Dr. Joann Fletchers, an Egyptologist finds three abandoned mummies in a tomb in the Valley Of Kings. She thinks the third mummy is the forgotten legend, once the most powerful woman on ...
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Dr. Joann Fletchers, an Egyptologist finds three abandoned mummies in a tomb in the Valley Of Kings. She thinks the third mummy is the forgotten legend, once the most powerful woman on earth; Nefertiti. With the help of modern day technology and scientists she tries to uncover mysteries surrounding the life of Nefertiti. But is the mummy really Nefertiti? Written by
An interesting, if somewhat shaky, look at an ancient queen.
As an amateur Egyptology buff and a romantic given to the belief in miracles, I was fascinated when I first watched this documentary. How astonishing that the body of a woman dead for thousands of years could suddenly be discovered, with a confirmed identity! The evidence, upon first viewing, seems overwhelming. It seems that all the clues given in the documentary point to the mummy in question being Nefertiti, the lost queen.
For some, it's easy to leave it at that. However, on further viewings, it becomes clear that although the case presented is compelling, there is too much left uncertain and too many unfounded conclusions made to truly give this mummy a name. The historical information given, for example, is wobbly at best, rife with unfounded rumors about Akhenaten's rule and Nefertiti's life. Personal beliefs of the main Egyptologist involved, Dr. Joann Fletcher, are presented as fact, such as Nefertiti's origins and her role after the death of Akhenaten. Some suggestions made by Dr. Fletcher have been dismissed by the academic community as little more than conspiracy theories, which definitely gives this documentary an air of the desperate--more like a UFO documentary than a historical one.
Another blow to the documentary's integrity comes from later claims by the people involved in the documentary, such as Zahi Hawass, that the mummy is male or out of the age range necessary for it to be Nefertiti. While this sort of flip-flopping on an issue is very discouraging coming from authorities on the topic in question, it does seem to throw the documentary into an almost fanatical light. The conclusions drawn by Dr. Fletcher, on closer inspection, become more and more far-fetched by the minute, such as claims that the mummy's arm position must mean that it was the body of a pharaoh. She even states that she believes that Nefertiti ruled on as a pharaoh under an assumed name after the death of Akhenaten. While an interesting theory, there is little to no evidence presented to support it.
There are numerous other issues I could draw attention to in the documentary, such as the comparison of the facial reconstruction to the famous Nefertiti bust. The documentary states that the resemblance is 'striking', as though it's enough to make the whole thing fact; however, the reconstruction is only superficially similar to the bust, lending little to no credence to the claim that the mummy is Nefertiti. A point made by another reviewer comes to mind--that the reconstruction is very similar to the actress used to portray Nefertiti, and that it was likely that the reconstruction experts were shown or used photos of the actress during the reconstruction of the face.
As a whole, the documentary, while interesting, is fairly shabby, and not the sort of production one would expect from Discovery. There are even artistic details that point to it being low-budget in general, and definitely not as prime material from a normally high-grade network. The only real value that this documentary has is as an introduction to the topic--the life of Nefertiti and Egyptology in general. Those who enjoyed it should seek other, more reputable sources of information; Egyptian history is fascinating, but not a mere romantic tale as it is presented in this documentary.
All in all, it's a good watch for rainy days, but no one, not even the most uninformed, should take the word of this documentary as gospel.
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