It was a world first. The sarcophagus of an egyptian priest dating back more than 2500 years ago, was opened on live television in the night of Sunday to Monday when the show Expedition Unknown , hosted by Josh Gates. It is the artificial light that the egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass and his men were opened, in front of the cameras, three sarcophagi. One of them was lifted to the surface of the tomb, a second is located at the bottom of a gallery. They are especially focused on the third, much more imposing and sophisticated, which contained the remains of a high priest of the god Thoth, a contemporary of the 26th dynasty (664-525 bce).

“This man was like a king,” said Zahi Hawass, the view of the quality of the embalming, and strips intact, in contrast to the first two mummies. Thoth was often represented in the form of an ibis and symbolized in particular by the wisdom and the magic.

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“Toward the end of ancient Egypt, the power really belonged to the high priests and it shows,” said Josh Gates, the presenter of the show including the staging to accentuate the dramatization of the discovery. The site was outside the city of Minya, in the Nile, south of Cairo. Was also present the secretary general of the egyptian supreme Council of antiquities, Mostafa Waziri.

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Asked by AFP about a possible financial transaction between the string and the egyptian State to obtain the permission to film and to open the graves, a spokesman for Discovery declined to comment. The political instability and the attacks have dealt a blow to tourism in the country since the 2011 revolution. The sector has experienced a relative improvement by 2018. The egyptian authorities announced regularly, archaeological discoveries, but the country has often been accused of a lack of scientific rigour and neglect in the preservation of its antiquities.

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The special programme of Josh Gates will be broadcast in France from the 19 April at 20.45 on the Discovery Channel and French in the replay on SFR for thirty days. In the meantime two episodes on the Egypt Expedition Unknown is available to subscribers of the platform.