Broughton Coburn

Secrets of Shangri-la: The Ancient Caves of Mustang

Broughton Coburn, Harvard graduate, and author and editor of seven books (including two national bestsellers) is a premier authority on the culture and environment of the Himalaya, where he lived for two decades. In Secrets of Shangri-la: The Ancient Caves of Mustang, he recounts the recent National Geographic-funded expedition to a series of human-excavated cave cities
that date to 2,000 B.C., yielding discoveries of international significance — rare, abandoned text folios, and an exquisite, 14th Century mural depicting a lineage of high priests and mystical yogis. Who created these sacred and historic sites, and what do they tell us about human and world history? What life lessons do they offer to modern humans – and what will happen to these
sacred sites and the secrets they contain?

In a lively, illustrated presentation (including clips from the forthcoming National Geographic/PBS Special, Secrets of Shangri-la), Broughton Coburn unravels the pre-historic, religious, cultural and artistic legacy of this enchanted, living landscape. He traverses such diverse subjects as high altitude archaeology and anthropology, fragile mountain environments, global warming, Himalayan art history, issues of cultural change and modernization, and the inherent nature of the human mind – all wrapped in a gripping adventure story that shares this year’s findings with the public for the first time. It’s a show that, broadly speaking, offers up the real-life version of the latest installment in the Indiana Jones series.