Out of Egypt, on the Telly

Pyramid panorama

Like the ancient world? Like early civilization? Like pyramids? I’m guessing if you’re reading this you probably do, so you might enjoy a new documentary series airing on the Discovery Channel next Monday evening. Out of Egypt examines the links between ancient cultures, our modern fascination with them, and the myths and legends which have endured thousands of years. Fronted by glamorous Egyptologist Dr Kara Cooney, the first episode, ‘Relics’, sees the team travelling to Mexico, Vietnam and Sri Lanka to ask just how powerful a part relics have played in the world’s most famous cultures. Dr Cooney explores the links between religion, society and the dead and their relics, and even undergoes a ritual cleansing in Mexico involving human bones.

Cooney’s enthusiasm and passion promises to make the series hugely entertaining.

Second episode ‘Pyramids‘ sees Cooney returning to her spiritual home in Egypt, where she unsurprisingly examines the Great Pyramids and notes the empowering effect they had on their creators. The team also travel to some ancient Aztec sites to see how, 7,700 miles away, early Americans were creating their own pyramid structures. Coincidence? Or just a common human desire to get closer to their gods?

The show promises to infuse hard anthropology and archaeology with entertaining and stunning material on some of the world’s greatest ancient monuments. There’s also the not insignificant matter of Dr Cooney herself – a kind of pin-up for the Egyptological world. According to Discovery execs her passion is limitless, and it is infused in the series.

I’ll be speaking to Dr Cooney about the shows and her work next week for Heritage Key – keep your eyes peeled for what should be an hugely interesting chat. For now, though, watch the show and see what you think about Discovery’s latest take on the wonders of the ancient world.

A video preview of the upcoming ‘Out of Egypt’ show: