Lost Treasures of Egypt

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Lost Treasures of Egypt

When I ask you to imagine Egypt, what comes to mind? Most likely, the first image that pops into your head are the pyramids. Perhaps the Sphinx with its famously broken nose. Ancient Egypt has been a source of inspiration for countless historians throughout the years.

Finding answers is no easy task. The ever-shifting sands of Egypt have buried whole cities underground. Despite the difficulties, however, passionate people have been digging up lost Egyptian treasures since before the birth of Christ.

The first intrepid exporters of ancient ruins were the ancient Egyptians themselves. Thutmose IV spent much of his rule restoring the Sphinx after an inspiring dream he had one night. A hundred years later, Prince Khaemweset (4th son of Ramesses II) cemented his legacy by finding and restoring multiple historic buildings.

A thousand years later, the ancient Greeks made a study of ancient Egyptians. The last dynasty of Egypt, the Ptolemies, did lots of restoration work during their 275-year reign. The Romans took over this duty when they took over the region.

The passion for Egyptian history waxed and waned through the centuries. Our modern fascination reignited when Howard Carter found Tutankhamun’s (nearly intact) tomb in 1922, garnering worldwide press coverage and inspiring generations of Egyptologists to join the search. Today, discoveries happen very rapidly, thanks to the Egyptian government pushing for new finds to increase tourism.

Since 2017 we have discovered a 3,000-year-old statue of Pharaoh Ramses II; 2,000-year-old sarcophagi and multiple tombs; the bust of the legendary Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius, and many more. Join them in the search for the lost treasures of Egypt.

Fridays at 7 PM on National Geographic (ch 220) from Friday, 12 March

Author: Jan Hendrik Harmse