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K. Kris Hirst

Secrets of the Dead: Ultimate Tut

By July 8, 2013

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This Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, the American Public Broadcasting System premieres its new two-hour long Secrets of the Dead episode on Pharaoh Tutankhamun, that boy king that everybody in the world has heard of, but, it turns out, nobody really knows. Until now.

Reenactment of Pharaoh Tutankhamun for Secrets of the Dead: Ultimate Tut
Reenactment of Pharaoh Tutankhamun for Secrets of the Dead: Ultimate Tut. Courtesy of Sean Smith Blink Films and Shop PBS

You know Tutankhamun: he was the one who was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, in a nearly undisturbed pharaoh's tomb; lots of gold including a mask; he was only 18 when he died; mysterious (and bogus) curse following his excavators; and a slim excuse for comic Steve Martin to let out his silliness. That we know.

But this terrific episode in Secrets of the Dead introduces us to the Tut we have never known: How did he die--was it really murder? Why is his tomb so darned small? Why was his mummy burned? What happened to his heart? These are only a few of a whole slew of questions, answered from a wide range of experts in a myriad of fields; and brought to us by archaeologist Chris Naunton of the Egypt Exploration Society. This you gotta see.

Secrets of the Dead
Secrets of the Dead. Shop PBS


July 9, 2013 at 1:44 am
(1) Rick in Miami says:

It sounds like a great show, Kris. Will definitely be watching. One thing, though: I thought they finally decided that Tut died from a terrible infection as a result of having broken his leg while riding his chariot during a hunt. Yes? No? Maybe? (I thought it was yes.)

July 9, 2013 at 8:19 am
(2) Kris Hirst says:

I’m not telling, except to say that scholars no longer believe it was a hunting accident–you’ll just have to find out the very enjoyable way of watching it on Wednesday!

July 15, 2013 at 11:40 am
(3) john raguso says:

I caught the Tut show. You were right! At first I thought — ‘Not another King Tut show’ ! What else could possibly exist that we don’t yet know !
I was very surprised at how much I learned

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