Albert Lin Explores Ancient Mysteries With Cutting Edge Technology


“Lost Cities Revealed with Albert Lin” is an adventurous and educational dive into the past, leveraging state-of-the-art technology to unearth the mysteries of ancient civilizations. Premiering on National Geographic on November 23, this six-part series takes viewers on a global journey with National Geographic Explorer and engineer Albert Lin. From the jungles of Mexico to the cliffs of Scotland and underwater realms of Israel, each episode is a unique exploration into the unknown.

Exploring the Past with Modern Technology

At the heart of the series is the use of groundbreaking technologies like LiDAR, radar, high-tech imaging, and drones. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a technology that has evolved significantly since its invention in the 1960s, is a key tool in Lin’s arsenal. It allows scientists and explorers to examine both natural and manmade environments with remarkable precision. By emitting light to measure variable distances, LiDAR systems produce detailed images that reveal hidden structures and landscapes.

Lin’s approach combines LiDAR with other advanced technologies. The use of drones enables the team to scan large areas of land, penetrating dense forests or uncovering hidden features under the surface. Ground-penetrating radar, handheld LiDAR sensors, thermal, and optical imaging devices further enhance their capability to map and visualize ancient sites.

The Process of Discovery

The data collected through these technologies undergoes thorough analysis. Using powerful computers, Lin and his team work tirelessly, often into the night, to process and model the data. This process involves combining the scans with historical data to create exact replicas of the areas under study. Sophisticated algorithms then help identify human-made structures and bring to life ancient cities that have been lost to time.

One of the most striking aspects of the series is the balance between technology and respect for indigenous cultures and traditional beliefs. Lin emphasizes a non-invasive approach to exploration, using technology to uncover forgotten stories without causing destruction. This method respects both the ancient wisdom and the integrity of the sites being explored.

Insights from the Series

The series is more than just an exploration of physical sites; it’s a journey into the human experience. Each episode reveals something fundamental about our shared history and resilience. For instance, the story of the Picts in Scotland, once thought to be an unsolvable puzzle, gains clarity through the use of LiDAR technology. The Picts’ strategy of unifying against the Romans, a formidable enemy, is a powerful testament to human resilience and ingenuity.

I spoke with Lin about the new season. He views this series as a significant moment in the age of discovery and a true privilege, personally. Lin shared, “Sometimes I pinch myself, but I can’t believe this is the reality that I’m living—to be able to make discoveries over and over again. To make a discovery once in your life—a discovery of something that was hidden in the jungle or buried in the roots of a tree—that in itself is…to have the honor of being there for multiple of those, over and over and over again about important places and important things, and people that might be lost in time. It’s much more than a show, it’s a lived journey. It’s a quest.”

Ancient Mysteries Revealed

Lost Cities Revealed with Albert Lin” is more than just a documentary series; it’s a celebration of human curiosity, resilience, and the unending quest for knowledge. It stands as a testament to the power of technology in unlocking the secrets of our past and a reminder that our world is still full of mysteries waiting to be discovered. The series premieres November 23 on Nat Geo. You can also stream episodes on Disney+ and Hulu.


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