The Mystery of The Lost Red Paint People

This NOVA Special reveals the fascinating story of an unknown seafaring tribe which explored the shores of North America 7,000 years ago.

These ancient Americans rivaled their European counterparts in navigational skills several millennia before the Vikings.



These people used sophisticated tools and excelled in navigation. For unknown reasons these ancient sailors covered their dead with red ochre.

This strange discovery is re-enacted on location. The film follows US, Canadian, and European scientists from the barrens of Labrador - where archaeologists uncover an ancient burial mound - to sites in the U.S., France, England, and Denmark.

Archival footage and photographs helps to chronical the events in this film, which is the first in any medium that has synthesized these new discoveries and attempts to draw a picture of the northeastern sea peoples, whom scientists refer to as the Maritime Archaic.



The story takes the viewer to the vast fjords of northernmost Norway where monumental standing stones testify to links among seafaring cultures across immense distances. The diffusionst theory of migration is examined in light of these new discoveries.




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