The latest installment of PBS’ series, Secrets of the Dead is one of the series’ most interesting episodes. That is because the episode’s subject is one that has intrigued people the world over for ages. The subject of study in question in this episode is none other than the boy king, Tut. This near two-hour episode is a fully immersive study of not just how he died, but of what happened to him after his death. The theories presented here make this a wonderful companion piece to last year’s release by History Channel of the Ancient Egypt anthology. The re-enactments on the part of the episode will both entertain and help enlighten audiences. And the demonstrations and computer models presented with each theory make the episode complete. They tie directly into the re-enactments to bring each theory into full view and make each one understandable by even the most casual of viewers. All of this in turn makes this episode of Secrets of the Dead more proof of the importance and value of public broadcasting yet again.
The theories centered on how King Tut died seem to be as many as the stars in the sky. The most commonly held belief of those masses of theories is that he was murdered by a jealous rival. While this is seemingly debunked by the individuals in this episode, the concept of a jealous rival does come into play later in the segments surrounding Tut’s embalming and entombment. That in itself is just as eye opening as the theory on how Tut died. That’s because it plays out like something right out of a modern day movie. Getting back to the theory on how Tut died, the theory in question presented here is that he wasn’t murdered, or the victim of malaria or even an infection from a hippo bite, but that he was in fact run over by a chariot on the field of battle. The aforementioned re-enactments and computer models present a rather compelling argument in favor of this theory. Though it’s interesting that if Tut was indeed run over by another chariot, the question remains to whom did the chariot belong? While the theory is largely sound, it does have one hole. That hole is the discussion of who exactly Tut and his forces would have been battling at the time. This seems like a minor detail. But in the grand scheme of things, to make the theory watertight, one would have to have solid evidence of the battle that would have led to his falling from his chariot and in turn run over by another chariot. Without proof of the battle that is theorized, it is difficult to not question it at least to some length. It would be interesting to have the experts in question re-visit this theory and see if this can be tied in to their theory.
The theory presented here on how Tut died is rather thought provoking, but not watertight. It is definitely interesting to consider, though. Just as interesting are the discussions centered on the theories of what happened to Tut in the moments and eons after his death. Among the most interesting of the discussions is that of how Tut’s body ended up in the state in which it was found. According to the scientists that examined Tut’s body, the theory is raised that his body was prepared very quickly and carelessly due to the personal ambitions of Tut’s personal Vizier. This brings back the previously mentioned belief that Tut was murdered. According to the experts interviewed for this program, the skull damage found on Tut was not from a blow to the head, but as a result of Tut’s body being moved when it was originally damaged. It definitely will lead to even more thought provoking discussions among viewers at any level.
The theories of how Tut came to be in the condition in which he was found are sure to create their own in-depth discussions among viewers. They aren’t the end all do all though. Other theories are sure to come up. And as noted in the final minutes of this episode, another tomb very close to Tut’s has been discovered, but has yet to be unearthed. Its discovery raises even more curiosities. And it is sure to raise even more theories in the future; theories that are sure to make for more than enough fodder for another episode of Secrets of the Dead. Until then, history buffs will have this episode to take in and share with one another. It will be available Tuesday, July 23rd. It can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=21689776&cp=&sr=1&kw=secrets+of+the+dead&origkw=Secrets+of+the+Dead&parentPage=search.
Audiences can find out even more about this episode and every episode of Secrets of the Dead on the show’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/SecretsofTheDead and its official website, http://www.pbs.org/secrets.
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