Lost Kingdoms of South America

Series 1 - 2. The Stone at the Centre

Radio Times
Review by:
Gill Crawford

How’s this for a utopian society? No autocratic rulers but a “cult of collectivism” where communities work together and gather for regular religious festivals with industrial quantities of beer. But before you all rush off to sign up, this is the Tiwanaku civilisation of the Bolivian altiplano, which managed to thrive in this inhospitable environment 1,500 years ago. Dr Jago Cooper talks breathlessly (well, he’s at more than 13,000ft most of the time) with local experts; you get the feeling he’d quite fancy being a Tiwanaku himself.

About this programme

2/4. The series revealing the character of the continent's ancient peoples continues, as archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper investigates the origins of Tiwanaku - the 13,000ft-high ruins of a monolithic temple city. His search takes him through the spectacular landscapes of Bolivia, where he discovers evidence of a civilisation with a vast understanding of its environment, a religion based on collective effort, and a ritual of beer drinking.

Cast and crew


Dr Jago Cooper


Craig Collinson
Craig Collinson
Series Producer
Mary Downes