"Lost Cities Revealed" Host Albert Lin on How New Technology has Changed Exploring

By Multicultural InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: "Lost Cities Revealed" Host Albert Lin on How New Technology has Changed Exploring

The latest installment in National Geographic's Lost Cities series, Lost Cities Revealed, is now streaming on Disney+. The series delves into both explored and unexplored territories that still hold plenty of new discoveries, guided by award-winning scientist, explorer, and series host Albert Lin. The six-episode series features exhibitions in the farthest corners of the Earth, from the mountains of Peru and deserts of Sudan to the jungles of Mexico and seaside cliffs in Scotland.

In an interview with MediaVillage, Lin explained that recent technological developments, including LiDAR (Laser Imaging, Detection, and Ranging), have revolutionized exploration. "When we look back years from now, we'll think of this moment as a watershed for exploration and discovery," he shared. LiDAR, a tool attached to drones, allows explorers to reveal entire worlds beneath the underbrush of a jungle. Lin emphasized the transformative capability of LiDAR, recounting instances where explorers could be just ten feet away from a pyramid in the thickness of a jungle without even knowing it.

Lin also recalled the challenges he faced when he started exploring, noting that technology like LiDAR was initially difficult to access and prohibitively expensive. However, archaeological teams eventually collaborated, using large planes to fly LiDAR over the jungle. Lin spent the next few years flying in helicopters, dropping into parts of the jungle where numerous discoveries, including around 60,000 new ancient Mayan structures, were made.

A significant highlight of the series is its reliance on local guides and experts for each region, in contrast to other projects that depend solely on outsiders. Lin emphasized the importance of indigenous knowledge, citing his time spent with the living Maya (people of Mayan descent) in Chiapas, Mexico. Their profound perspective views everything around them, from trees and rocks to tools, as having a soul. Lin noted how this perspective shifts one's understanding, as opposed to the conventional view of what makes humans unique from the animal kingdom or nature.

The impact of climate change on historically rich areas, from rising sea levels to abnormally high temperatures, is evident. Lin reflected on ancient cycles, such as the 4.2-kilo-year event, which is believed to have marked the end of old kingdoms. Despite challenges, Lin discovered a city without a chiefdom or royal center, but with numerous ports where people from different civilizations gathered. The discovery of around 300 vats of wine led to a lighthearted interpretation—perhaps the inhabitants partied through the end of the world, emphasizing their ability to thrive together.

Reflecting on his love for paleontology in grade school and his continued interest as a history buff, Lin concluded, "These worlds are rising and falling, whether from conflict, drought, or climate change. These experiments in our human journey hold little secret nuggets of wisdom. These expeditions are more than a TV show; they're quests and journeys into our shared internal knowledge."

Lost Cities Revealed with Albert Lin is now streaming on Disney+.

Click the social buttons to share this story with colleagues and friends.
The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.org/MyersBizNet.

Copyright ©2024 MediaVillage, Inc. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.