A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this educational series about the work of respected Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass is sure to capture the imagination of anyone who's interested in ancient Egypt. Most of the show's content is age-appropriate for tweens and up, though there's some infrequent strong language and some of the underground tomb-exploration sequences can be a bit intense, with real-life Indiana Jones-style action (Hawass even wears a similar hat). It's also worth noting that Hawass is a larger-than-life personality who basks in the adulation of his team but can quickly explode into anger at even small mistakes.
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What's the story?
Noted Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass is following in the esteemed tradition of centuries of archaeologists who've combed the deserts of North Africa, searching for the lost tombs of the pharaohs and CHASING MUMMIES. Some of these burial chambers are deep below the shifting sands, while others turn up underneath modern villages that have been built atop historical sites that date back thousands of years. Such juxtapositions -- and the way Hawass and the often-surprised villagers interact -- explain as much about modern Egypt as they do about the country’s ancient history.
Is it any good?
This entertaining educational series focuses on two things: ancient Egypt and the outsized, bombastic personality that is Dr. Hawass. He clearly loves his work, but he has no patience for fools, incompetence, or people who have the misfortune to be around when there’s any kind of accident. He frequently loses his temper, and his wrath is a force of nature to behold. He can quickly shift gears from kindly professor discussing the important attributes of some priceless antiquity to outraged boss berating an unfortunate colleague. It’s not always fun to watch, and while Hawass certainly has made many contributions to the field, it’s not clear that his work entitles him to behave like this.
It may come as a surprise to some people that there are still people finding and excavating new tombs in Egypt, and the sequences filmed underground are fascinating. There's still much to be learned from these sites, which sometimes look like a scene out of Indiana Jones; Hawass even has the appropriate hat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ancient Egypt. Did you learn anything new from this show? Did you know there were still researchers digging up ancient tombs in Egypt?
How could you learn more about the topics and places featured on the show if you chose to?
What do you think of Hawass? He is often quick to anger -- do you think his outbursts are justified? Would you like to work for someone who treats his colleagues that way? Do you think his experience gives him the right to act like this?
For kids who love history
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