Over the summer of 2011, National Geographic filmed Dr. George Bey and several students working on the Millsaps archaeological project at Kaxil Kiuic in the Yucatán Peninsula. The film crews remained on site for the six-week duration of the project. The National Geographic program "Quest for the Lost Maya" will air on PBS March 28 (check local listings for times).
However, the program will premiere on Millsaps campus on February 9. Students and faculty who reserved tickets ahead of time will be able to watch the program before it airs on television. Following the premiere there will be a panel discussion with National Geographic Director Jeremy Zipple and Emmy award-winning Executive Producer John Bredar, Millsaps College's Dr. George Bey, and Millsaps archaeology students Mandi Strickland and Phillip Boyett.
Mandi and Phillip were chosen to speak on the panel because of their extensive work on the project. Mandi is a Keck Fellow who worked at EAC in the Yucatán, a hilltop elite residential complex. Phillip excavated on the eastern side of the central pyramid, which was the center of the ancient city and seemed to have been one of the main places being filmed.
Phillip and Mandi will both be returning to work on the project at Kiuic with Dr. Bey this summer. "This summer I will be going back to excavate again and I will stay in Yucatán for the better part of the next year administering Kiuic's academic scholarship for local high-school students and doing individual research," Phillip said about his plans to return.
Click above to begin photo slideshow of production stills
When asked what it was like working with film crews during excavation, Mandi said, "Jeremy Zipple (National Geographic Director) was very creative and inventive. Everyone had great, positive attitudes!"
About the final, edited program Phillip said, "I'm excited to see how the reenactments turned out. It was quite a sight to see a large group of modern Mayan people wearing loincloths!"