Private Lives of the Pharaohs (3 x 60’)

1. Sex, Death and the Lotus

In the nobles’ tombs of Ancient Egypt the significance of the blue lotus flower which is seen everywhere remains unexplained. Could it have been used as a drug? In Manchester the mummy of a noble woman has been subjected to a detailed examination in a bid to understand the diseases she suffered from, and the possible role of the lotus. The astonishing answer they came up with suggested an unexpected connection with sex.

2. The Fall of the House of Tutankhamun

When Howard Carter found the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, he also found two foetuses buried with the pharaoh. But who were these children, and might their premature deaths be linked to the end of Tutankhamun’s family, the famous 18th  dynasty? As two American scientists are allowed for the first time to sample the royal DNA, the family’s secret re-emerge from across three and a half thousand years of history.

3. Lost City of the Pyramids

Probably the most debated mystery of Ancient Egypt surrounds who built the Pyramids, and how and why they did it. Now the tombs of the pyramid builders have been found, and the workers themselves are providing the answers. Scientists have been able to work out not only exactly who they were, but even details of their lives from what they ate, to the medical care they received.