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National Geographic Explorer Mystery of the Inca Mummy

Dr. Johan Reinhard leads the treacherous trek up Mount Ampato in the Andes, explaining that the Incas worshipped the mountains as gods, and, as gods, they were demanding of sacrifice. Reinhard and his team, 20,000 feet above sea level, discovered an ancient ceremonial site that had been used for human sacrifices, and the National Geographic cameras capture the unearthing of the priceless artifacts found there, including the frozen sacrificial bodies.

With:
Narrator: Halo Wines. Utilizing excellent photography and sound scholarship -- at least when it lets the scientists speak -- this "National Geographic Explorer" episode examines the startlingly well-preserved "Ampato maiden," a 500 -year-old perfectly preserved Inca pre-adolescent, and how the body came to be excavated high in the Andes. It's fascinating stuff, but the purple prose narration detracts from the genuinely passionate voices -- those of the archaeologists on the expedition.

Dr. Johan Reinhard leads the treacherous trek up Mount Ampato in the Andes, explaining that the Incas worshipped the mountains as gods, and, as gods, they were demanding of sacrifice. Reinhard and his team, 20,000 feet above sea level, discovered an ancient ceremonial site that had been used for human sacrifices, and the National Geographic cameras capture the unearthing of the priceless artifacts found there, including the frozen sacrificial bodies.

TX: TX:Filmed in Peru and Salt Lake City by TBS. In Peru: Producer, Amy Wray; writers, Rob Goldberg, Jack McDonald; Unfortunately, re-enactments of the sacrificial trek and ceremonies fail to give 20th-century auds insights into the religion and psyches of the lost Inca civilization.

The second segment of the show focuses on a Salt Lake City man who mummifies pets for a living — his operation is housed in a pyramid, no less.

Seg limns the mummification process of the animals and the kooky pet lovers who pay at least $ 25,000 for it.

More horrifying than the sight of the ancient Inca bodies is the sight of a dead poodle being lifted from a vat of preserving fluid — in which it’s been immersed for seven months — and the poodle’s owner crying with pain and joy: “It’s just like he was alive!”

No, it’s not. It’s weird.

Tech credits are superb.

National Geographic Explorer Mystery of the Inca Mummy

Production: National Geographic Explorer MYSTERY OF THE INCA MUMMY (Sun. (23), 9-10 p.m., TBS)

Crew: Camera/field producer, David Breashears; sound, James Brundige; costumes, Carlos Cardenas, Ana Maria Pomareda. In the U.S.: camera, Dominic Desantis, Jeff Streich; sound, Jim Gailchrist.

With: Narrator: Halo Wines. Utilizing excellent photography and sound scholarship -- at least when it lets the scientists speak -- this "National Geographic Explorer" episode examines the startlingly well-preserved "Ampato maiden," a 500 -year-old perfectly preserved Inca pre-adolescent, and how the body came to be excavated high in the Andes. It's fascinating stuff, but the purple prose narration detracts from the genuinely passionate voices -- those of the archaeologists on the expedition.

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