NBC's 'Rock Center' features Richard Engel's Hidden Planet this week, schedule
By April MacIntyre Oct 8, 2012, 14:39 GMT
Brian Williams and Jane Staddard Williams - New York City, NY, USA © Laurence Agron / PR Photos
Tune in alert for "Rock Center with Brian Williams" which will be pre-empted for the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday, October 11th.
NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent's Richard Engel's Hidden Planet returns for an entire week of adventures.
In an unexpected departure from his usual beat of war-torn territories and areas of conflict, Engel sets off on journeys of discovery to find the most awe-inspiring, rarely seen locations around the globe.
Only on RockCenterNBC.com and the newsmagazine's iPad app, Monday, October 8th kicks off "Rock Center's" Hidden Planet week as Engel travels to Tanzania, a land where mankind is believed to have begun.
Engel journeys through the land's volcanoes and valleys, hunting and engaging in rituals with the Maasai and Hadza tribes. The Maasai tribe lives at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
They live off the land and are one of 120 tribes in the region. The Hadza tribe lives just 25 miles from where man's first footsteps were discovered. Researchers believe the Hadza have lived in the region for 15,000 years, maintaining a hunter gatherer existence.
On Tuesday, follow Engel to Egypt, where he journeys through a network of underground tunnels beneath the Step Pyramid of Djoser located 19 miles south of modern-day Cairo in the Saqqara plateau, Egypt's oldest pyramid complex.
In part two of this Hidden Planet episode, Inside the Pharoah's Secret Tunnels, Engel journeys into the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The pyramid's construction began in 2589 B.C., shortly after the 20-year-old Pharaoh Cheops ascended to the throne. Cheops' burial place turned out to be the biggest one in history. Engel climbs through the hidden chambers and passageways of the ancient pyramid, revealing secrets about the largest pyramid of the Giza Necropolis and the Pharaoh it was constructed for.
On Wednesday, Engel travels to Mali, on the edge of the Sahara desert, to discover the city of Timbuktu.
On Thursday, Engel, goes to Jerusalem to visit the most consecrated and contested religious landmark, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D., the Church of the Holy Sepulcher commemorates both the Hill of Crucifixion and the Tomb of Christ’s Burial. The church has historically been controlled by different denominations within the Christian faith including: Catholics, Armenians, Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic and Ethiopian, each claiming ownership to part. Muslim families have held on tightly to the key that opens the main door since 1187 and have traditionally sat in the entrance itself. While the doors are now open, the families still manage the church and mediate between the different denominations that lay claim to this holiest of sites.
On Friday, Engel, heads to a land that time forgot. Raja Ampat, the 4 main islands off the West Papuan mainland in Indonesia surrounded by 1,500 smaller islands spans 10 million acres of land and sea that explode with brilliant green forests and vibrant blue waters. Known to many as an underwater Eden, Engel takes a dive into these waters that have the most biodiversity on the planet.
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