Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • NARRATOR: Egypt, the richest source of

  • archaeological treasures on the planet.

  • WOMAN: Oh, that's a fabulous one.

  • NARRATOR: Beneath this desert landscape lie the secrets of this ancient civilization.

  • JOHN: Wow, can you see why the Pharaoh's chose this place?

  • NARRATOR: Now for a full season of excavations, our cameras have been given

  • unprecedented access to follow teams on the frontline of archaeology.

  • MAN: I'm driving so fast because I'm so excited!

  • WOMAN: It's an entrance, we can see an entrance!

  • NARRATOR: Revealing buried secrets.

  • MAN: I have just been told that they have found something.

  • Oh my gosh!

  • JOHN: A sphinx!

  • NARRATOR: And making discoveries that could rewrite ancient history.

  • This time, new secrets of the boy king, Tutankhamun.

  • Alia uses pioneering technology to reveal startling new evidence about his tomb,

  • and why it remained hidden for 3,000 years.

  • ALIAA: A lot of robberies were going on, how was it not found?

  • NARRATOR: Eissa's team discovers a long-lost cache of King Tutankhamun's treasures.

  • NARRATOR: And Alejandro discovers extraordinary burial treasures in a

  • 4,000 year-old tomb.

  • ALEJANDRO: Congratulations!

  • NARRATOR: The Valley of the Kings, 3,500 years ago,

  • the Great Pharaohs stopped building pyramids as their tombs.

  • They chose these secluded cliffs to become their cemetery.

  • Today, archaeologists come from all over the world to unlock the mysteries still

  • hidden in this City of the Dead.

  • It's the first day in the Valley for Cairo born Egyptologist

  • Aliaa Ismail and her team.

  • ALIAA: There's a real buzz in this place.

  • People are coming from all over the world, coming to the Valley, it's amazing.

  • I'm so proud to have such ancestry.

  • It's one of the most famous necropolises in the world and I think what

  • is special is that it comes out of nowhere.

  • NARRATOR: Over 300 miles south of Cairo, in the heart of Egypt,

  • lie the limestone cliffs of the Valley of the Kings.

  • After 200 years of excavation,

  • archaeologists have located sixty-five tombs hidden among the rocks.

  • But only one has ever been found with its treasure still inside,

  • it belonged to the Pharaoh, Tutankhamun.

  • ALIAA: This here is number 62, Tutankhamun.

  • One of those great finds of the century.

  • NARRATOR: British explorer Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun's

  • tomb in 1922.

  • One of his teams spotted steps leading down through the sand.

  • They led to the tomb entrance, buried beneath feet of rubble and debris.

  • What Carter found inside inspired archaeologists for generations to come.

  • Deep inside the mountains,

  • amid a maze of tunnels that bore deep through the rock,

  • Carter reached the tomb of Tutankhamun hidden right in the center of the Valley.

  • Inside, he found treasures unlike anything ever seen before.

  • Over 5,000 priceless artifacts including golden statues.

  • In the burial chamber the Pharaoh's mummy, wearing a golden death mask,

  • was placed inside a coffin made of more than 200 pounds of solid gold.

  • This intact tomb made Tutankhamun the most famous of the Pharaohs.

  • Now Aliaa is investing this golden Pharaoh's life.

  • ALIAA: Wow.

  • NARRATOR: And why his tomb remained hidden for so long.

  • Aliaa's team has been scanning and documenting the tomb for the last ten years,

  • and they've made a remarkable discovery.

  • ALIAA: The idea here is to understand what's going on when you look at

  • the data void of color.

  • NARRATOR: The scans strip away the paint on the walls to reveal unusual markings.

  • ALIAA: This was the main scene, and here is the 3D of the North Wall.

  • So, as you can see here, the silhouette of an image and this would have

  • been done while they were painting.

  • NARRATOR: The images show the indented outline of the face hidden below.

  • It's caused by the tip of the paintbrush if you start painting when

  • the plaster is still wet.

  • ALIAA: This is why the brushes would have made a very light impression and

  • this allows us to understand it was rushed.

  • NARRATOR: But why would the tomb builders rush such an important job?

  • The pictures on the wall reveal another set of clues.

  • Despite becoming the most famous Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt,

  • Tutankhamun did not have a lengthy reign.

  • He was only a nine-year-old boy when he became King,

  • and relied on trusted advisors to help rule his vast empire.

  • As Tutankhamun grew older,

  • he was known to portray himself as a warrior king,

  • riding into battle on a chariot.

  • But the boy King suffered from multiple illnesses, including Malaria.

  • He was only nineteen-years-old when he unexpectantly died.

  • (speaking in Arabic).

  • NARRATOR: Aliaa thinks the marks her scans reveal in the plaster are evidence

  • of a hurried burial due to Tutankhamun's sudden death.

  • ALIAA: The decorated part of the tomb is very small, it's only the burial chamber.

  • The rest of the tomb is not decorated.

  • If they had more time, all of this was going to be decorated.

  • NARRATOR: While the tomb's construction may have been rushed, its treasures were

  • everything a Pharaoh could desire to take him into the afterlife.

  • So why did this tomb lay hidden below a layer of rock for thousands of years when

  • all the other tombs in the Valley were looted?

  • To solve this mystery, Aliaa will turn to new technology as she moves her

  • investigation out into the Valley.

  • 300 miles north, in Giza,

  • in the shadow of the pyramids, the biggest treasure haul in history

  • is getting a new home, a one-billion-dollar museum and research center.

  • When completed, the Grand Egyptian Museum will reunite all of Tutankhamun's treasures

  • in one place, for the first time in 100 years.

  • TAREK: Having all of the pieces from the tomb of Tutankhamun together

  • in one place, this will be a fantastic chance to find new facts,

  • new hidden things about Tutankhamun.

  • NARRATOR: After Carter removed the treasures from Tut's tomb,

  • they ended up in museums around Egypt.

  • Now, for the first time, scientists and Egyptologists will use modern

  • technology to analyze each object.

  • TAREK: Some details reappear and give us new information about these antiquities.

  • NARRATOR: But some of Tut's greatest treasures are yet to arrive.

  • 300 miles south in the Luxor Museum, Eissa Zidan is preparing 122 of these

  • priceless artifacts for the move to Giza.

  • NARRATOR: Eissa's packing list includes one of Tut's famous chariots,

  • intricate model boats and

  • a unique head of the cow Goddess, Hathor, elaborately gilded with gold.

  • (speaking in Arabic).

  • NARRATOR: After just four hours, Eissa's packing suddenly comes to a halt.

  • One of his teams has discovered something completely unexpected

  • in the storeroom.

  • It's an antique box that Howard Carter used to pack and transport Tutankhamun's

  • treasures out of the tomb.

  • NARRATOR: The box has been missing, presumed lost, for decades,

  • and no one knows what treasures it may hold.

  • 120 miles south of the Valley of the Kings, near Aswan,

  • a Spanish Research Team from Jaen University

  • is hoping to follow in Carter's footsteps and make new

  • discoveries that could rewrite history.

  • (speaking in Arabic).

  • Professor Alejandro Jimenez-Serrano heads the largest foreign team

  • working in Egypt.

  • Today is the first day of the dig season.

  • ALEJANDRO: Sorry for the mess.

  • We are sharing the room, three researchers of the team.

  • This is my, my bed, supposedly the best one.

  • (laughs).

  • Sorry.

  • (coughs).

  • It's amazing to get up and the first thing that you see apart from the ugly face

  • of your roommates is the Qubbet el-Hawa, the hill.

  • NARRATOR: Qubbet el-Hawa is one of the largest ancient burial sites in Egypt.

  • So far, 100 tombs have been discovered here.

  • They belong to the nobles who governed Egypt hundreds of years before

  • the Pharaoh's buried in the Valley of the Kings.

  • (speaking in Arabic).

  • Alejandro's mission is to hunt for more unopened tombs and reveal more

  • about these early Egyptians.

  • ALEJANDRO: It's difficult to explain how I feel.

  • Not only nervous, it's exciting, it's a mix of feelings.

  • It's an honor to...

  • to come every year.

  • Now here comes the most difficult part of the day,

  • to climb the hill.

  • NARRATOR: This is the team's tenth year digging here.

  • WOMAN: It's so nice to be here again.

  • (laughs).

  • NARRATOR: There's a reason why everyone is excited to be back.

  • Last year, Alejandro found the entranced to a sealed tomb,

  • but his permit expired before he could explore inside.

  • ALEJANDRO: Today is 40 degrees, and working underneath the sun,

  • today's gonna be tough.

  • NARRATOR: To protect against modern day tomb-robbers,

  • they put a steel security door to block the entrance

  • of the vertical shaft that leads to the sealed burial chamber.

  • ALEJANDRO: Well it has been one-year waiting, one-year imagining the possibilities.

  • I'm very excited.

  • NARRATOR: In Luxor, Eissa's team packs Tutankhamun's treasures for the move

  • to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.

  • But in the storeroom,

  • Eissa is ready to open Carter's long-lost box to discover

  • what's inside.

  • NARRATOR: The team gathers around to see if the box really does contain priceless

  • treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb.

  • MOHAMMAD: Ah.

  • (laughter)

  • MAN: Fantastic. MOHAMMAD: It's amazing.

  • NARRATOR: These delicate wooden pieces are ancient boat parts.

  • NARRATOR: Storeroom records suggest they could be missing from a model boat

  • Howard Carter found in Tutankhamun's tomb.

  • NARRATOR: According to ancient Egyptian belief,

  • boats played a key role after death.

  • So, placing model boats into tombs was a vital part of any burial.

  • The vessels also came complete with crew because it was believed the replicas

  • would come to life and help with fishing and transport in the underworld.

  • The Pharaohs used a special vessel to sail across the sky for eternity.

  • Ordinary people also thought they could reach the afterlife by boat,

  • rowing on the Nile and into the next world.

  • MOHAMMAD: You can see here the date of the newspaper,

  • it's Sunday 5th of November, 1933.

  • NARRATOR: To discover where these pieces came from,

  • Mohammad inspects Carter's original inventory.

  • NARRATOR: Records show that the box was sent to Luxor in 1973

  • but had gone missing, presumed lost or stolen.

  • NARRATOR: Eissa thinks the rest of the boat is safe in the new Cairo lab,

  • so they may finally be able to reunite it.

  • To transport the treasures to Giza,

  • Eissa's team must traverse 400 miles of barren desert roads

  • and crowded city streets before they reach the safety of the new museum.

  • It will take two trucks to transport all 122 of the artifacts to Giza.

  • EISSA: This a very, very big moment for the collection,

  • this is the final trip of Tutankhamun.

  • NARRATOR: But with such priceless relics on board,

  • there's concern the convoy could be a target for a hijacking.

  • EISSA: We have a good police and good army.

  • They will follow us during moving from Luxor until arrive to Cairo.

  • NARRATOR: With security in place, it's time to roll.

  • They now face a grueling twelve-hour journey through the desert to

  • reach Giza before nightfall.

  • Ever since Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's priceless golden treasures,

  • archaeologists have continued to try and figure out where and how the

  • ancient Egyptians found vast quantities of gold.

  • Fifty-miles south of the Valley of the Kings,

  • on the edge of the Eastern Desert,

  • French gold expert Thomas Faucher and archaeologist John Ward are

  • on the hunt for the origins of Tutankhamun's gold.

  • THOMAS: So, I'm going to...

  • JOHN: What are you waiting for, a traffic signal?

  • NARRATOR: The Eastern Desert covers 85,000 square-miles of remote barren wilderness.

  • Some of the rock here contains tiny grains of gold locked inside.

  • Thomas has studied ancient gold mining techniques for seven years.

  • Now he wants to see if he can find any evidence of it.

  • But this part of the desert is a risky place to be.

  • THOMAS: The thing is we need to leave before dark because it's not safe if we are

  • staying there because we can lose our way, we can have an accident and

  • it's also at the sunset that all the snakes are going out.

  • JOHN: Snakes?

  • THOMAS: Yeah, vipers.

  • JOHN: No one told me about...

  • THOMAS: There are horrid vipers, yeah.

  • NARRATOR: The first stop, an ancient well.

  • It could provide clues to the location of mining communities during

  • the time of Tutankhamun.

  • THOMAS: This is the well just right in front of us here.

  • JOHN: It's dry.

  • My God, that's a long way down.

  • NARRATOR: The well might be dry today, but it was so important to

  • the ancient Egyptians, they built a temple to honor it.

  • JOHN: It's beautiful isn't it?

  • They actually applied a plaster gyp ceiling and then applied the paint.

  • Amazing.

  • NARRATOR: The text engraved on these walls reveals clues about the

  • gold miners and where they were heading.

  • Ancient engineers built a network of wells and rest stops stretching all the way

  • across the desert, each a day's walk from the last,

  • enabling travelers and miners

  • to safely cross and explore the barren desert.

  • The temple carvings indicate these wells led toward the mines.

  • Thomas hopes he will be able to find some evidence of the people

  • behind Tutankhamun's goldmining operations.

  • THOMAS: Now it's time to go deeper East...

  • NARRATOR: Like an ancient treasure map, they must follow the trail of