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Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb (2020)

TV-PG | | Documentary | 28 October 2020 (USA)
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2:04 | Trailer
After unearthing a tomb that had been untouched for 4,400 years, Egyptian archaeologists attempt to decipher the history of the astonishing find.

Director:

James Tovell
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ahmed Zikrey Abdellhak Ahmed Zikrey Abdellhak ... Self
Ghareeb Ali Mohammed Abushousha Ghareeb Ali Mohammed Abushousha ... Self
Nabil Eldaleel Nabil Eldaleel ... Self
Sabry Mohyeldin Farag Sabry Mohyeldin Farag ... Self (as Dr. Sabry Mohyeldin Farag)
Salima Ikram ... Self (as Dr. Salima Ikram)
Mustafa Abdo Sadek Mahmoud Mustafa Abdo Sadek Mahmoud ... Self
Hamada Shehata Ahmed Mansour Hamada Shehata Ahmed Mansour ... Self - Archaeologist
Nermeen Momen Mohamed Nermeen Momen Mohamed ... Self
Amira Shaheen Amira Shaheen ... Self (as Dr. Amira Shaheen)
Mostafa Waziri Mostafa Waziri ... Self (as Dr. Mostafa Waziri)
Mohammad Mohammad Yousef Mohammad Mohammad Yousef ... Self - Egyptologist (as Dr. Mohammad Mohammad Yousef)
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Storyline

It is heralded as one of the most jaw-dropping, exciting, and important Ancient Egyptian discoveries in decades. And the discoveries have only just begun. Join a team of local archaeologists as they excavate never before explored passageways, shafts, and tombs, while piecing together the secrets of one Egypt's most remarkable tombs. News of the tomb discovery has gone around the world and it has been heralded as the most significant find in almost fifty years. The condition of the tomb is remarkable - but the real excitement lies in what is to come. The archaeologists hope they are going to unearth the possessions, grave goods, and mummies of the high-priest and his family - and with that information hoping to transform our understanding of this period of Old Kingdom history. Written by Netflix

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Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Trivia

The Saqqara necropolis, the world's first and oldest pyramid, is about 20km away from the more popular Giza necropolis. See more »

User Reviews

 
Very popularised 'set up', not great archaeological method
1 November 2020 | by supertaz80See all my reviews

It's a Netflix show so we should probably expect entertainment over rigorous archaeology, however.... this show was problematic.

To start with, it's a highly interesting discovery and site. Theres a lot of interesting finds that are significant for history of Egypt especially in the tomb of Wahtye. As another reviewer said, the excavators seem very enthusiastic and keen- and as Egyptians, so they should be. I liked that Egyptians were involved in this dig, and that it was filmed largely in Arabic. This is their nations history, so that's important and refreshing.

However!

There were so many elements that were questionable in terms of history and archaeology.

* the forced 'conspiracy' theory is a stretch. Trying not to add a spoiler- the 'conspiracy' around the scene of the man and woman at the offering table- their conclusions are weird. The logical conclusion is it is his dad? But their first and second conclusion seem very unfounded. it made me question their credentials, their logical capability, and/or the highly constructed nature of the doco. Are they playing up conspiracy for viewers?

* they kept touching things without gloves. Like what? Archaeology 101 is wear gloves - our hands have oils which can be destructive to artefacts. My high school archaeology students know this....

* they opened a sarcophagus /exposed a mummy, in the middle of the desert / sunlight, compromising preservation. Oh and its 'discovery' seemed highly staged along with the nicely placed ushabtis in the background.

* there appeared to be little record keeping and site photography. I know they were filming, but archaeological records and reports require mappings, site surveys, diagrams and photos. I can concede some of this *may* have been edited for audience 'interest', but given everything else, I'm not betting a lot on it.

The narrative and conclusions of a conspiracy are dodgy, or at least, not well formed in the doco. The structure, 'script'/dialogue and editing is highly popularised for the non academic.

The final WTH, was at the end, when archaeologists were thanking Wahtye for a lifetime discovery, and saying he'd be happy you dug him up and made him famous? Um no.

Wahtye and his fellow citizens spent a long time putting effort into their tombs and burials for a reason. They needed to be well stocked, appropriately decorated, mummy contained and preserved, in order for their spirits (ka,ba,akh) to survive. Archaeology disrupts that. Wahtye would probably be furious. You disturbed his tomb. You dug up and dumped his, and his families bones in crates, before playing with them to assemble them. I find it interesting an Egyptologist would claim he'd be happy with it.

In all, it's an interesting discovery, and if you aren't an historian/archaeologist/or interested in those professions, you'll probably find this fabulous. If you have any knowledge or experience in these fields, you'll probably be face palming a lot.

But still, you should probably watch it for the fabulous footage of the tomb and some amazing finds there (no spoilers!).


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Official Sites:

Netflix Site

Country:

USA | Egypt

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

28 October 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb See more »

Filming Locations:

Saqqara, Egypt

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Color
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