Secrets of the Dead: The Silver Pharaoh on WXXI-TV

Secrets of the Dead: The Silver Pharaoh on WXXI-TV

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 8:00pm

Pictured: Psusennes silver coffin

Credit: Courtesy of Andy Webb

The investigation reveals political intrigue, a lost city and a leader who united a country in turmoil and became the Silver Pharaoh.

The royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I is one of the most spectacular of all the ancient Egyptian treasures - even more remarkable than that of Tutankhamen. So why hasn’t the world heard about it? What mysteries does it contain? And what does it reveal about ancient Egypt?

Secrets of the Dead: The Silver Pharaoh airs Wednesday, May 18 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

The tomb was discovered filled with lavish jewels and treasure almost by accident in 1939 by the French archaeologist Pierre Montet while he was excavating in northern Egypt. The royal burial chamber came as a complete surprise – no Egyptologist had anticipated a tomb of such grandeur in this area. Unfortunately, the tomb was found on the eve of World War II in Europe and attracted little attention. One of the most startling discoveries inside the tomb was the sarcophagus in which the body was held: It was made of silver with exquisite detail and craftsmanship. No other silver sarcophagus has ever been found and it is now recognized by many Egyptologists as one of the most exquisite artifacts of ancient Egypt ever to be found. The elaborate tribute within the tomb suggested it was the burial site of someone very important but as archaeologists, using the hieroglyphs inside the tomb, pieced together the identity of the pharaoh, they were left to wonder who Psuesennes I was and why he received such grand treatment.

Part detective story, part true-life drama, Secrets of the Dead explores some of the most iconic moments in history to debunk myths and shed new light on past events. Using the latest investigative techniques, forensic science and historical examination to unearth new evidence, the series shatters accepted wisdom, challenges prevailing ideas, overturns existing hypotheses, spotlights forgotten mysteries and ultimately rewrites history.

This program is offered with Descriptive Video (DVi), which provides concise descriptions of the sets, scenery, costumes, action, and other important visual elements between the dialogue of the program.



Pharoah's damaged vertebra

Somebody must have told you by now, but when the narrator said "cervical vertebra seven" Your illustration lit up one of the thoracic vertebrae: T-7 I imagine.

Who cares? Don't put it down to "geeky" obsessiveness. It is a minor point of concern to new learners and those who want to have confidence in your work. How did it get past writer, editor, producers, and narrator?

A big pain in the neck produces one kind of misery and dysfunction (not to mention cord implications), while a big pain in the back between your shoulder blades carries different penalties.

Quite a good show, though, otherwise. If I could just get past the opening jitter cam thing (whatever you call the title graphics), I'd watch it more often. I just loathe the (melo)drama. Who is it supposed to appeal to, those who think it's corny or those who think it's silly? Generational tastes, y'