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National Geographic


Cave People of the Himalaya

Learn How Scientists Uncover the Past in Remote Places

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Photograph courtesy National Geographic Television

National Geographic Television’s Cave People of the Himalaya features American archaeologist Dr. Mark Aldenderfer’s expedition to explore burial sites of the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. Human remains and artifacts found in these cave tombs provide new insights into the lives and practices of peoples who inhabited this area thousands of years ago. The expedition team includes Dr. Jacqueline Eng, a bioarchaeologist, and seven-time Everest climber Pete Athans, who brings technical climbing skill to the journey.

Cave People of the Himalaya includes footage of scientists analyzing the anatomy and DNA of human remains, as well as researching evidence to better understand the mosaic of cultures connected through the region’s trade routes.

The educational resources on this page include video clips from the show, explanation text, and questions to engage students in learning more about the lives and cultures of the peoples of the Himalaya region within the disciplines of biological and life sciences, anthropology, archaeology, geography, and world history. These materials will enable students to witness practices, challenges, and breakthroughs that scientists face in uncovering mysteries of the past in remote locations.


Watch the Program

Cave People of the Himalaya

See the full National Geographic television special.

National Geographic Explorer

Mark Aldenderfer

Find out more about the archaeologist leading the expedition.

New Death Ritual Found in Himalaya

In high cliffside caves, explorers find 1,500-year-old bones.



Explore physical and human geography with the MapMaker Interactive.

Printable Map

Customize, download, and print a one-page map of Nepal.