods. Exploring the archeology of the site, this program paints a new picture of the violent relations between the Aztecs and the conquistadors and rewrites much of what we thought we knew about the Aztec civilization.
Wednesday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m.
It has been called the most outrageous escape story in the history of the high seas. In 1876, after eight years of incarceration at Fremantle Prison in Western Australia, six Irish political prisoners escaped to America on board the American whaler Catalpa . Under the pretext of a whaling voyage, the Catalpa and its unassuming captain, George Smith Anthony, had sailed from New Bedford to liberate the prisoners. SECRETS OF THE DEAD tracks down descendents of Anthony and the prisoners and explores the swashbuckling details of the dramatic rescue through re-enactments of key events, including a fierce confrontation between the Catalpa and the HMS Georgette, the British steamer that pursued the whaler once the escapees were on board.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/secrets.