Egypt regularly reveals fascinating discoveries in the country. But, the most recent one was quite different for two reasons: it saw the opening of a stone coffin of a mummy and was aired live on TV.
Egyptologist and former Antiquities Minister Dr. Zahi Hawass, alongside an Egyptian team, opened three sealed sarcophagi from the 26th Dynasty, one of which contained the well-preserved mummy of a powerful priest. The mummy was "wrapped in linen and decorated with a golden figure depicting Isis, an ancient Egyptian goddess," according to The National.
The episode titled Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live was hosted by U.S. explorer Josh Gates.
"The ancient Egyptians mummified over 70 million people"
"This has been such an amazing experience. There aren't many people who can say they've gone down into unexplored ancient tombs, especially with a living legend like Dr Hawass," Gates said.
Gates added that the 2,500-year-old mummy was that of a "high priest of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom and magic," as reported by The New York Post.
A total of three mummies were uncovered during the two-hour event, including two high-priests and a female mummy whose sarcophagus "identified her as a singer in the temple of the Egyptian God Thoth." She was buried alongside 50 mummified pets, according to The Sun.
In terms of history, Egypt is one of the richest countries in the world. For thousands of years, Egypt thrived as an independent nation whose culture was famous for great human advances in every area of knowledge, from the arts and sciences to technology and religion.
The great monuments, which Egypt is still celebrated for today, reflect the depth and grandeur of Egyptian culture, which influenced so many ancient civilizations, including Greek and Roman.
Till today, researchers and archaeologists continue to find artifacts in Egypt including The Tomb of Tutankhamun, The Rosetta Stone, and The Khufu Ship, to name a few.
Controversies surrounding Zahi Hawass
In 2015, Zahi Hawass admitted that one episode from his reality TV show was in fact fake.
Hawass starred in a documentary-styled reality TV series called Chasing Mummies: The Amazing Adventures of Zahi Hawass in 2010 that aired 10 episodes on The History Channel. The show followed Hawass as he embarked on archaeological adventures hunting ancient Egyptian secrets along with a team of young archaeological fellows.
The show was not well-received by critics as many thought it was overly "artificial" and "staged." Five years after the show ended, the star revealed that the supposedly "reality" show was indeed artificial. Hawass told The Washington Post that the show's most infamous moment, in which the intern Zoe D'Amato pees inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, was actually fake.