Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World (2005) BBC

The Search for Tutankhamun (3/9)

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Video Description

Part one: Howard Carter. Episodes 1 and 2 deal with the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter and the popular belief that the Curse of the Pharaohs came with its opening. The story of Carter's quest is interrupted at various points with short biographical segments on the life of Tutankhamun and how these account for some of Carter's discoveries.
Episode one: The Search for Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun vanished from history in 1324 BC following his hurried burial and the erasure of his name from all monuments. In the winter of 1898 Carter is at the temples of Deir el Bahri recording wall reliefs threatened by a freak storm when he is thrown from his horse and makes a discovery in the sand. Retired Boston lawyer Theodore M. Davis funds Carter's excavation of Queen Hatshepsut's tomb but it is found to be empty and Carter deprived of further funding is reduced to selling his paintings to tourists on the street.

In 1905 Lord Carnarvon arrives in Luxor to convalesce after a road accident and is shown an artifact bearing the cartouche of the mysterious Tutankhamun discovered by Davis on his new dig. Tutankhamun succeeded his heretical father as pharaoh at the age of 8 and was named in honour of Amun to symbolise his mission to restore the old gods and save the empire from turmoil. An inspired Carnarvon employs Carter but they are denied access to the Valley of the Kings for which only Davis has a permit. Amidst the flurry of construction that marked the beginning of Tutankhamun's reign the most important to the boy Pharaoh would have been that of his tomb. An ailing Davis announces his discovery of this, the final Pharaoh's tomb, prior to his retirement. Carter doubts the find and convinces Carnarvon to take up the concession. The methodical and meticulous excavation commences in 1914 but is quickly interrupted by World War I.

The Carnarvons return to Egypt at the end of the war and Carter recommences his excavation but with a continued lack of results leading to doubts that any undiscovered tombs are left in the valley the funding is finally cut in 1922. Tutankhamun's tomb was well concealed to ensure his undisturbed afterlife. Carter convinces Carnarvon to fund one last season during which the tomb is finally unearthed. When the tomb is opened in the presence of Carnarvon and his daughter it is revealed to be the only unplundered pharaoh's tomb in the valley.
Source: Wikipedia

Documentary Description

For the first time on British television, the stories of these amazing and truly unique individuals are brought to life in a six-part historical drama-documentary series, which will reveal how the mysteries of Ancient Egypt were uncovered piece by piece by these three incredible men. The first two, hour-long episodes feature the life and work of Howard Carter, the man who finally uncovered the resting place of Tutankhamun. The third and fourth episodes follow the archaeological adventures of Giovanni Belzoni - a real-life Indiana Jones – as he battles with his French counterpart to be the first to discover lost tombs and fantastic treasures. In the final episodes, the series follows Jean-François Champollion as he struggles to be the first to decipher Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Source: BBC

Egypt is the title of a BBC television drama serial about various archaeological discoveries taking place in that country's history, with the occasional 'flashback' scene involving actors portraying the ancient Egyptians themselves. Focusing on three of the most important discoveries from the world of the ancient Egyptians, this series journeys back in time to explore Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, the Great Belzoni's finds from the reign of Ramesses II and Champollion's deciphering of the hieroglyphs. Join Carter, Belzoni and Champollion as they overcome immense obstacles to unlock the secrets of an as-yet undiscovered world and reveal their seminal finds. Then travel even further back, to the amazing period of history unveiled by their astounding work. The hour-long show originally aired on Sunday nights at 9pm on BBC1 in 2005. The first two episodes explored the work of Howard Carter and his archaeological quest in Egypt in the early part of the twentieth century. The next two episodes focused on the eccentric explorer "The Great Belzoni", played by Matthew Kelly. The final two episodes dramatise the discovery and deciphering of the Rosetta Stone by Jean-François Champollion, who is played by Elliot Cowan. Source: Wikipedia

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