Cave People of the Himalaya


Last year I posted two documentaries from National Geographic on an expedition that they covered to Mustang, the first Lost Cave Temples of the Himalayas (2009) showed the team discovering rare paintings and manuscripts in the ancient kingdom of Mustang.

The second Secrets of Shangri-La – Quest for Sacred Caves (2009) followed them as they returned the following year for more research.

I also posted another set of films on the Sky Caves of Nepal from the National Geographic Live! series in which three of the participants discuss their experiences in making the films.

Now I have just discovered another film that was made in 2011 in which the same team are seen investigating the very earliest inhabitants of this remote region, who seem to have migrated there around 1000 BC.

The team uncovers two civilisations having different burial practices, some of which are precursors to modern Tibetan practices like sky-burial, and working with the their finds, they try to piece together more about the history and cultures of the region.

Unlike the earlier programmes which focused on the artefacts that were found in the caves, this film is mainly about the peoples and their bodily remains, and so features a lot of broken skulls and bones of various sorts.

Unfortunately working with broken bones seems to have had a sympathetic effect, and two of the team managed to have critical falls during the filming of the expedition, which put them both in hospital, though one year apart.


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