: Explore three early North American cultures in THE ANCESTORS, the first in the series 500 NATIONS. Tour the 800-room Pueblo Bonito in the arid southwest, view the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, and visit Cahokia, the largest city in the U.S. before 1800.
Episode 2: Follow the dramatic and tragic history of the Mexican Indian nations from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization. Witness the rise and fall of the Toltecs and the growth of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec city of an empire.
Hosted by Kevin Costner, 500 NATIONS, directed by Jack Leustig, explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times through the period of European contact and colonization, to the closing of the frontier in 1890. 500 NATIONS utilizes historical texts, eyewitness accounts, pictorial sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations that flourished prior to contact with Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic ongoing story of the Native American nations.
500 Nations is an eight part documentary on the Native Americans of North and Central America. It documents from pre-Columbian to the end of the 19th century. Much of the information comes from text, eyewitnesses, pictorials, and computer graphics. The series was hosted by Kevin Costner, and directed by Jack Leustig. It included the voice talents of narrator Tom Jackson, Wes Studi, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Eric Schweig, Michael Horse, Gordon Tootoosis, Graham Greene, and Tantoo Cardinal. "500 Nations tries to crystallize the sweeping events that reshaped North America- one of the largest and most pivotal stories in human history - a story we feel is widely unknown. Often painful, sometimes shocking, but in the end it is simply about understanding." Kevin Costner
A 468 page book by the same name, published in 1994, containing far more detailed information, is based upon the documentary.