Aired Wednesday May 18th, 2011 at 7:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
In 1939, on the brink of World War II, an excavation team led by French archaeologist Pierre Montet working in Tanis, Egypt, unearthed a royal burial chamber containing treasures that rivaled the riches found in other ancient Egyptian tombs. But while the Tut discovery created an international sensation, the opening of the tomb in Tanis barely made a ripple in a world focused on impending war.
After Montet made his discovery, the treasures of the "Silver Pharoah" were transported to Cairo for safe-keeping. There they remained covered in vaults, until now. Secrets of the Dead "The Silver Pharoah" follows the team of Egyptologists who decode hieroglyphic clues and piece together forensic evidence from the tomb of Psusennes I, whose lost legacy could rewrite Egyptian history. "The Silver Pharoah" airs Wednesday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. on KUED Channel 7.
"The Silver Pharaoh fills a missing link in Egyptian history," says William Grant, series executive producer. "Equally compelling is the back-story of his discovery -- the real-life drama unfolds like a thriller worthy of Hollywood plots."
Montet discovered the tomb of Psusennes I by chance in 1939 when his team excavated a raided tomb merely 10 yards away. The casket's craftsmanship and the riches inside the tomb suggested Psusennes I was among the mightiest of kings. Yet, scholars knew little about his life and times. Now, research paints a portrait of a political mastermind.
Beyond the tomb's precious possessions, it contains a wealth of archaeological evidence about Egypt's enigmatic era known as the Third Intermediate Period. At that time, Egypt was a fractured kingdom divided between rival rulers of north and south. High priests seized power to command the southern region from Thebes while deposed pharaohs were exiled north to Tanis. Psusennes ruled from this province for an astounding 46 years. This was an impressive feat compared to Tutankhamun, whose reign lasted a decade. In fact, a study of Psusennes' skeleton showed a hardworking man who suffered a debilitating rheumatic disease but lived well into his eighties. His physical resilience likely contributed to his success as a great leader who eventually united Egypt.
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