An Antiquities Binge-Watching Guide

Alternate title: A Romer-Egypt Rabbit Hole.

If you’re a fan of documentaries about archaeology (and not ones with a bunch of cheap re-enactments by amateur actors but lots of views of actual sites and artifacts), then these recent uploads to YouTube will hold your attention for hours. Most of these are by John Romer, the very listenable Egyptologist who last made news a few years ago by trying to secure permits to excavate what he believed to be the tombs of the kings Herihor, Piankh, and Menkheperre.

The first two sets below are documentaries that chronicle ancient Egypt, then there’s a set about the history of the Bible (Testament), and then there’s a sobering documentary about the damage done to the tombs in the Valley of the Kings after excavations there began.

After that there’s a documentary about the restoration of Queen Nefertari’s tomb, with a nice close-up view of the tratteggio technique (at around 38 minutes). In one of the photos in the blog post at the end you can see that the tratteggio was apparently not approved by the Egyptian authorities. In the downloadable books linked at this site you can see photos from the original excavation of Nerfertari’s tomb that show how much was lost before he restoration.

Finally, there is a wonderful lecture about the Egyptian collection in Turin, Italy, which includes the contents of the tomb of Kha and Meryt. This tomb was discovered intact and was in fantastic condition. The lecture shows detailed imaging of their mummies, which have never been unwrapped and still contain incredible pieces of jewelry.



Romer’s Egypt (1982)


Ancient Lives (1984)

Testament (1988)


The Rape of Tutankhamun (1993)


Nefertari, For Whom the Sun Shines, 1989


Inaugural Lecture: Queen Nefertari’s Egypt, Museo Egizio, Turin, Italy, 2020

Categories: featured, Toby Lum, Videos, Zipporah Pharaoh and the Bomb

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