REVIEW: National Geographic’s Lost Treasures of Egypt explores Tutankhamun’s biggest secret
The first of a series of brand new episodes of National Geographic’s Lost Treasures of Egypt explores the peculiar tomb of Ancient Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun.
Tutankhamun is one of the world’s most well-known Egyptian pharaohs, owing to the discovery of his well-preserved tomb in the 1920s and the global exhibitions of its many treasures. Despite his fame in the modern era, the boy king was sickly and reigned Egypt for only nine years. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings, near Thebes, in a tomb that was surprisingly small for his status.
Lost Treasures of Egypt looks at a big mystery regarding the newly excavated tomb: namely, why was Tutankhamun’s tomb so unimpressive?
We meet experts including Aliaa Ismail, who use cutting edge technology to digitally recreate Tutankhamun’s tomb and compare it to that of his successor, Ay. We visit Gebel El-Silsila, where we meet Maria Nilsson and John Ward, who are trying to uncover a temple built by Tutankhamun to shed light on his political legacy. Meanwhile in Saqqara, Tarek Tawfik and Ola El Aguizy visit the tombs of Tutankhamun’s military elite to investigate the type of tomb typical of the period. And in the Asasif Necropolis in Luxor, makes the surprising discovery of a servant with a larger tomb than their own pharaoh.
It’s a lot to examine in one episode, but Lost Treasures of Egypt does a fine job of following the work of top researchers and bringing it all together. By exploring different facets of Tutankhamun’s reign, viewers get an in-depth look at how discoveries are made and linked to create cohesive conclusions. The result is engaging and informative, while being easily broken down into digestible pieces.
The highs and lows of the archaeology teams are a delight to see, bringing across both the difficulty and danger of excavating some of these relics while also celebrating the fruits of their labour when a discovery is made. The enthusiasm with which the search teams have for their field makes for great TV, and it’s a privilege to watch as they make some of the biggest discoveries in Egyptology in modern years.
The technology being used in the field is also fascinating to watch first hand. Ismail’s use of 3D modelling reveals Ancient Egyptian tombs like we’ve never seen them before, offering interesting new insights into the boy king’s life and death.
Lost Treasures of Egypt is a must-see for anyone who fancies themselves an Egyptologist, as well as history buffs and documentary lovers. It’s a terrific insight into the field of archaeology, delivered concisely and by the people making the discoveries at the forefront of the field.
Check out this sneak peek from the new series: