Pohnpei Island, Micronesia (03:57)
Albert Lin arrives at one of the most isolated places on Earth. He and his team ask the Nahnmwarki for his protection and permission to visit Nan Madol. They participate in a Sakau ceremony to appease the spirits of the Saudeleur.
Nan Madol (07:24)
Lin and Gus Kohler explore the sacred site. Lin and his team use a drone to scan the area with LiDAR. Anthropologist Ashley Meredith and Lin explore the main ceremonial center and locate a Saudeleur tomb. Meredith discusses legends about its construction.
Nan Madol: Seawall (05:29)
Lin and his team laser scan the area to create a blueprint. Initial scans provide a glimpse of ancient structures. Lin follows a line of rocks that stretches for over a mile; basalt buildings line the main channel.
Nan Madol: LiDAR Scans (03:50)
The scans provide a visual of the area without mangroves and what the city would have looked like; Kohler sees structures for the first time. Lin and his team determine the volume of material involved in construction.
Nan Madol: Material Origins (05:37)
Lin and Kohler visit a basalt deposit and discover that mining occurred at the top; rocks at Nan Madol weigh five to 50 tons. Lin climbs to the top of the mountain and considers how the ancients transported the stones 10 miles to the city.
Underwater City of the Dead (06:15)
Locals believe spirits inhabit the area east of Nan Madol. Lin and his team use DownScan sonar to detect features on the sea floor. They dive a location of interest and discover hexagonal columns and unusual vertical pillars.
Ant Atoll (05:17)
Lin searches for evidence that islanders sailed away from Pohnpei Island. He visits the atoll 20 miles from Nan Madol and discovers basalt rocks and sakau stones. LiDAR scans reveal six sakau stones in a circle.
Ocean Network (06:03)
An outcrop covered with ancient rock art proves that Pohnpei was an important cultural site before the arrival of the Saudeleurs. Similar art exists in New Caledonia. Lin uses photogrametry to make a 3D model. He reflects on the history of Nan Madol. (Credits)
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