Always late in receiving the Discovery Channel documentaries it is great when someone reviews one of the ancient Egypt focused ones that have aired in the US. On this occasion I went crawling to Alice Gaylor (Florida, U.S.A) who took the job on with enthusiasm, and pulled no punches. Here's her review, with my sincere thanks.
My thoughts on the Discovery channel's King Tut Unwrapped - Royal Blood. This is a 2 night, 4 hour docudrama.
First, let me say that I am not trained in Egyptology. BUT I can see what's there, and what's not there. And I didn't see a lot there.
I was very disappointed. I guess I expected too much after all the "facts" that have been presented since the 17th. What I saw was a lot of docudrama footage and a lot of Zahi.
What I did not see was any conclusive facts supporting the announcement that the KV55 mummy is Akhenaten. The only real fact that I saw about this was the Wa-A-En-Re on the gold foil. I could just make out the glyphs. and had to take his word for it as to what they said.
Therefore, I'm not as sure as he is that KV55 is Akhenaten (much as I would truly like for it to be.) It could well be Smenkhkare. I know - did he exist? Well, there are a lot of items that have his name on them for him NOT to have existed. The coffin that my guy Tut has been resting in since Carter put him back in the tomb, is not Tut's face. It is the same face that's on the canopic coffins and a statue that I've seen with his name. I have to believe that he is/was real.
Now was he king? How long? Exactly when? Is he the man in KV55? No real clue. But as far as I can tell, it's a toss up as to which one it really happens to be. I believe that this man was Tut's father. The DNA is good here. I just don't believe that his identity was proven beyond doubt.
And now the largest of the fetus show Marfan's. Ithought that it had been ruled out in the family.
I don't understand how he could have ridden his chariot all around the country standing up with that bad foot. But Zahi said he was a strong man. With a deformed foot and 130 walking sticks in his tomb ??
So now Zahi is saying that the Younger Woman in KV55, Tut's mother, might be Nefertiti. He sure gave Joan Fletcher what for when she said that.
I would think that they would have checked the DNA of the younger lady with that of Tut's mother and grandmother, and father. Also that of the lady called KV21a, and b for that matter. That might help to identify them.
Not being trained in Egyptology, I rely on what I read and what I see and hear for knowledge. I expect the things that I see and hear and read to be accurate. I saw a lot of inaccurate things on both nights.
At one point they listed the kings in this order - Amenhotep III, Smenkhkare, Akhenaten. Not in the history books I've read.
In two scenes they had Tut wearing just the white crown. In another one the red and white crown. Couldn't make up their mind. Mostly the Blue crown.
Akhenaten named his city Akhet-Aten, modern Egyptologist have named it Armana. But I never heard the true name mentioned on either night.
The mould for the ring found at Armana had a name, they said it was Nebkheperure. I've been wearing a necklace for the last 15 years with that name and it didn't look like my necklace. It looked like Tutankhamun. It had the glyphs for Thebes and so on. I need to check one of my books that has both, but I'm sure it was Tut.
In short or long, I watched 4 hours , most of it of Zahi marching in and out of tombs, the museum, various storage rooms and the desert. He totally wore me out! I would much rather have had 2 or even 3 hours of facts.
BUT at least Tut has a family, even if we don't know what their names are for sure. So that makes me happy.
Alice G., Florida, USA