After a hazardous flight over the Guatemalan jungles, VISNEWS cameraman Sepp Riff arrived at Tikal recently to film the archaeological excavations of the cultural centre of the ancient Mayas, a civilisation that was old when Columbus discovered America.
CU PAN FROM.. "Aeropuerto de Tikal" to G/V Airfield and Indian hut.
SV Indian family
GV Plane arrives at airport
SV Indians, women and children leave plane
SV Ditto, little girl PAN to mother holding baby.
GV Indians with plane in B/G
TRAVEL SHOT.. Through jungle en route to "Place of Voices" (two shots)
GV Mayan temples seen from the top of jungle
TOP V PAN.. From Indian workers excavating to temple
TOP V Excavations
CU PAN.. Indian workers remove earth from stelaes.
CU Stelaes with worker in b/G
CU PAN.. Showing carvings on stelae.
TOP V Two tourists look at large stelae found near temples.
CU PAN Ditto
CU Carvings on stelae.
GV PAN.. Across jungle to temples
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Background: After a hazardous flight over the Guatemalan jungles, VISNEWS cameraman Sepp Riff arrived at Tikal recently to film the archaeological excavations of the cultural centre of the ancient Mayas, a civilisation that was old when Columbus discovered America.
In danger of overturning at every turn of the wheels, the veteran 'Dakota' aircraft taxied to a stop in a jungle clearing known as Tikal Airport. Disembarking along with Indian families, livestock, and merchandise, Riff boarded a jeep for his drive to the overgrown "Place of the Voices", as it is known by the superstitious natives.
Now being restored by the Guatemalan Government and the American University of Pennsylvania, it is estimated that it will take fifteen years and six million dollars to reclaim the city from the creeping jungle, which has hidden it since the early 1700's.
The jungle covers ruins of uncounted cities of the Mayas, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, civilisation on the American continent. They maintained their independence until 1697 when they were brought under the rule of Charles 11 of Spain. Stelae - back to 68 A.D. have been found among the pyramid temples now sprouting with trees and undergrowth.