|For immediate release
January 24, 2002
Natl. Geographic Channel:
Russell A. Howard
NPR: Laura Gross
The Fratelli Group:
Nord R. Wennerstrom
National Geographic Channel and NPRŽ News Witness Finding of 2,000-year-old Site in Peru
Washington, DC-In a first-time collaboration, The National Geographic Channel (NGC) and NPR News have produced television and radio features about a newly discovered pre-Inca Pucara temple in a remote section of Peru. NPR correspondent Alex Chadwick followed UCLA Professor Charles Stanish to report about this venture, and his reporting is included in four television segments entitled "Lost Temples," which will air on National Geographic Today, NGC's live daily newsmagazine, February 4-7, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. In addition, two reports will be presented to public radio listeners on NPR's morning newsmagazine Morning EditionŽ with Bob Edwards on February 4 and 5.
With a research base in Peru's high-altitude Lake Titicaca Basin, Dr. Stanish has spent 15 years exploring and interpreting Inca and pre-Inca sites. These most recent discoveries came as Stanish scouted a remote valley off the basin looking for new places to continue work on what he calls the "Holy Grail of archaeology, the question of how civilizations develop." Along with other archaeologists, Stanish believes that trade is a key factor in this development. He theorizes that the valley he was following was a trade route to the Amazon lowlands for an early Andean people called the Pucara who controlled the region more than 2,000 years ago. Stanish calls the discovery of this Pucara temple on a hill overlooking the route, "a piece of the puzzle" that fits with years of earlier work carried out by him and his colleagues.
The journey to this site took Chadwick and Stanish on an approximately 150-mile, two-day trek - mostly driving, then hiking. The region is little explored because it is high and remote - and sometimes dangerous. Until recently, the terrorist revolutionary group known as Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, posted a deadly threat to anyone traveling in the region, and for many living in it. Stanish and Chadwick overcame many obstacles along the way - physical ailments, difficult roads, and high altitudes - as they explored Peruvian hills and archaeological sites around Lake Titicaca.
"National Geographic and NPR are renowned for their extraordinary storytelling and vivid imagery, which makes this venture a natural for the Channel," said Mark Nelson, vice president, executive producer, National Geographic Channel. "This is an example of the distinctive programming the new National Geographic Channel will bring to viewers."
The radio segments are part of "Radio Expeditions," a partnership between NPR and the National Geographic Society, heard regularly on Morning Edition. Through digital stereo sound and narrative, listeners join adventures and explorations of diverse cultures and threatened environments that illuminate, inform, sometimes dazzle and always tell stories that better explain our world. "Radio Expeditions" is made possible through the generous support of the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation. For a list of public radio stations that broadcast Morning Edition, please visit www.npr.org/members. Additional information and the entire segments will also be available online at www.npr.org.
National Geographic Today airs daily on the new National Geographic Channel from the Channel's base-camp studio in Washington, DC. The news magazine provides unique access and in-depth reporting by drawing upon exclusive resources and commentary from scientists, explorers, researchers and historians at the National Geographic Society and worldwide. "Lost Temples" producer/photographer is Ned Judge, Alex Chadwick is writer/reporter.
Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, DC, the National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television and Fox Cable Networks Group. National Geographic Channel debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and is one of only four new networks to surpass 20 million households within its first year. The Channel already enjoys carriage commitments from the nation's five largest cable or satellite operators and seven of the top ten. Together, those commitments will raise National Geographic Channel's availability to approximately 45 million homes - or 56 percent of the current 80 million U.S. homes receiving satellite or cable television. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.
NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of more than 16 million Americans each week via more than 640 public radio stations. NPR Onlinesm at www.npr.org brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.