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Case Number 26983: Small Claims Court

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Secrets of Ancient Egypt

Acorn Media // 1994 // 207 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 16th, 2014

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The Charge

Explore the mysteries of tombs, temples, mummies and pyramids.

The Case

Acorn has excavated a series of one-hour programs designed to shed some light on the grand mystery of Egypt, its culture and its vast mummy representation. Four installments in all, tackling different subject matter with different narrators (and shot in different times.)

• "Secrets of the Pharaohs: A Quest for Ancient DNA"
This episode deals with the exciting, cutting-edge science of DNA testing of mummified remains. Well, maybe not that cutting-edge, as this program was originally aired in 1994. I'm guessed significant strides in science have happened since the original broadcast, but no matter: the investigation is interesting and the experimentation is compelling.

• "Oasis of the Golden Mummies"
When an old man and his donkey accidentally break through into the catacombs, it's Mummy-palooza! Archaeologist Zahi Hawass gets into the newly discovered venue and begins investigating the corpses. Along the way, we get the complete skinny on how mummies are prepared in all of their disgusting glory.

• "Secrets of the Sands"
The pyramids are amazing constructions, befuddling researchers because of their complexity, considering they are surrounded by nothing but sandblasted desert. But what if, at one time, these sands had been lush landscape? That's what a current theory holds, and is supported by observations from space. That's right: space.

• "The Sacred Animals of the Pharaohs"
How do animals tie into the customs and culture of the ancient Egyptians? They are explicitly tied to the gods of Egypt, with many beasts finding themselves—fairly or unfairly—linked to gods of varying douchiness.

Lot of solid info here. If the ins and outs of old-school Egypt is your thing, you'll be well-served by this set, even if some of the installments aren't the newest.

Episodes are split between full frame and 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and mono/stereo mixes. In addition to a set of in-depth liner notes, you get a full-length bonus episode called "Realm of the Dead."

The Verdict

Not guilty. This Tut's for you.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Acorn Media
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 207 Minutes
Release Year: 1994
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Foreign
• Historical
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Episode
• Booklet


• None

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