New Nat Geo Series Commemorates The Discovery Of King Tut’s Tomb

Ella al-Shamahi and Meredith Brand in front of Tut’s Death Mask. (Blink Films)

JOHANNESBURG, 27 October 2022: King Tutankhamen, or King Tut as he is more commonly known today, was relatively unknown to the world until 1922 when his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter. Now, 100 years later, this unprecedented historic discovery will be commemorated with the premiere of Tut’s Toxic Tomb on National Geographic (DStv 181, Starsat 220) on Fridays at 19:00 (CAT), from 18 November 2022, as well as with fascinating library programming exploring various facets of the renowned pharaoh’s life.

On 26th November 1922, Howard Carter made what was dubbed as the greatest archaeological find of all time – entering the treasure-filled tomb of the Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun’s tomb contained thousands of artefacts, a sarcophagus containing his mummy, and a now-famous headdress. It took Carter and his team almost ten years to catalogue the contents of the tomb. The over five thousand artefacts and well-preserved mummies found in the tomb have since brought new insights into life in ancient Egypt and the astounding governance of the boy who became king.

Ella al-Shamahi walking between pillars. (Blink Films)

The news lit up the world. But when people who entered the tomb began dying, tales of a “pharaoh’s curse” spread. Were the deaths just coincidences or stories created to sell newspapers? And can modern science explain the truth behind the legend?

In the two-part Tut’s Toxic Tomb series, paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi begins to unravel the extraordinary, scientific truth behind the legend and dives deeper into the mystery behind the Tutankhamun curse story. Exploring potential toxins inside the tomb and on some of the artefacts, she questions whether science can help explain some of the deaths that were linked to the tomb. On her journey, she shines fresh light on this global legend and reveals the greater legacy of Howard Carter’s discovery.

Prof Salima Ikram and Ella al-Shamahi inside Tut’s tomb. (Blink Films)

Additionally, viewers can enjoy King Tut In Color (4 November at 19:00) in which the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb is revealed for the first time in colour, thanks to the colourisation of black-and-white newsreel and photographs.

In Tut’s Treasures: Hidden Secrets (11 November at 19:00), follow how Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 made headlines across the world, sparking a global frenzy for ancient Egypt. Watch as the boy-king’s 5,398 priceless objects are being reunited for the first time.

A wide view of a victim board. (Blink Films)

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