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Media advisory: KU anthropology professor appears in National Geographic documentary on Nicaraguan search

Thursday, October 08, 2015

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas professor is available to speak about his appearance in the National Geographic documentary "Legend of the Monkey God" about the search for the "White City" often rumored to exist deep in the jungle of Honduras.

John Hoopes, professor and chair of the KU Department of Anthropology, appears in interviews as anthropologist independent of the project who had knowledge of the Latin American anthropology. Earlier this year Hoopes was an author of a letter that criticized how National Geographic had hyped the story of Steve Elkins' expedition and failed to emphasize prior knowledge of the region by its indigenous residents and substantial prior scholarship by professional archeologists.

"The 'lost city' featured in the documentary was neither lost nor a city, but rather the product of an active imagination and romantic notions of archeology that do not correspond to the way that scientific research is actually conducted," Hoopes said. "The National Geographic documentary presents a popular account that misrepresents the actual state of knowledge of the archeology of eastern Honduras and decades of investigation by professionally trained archeologists."

The documentary premiered on the National Geographic Channel on Oct. 4 and the documentary is available online. It will also be screened at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at Fraser Hall on the KU campus.

To schedule an interview with Hoopes, contact Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, 785-864-8858 or ebp@ku.edu.


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