Ancient Egypt Documentaries Review

Secrets of Egypt’s Mystery Mummy

The documentary is about an ancient Egypt mystery man, a 3000-year-old mummy found in a secret cache with Egypt’s most famous Pharaohs. The documentary suggests several theories that can help identify who the mystery mummy is and the cause of his death. The theories include: (1) he was probably buried alive as a human sacrifice, (2) he was not an Egyptian, (3) he died in a foreign land and was mummified hurriedly in the foreign land, and (4) he was an outcast.

            Preliminary forensic examination by the team of experts investigating the mummy shows that he was cocooned in the finest linen, his coffin was made of expensive material, he had gold earrings, and was buried among most of the powerful Pharaohs in ancient Egypt including King Ramesses III. These pieces of evidence suggest that he was an elite member of society or a royal (12:47 – 13:14). However, the fact that the mummy’s outer shroud is made of sheep skin (this was considered ritually unclean by the Egyptians), he was not properly mummified, his arms, hands, and feet are bound using straps, and his face exhibits agony raises pressing questions about the identity of the mummy and cause of death (13:15 – 14:38).

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            Evidence debunks the theory that the unknown man was buried alive as a human sacrifice. The man must have died more than 1000 years after the Egyptians abandoned the human sacrifice practice. Also, there was no evidence of food and other gifts that accompanied those buried alive as human sacrifices. Moreover, there was no inscription of his name or identification (20:28 – 21:16). The theory that he was not an Egyptian proposes that he was the Hittite Prince, Zannanza, who died soon after arriving in Egypt in 1325 BC. The theory suggests that this might explain the presence of the sheep’s skin. However, this theory is debunked on the basis that the mummy’s hair is light brown, the skin is not of a sheep but rather a goat, and the mummification details hint that he was not a foreigner (30:52 – 34:06).

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            The theory that the unknown man was an Egyptian who died in a foreign land suggests that he was a high official who died in territories that Egypt had conquered and was mummified by the locals as best as they could for transportation back to Egypt. However, the fact that his coffin and bandages are unmarked and the lack of the magical amulets and other things buried with the dead to help them safely navigate to the afterworld renders this theory highly questionable (34:15 – 38:18). The most plausible explanation for the mystery is that the mummy was an outcast. The theory proposes that the mummy is Prince Pentawere, son of King Ramses III. In 1153 BC Pentawere and her mother Tiy plotted to kill the King in an attempt to derail the succession line. Pentawere was punished by being mummified and buried in a disrespectful way that ensured he will never join the afterlife. According to the ancient Egyptians, this is the worst punishment that one can get since they become an angry dead, also known as a disturbed spirit (38:26 – 50:12).

Mystery of the Lost Pyramid

The documentary investigates a burial chamber discovered below a pyramid almost 4000 years old located in an ancient royal cemetery. The burial chamber seems to be intact, which is unusual since almost all the other burial chambers in discovered pyramids are usually breached by tomb raiders who steal the treasures buried with royals. However, upon opening the chamber which is sealed by a ten tons capstone the archeologists discover that its contents are in disarray and the treasury that is supposed to be in a royal tomb is missing. This suggests that the contents of the chamber must have been stolen. The coffin is badly damaged and there are no signs of a mummy. However, there are bones scattered in the chamber. There is also a decorated wooden box. Surprisingly, there is no evidence of the capstone being moved (10:20 – 19:38).

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A stone found outside the chamber is engraved with inscriptions that suggest that it is King Ameny Qemau’s grave. However, this presents a conundrum since the pyramid of King Ameny Qemau was already found in the 1950s. A possible theory to explain the inscriptions is that Kings usually built multiple pyramids to conceal the location where they will be buried in an effort to keep their mummies and their possessions safe from tomb raiders. However, this theory does not hold water since there are bones (19:40 – 22:20).

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Restoration of the coffin’s lid revealed that the tomb belonged to a woman, evidenced by the women’s wig in the sculptured coffin and the writing in the discovered box (which usually held the preserved internal organs of mummies). The box is engraved with text that reads “daughter of a king.” This reveals that the tomb belonged to a princess. However, a princess being buried in their own pyramid was unusual during the Middle Kingdom. This was a courtesy that was only shown to rulers. The fact that the princess was buried in the heart of this pyramid suggests that she must have been of great importance or she was being lined up to rule before her early demise. However, the evidence so far reveals that the princess was King Ameny Qemau’s daughter (22:23 – 27:30).

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Further investigation reveal revealed that the only way that the tomb would have been raided is if the thieve(s) accessed the chamber before the capstone was lowered to seal it. Therefore, it must have been an inside job (30:12 – 40:40). Additionally, further examination of the box using the latest imaging technologies reveals a name engraved on it, Hatshepset. Thus, the tomb belonged to Hatshepset, daughter of King King Ameny Qemau (42:34 – 40:00).

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