Lost Kingdoms of South America

Series 1 - 3. Lands of Gold

Radio Times
Review by:
Gill Crawford

Dr Jago Cooper continues his survey of the continent’s ancient past in Colombia. As he says, “South America is the perfect place for keeping secrets,” and Colombia’s mountains have hidden much of the evidence for the activities of the ancient Muisca and Tairona peoples, both skilled agriculturalists and gold-workers. The lack of major archaeological sites makes it hard to get a coherent grip on their story, though the gold artefacts they left behind are undoubtedly spectacular.

About this programme

3/4. The series revealing the character of the continent's ancient peoples continues as Dr Jago Cooper investigates the truth behind the legend of the lost city of El Dorado, which was also the name of a king who allegedly covered himself in gold dust before diving into Colombia's Lake Guatavita during festivals. The archaeologist's search takes him from Bogota to the Caribbean coast, through the former territories of the Muisca and Tairona cultures, revealing how forgotten civilisations valued the precious metal to an extent the Western world still struggles to comprehend.

Cast and crew


Dr Jago Cooper


Martin Kemp
Martin Kemp
Series Producer
Mary Downes