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The Ancient Amazon
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Through an expedition to seek proof in support of the theory that one hundred and thirty million years ago the original source of the Amazon was located in the Ounianga Kébir lake district on the modern Sahara, this fascinating investigation will look at the natural history, geology and archeology of a remote and seldom filmed region of the Sahara bording Lake Chad.


Director: Herbert Habersack
Writer: Herbert Habersack, Sepp Friedhuber
Camera: Josef Neuper, Heinz Brandner
Edit: Martin Biribauer
Sound: Joe Knauer
Dubbing Mixer: Stefan K. Fiedler
Music: Kurt Adametz

A epo-film production for ORF in association with Docstar, ZDF and bm:bwk


The Amazon is the greatest river on earth, and mankind has quested for its origins for centuries. But the source of the Amazon may not lie in the Andes of Peru or Ecuador. If the ideas of a group of european scientists are correct, the origin of the Amazon may not lie in South America at all. The Amazon is an ancient river, and it can be traced back 130 million years, to a time when South America and Africa formed part of the super-continent Gondwanaland. When it first formed, the Amazon flowed westward, from present day Africa and across South America to empty into the Pacific Ocean. The later splitting apart of the two continents, and the rise of the Andes, changed the course of the river, so that it flowed eastwards into the Atlantic. It sounds a most improbable story, but there is evidence. There are sharks, rays and sawfish, all essentially marine fish, in the upper reaches of the Amazon. How else could they have got there, except by being trapped, when the river changed direction?


So the origins of the Amazon may lie in the Sahara desert, in the remotest and most hostile of landscapes. It is into this uncharted territory that the scientists are planning to venture to test their theory. They will travel to Chad, to the Niger and Benue rivers to seek confirmation of the incredible: that the greatest river on earth may have arisen in what is now the harshest of deserts.


Using the latest graphic and animation techniques and with extensive fillming in South America and regions of Chad never previously visited by western camera teams, the programme will finally solve the mystery of the Amazon and reveal the extraordinary natural wonders and creatures of these remote areas.



Fotos: Copyright by Sepp Friedhuber

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