Scanning the Pyramids
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Ancient Egypt docu celebrates science, teamwork, curiosity.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Kids will learn about ancient Egypt as well as new technologies used to make new discoveries -- although some of these may go above some younger kids' (and adults') heads. This includes how cosmic-ray muography can be used to penetrate dense structures to study what's inside of them.
Knowledge and expertize -- from around the world -- is shared through teamwork. Curiosity, communication, and perseverance are also on display as scientists and engineers strive to learn about the past.
Positive Role Models
Scientists and engineers from Egypt, France, Canada, and Japan all work together on a common discovery mission, and approach it neutrally. They share knowledge and expertize in order to learn more about the ancient world.
Products & Purchases
MSI and Dell computers are visible.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Scanning the Pyramids is a documentary about a multicultural science expedition that led to the discovery of a previously unknown space inside Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. There are great examples of teamwork, curiosity, communication, and perseverance as scientists and engineers from around the world come together to exchange ideas and expertize in order to learn more about the ancient world. Although it's family friendly, kids (and some adults) will probably struggle to maintain attention unless they have an interest in Egyptology, science, or engineering. Dell and MSI computers are clearly visible, but not in a commercial context.
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Scanning the Pyramids
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What's the Story?
SCANNING THE PYRAMIDS is a documentary about an Egyptology team's efforts to look for secret chambers inside the oldest and largest pyramid in Giza without disturbing a single stone. The Great Pyramid, a.k.a. Khufu's Pyramid, is thought to have been constructed between 2509 and 2483 B.C. under the reign of Pharaoh Khufu. The burial chambers were found, but over the centuries Egyptologists have used vinegar and fire, dynamite, and later, remote cameras, to penetrate the structure to look for "magic" or secret chambers, which legends claim that Khufu was obsessed with. None were ever found, but in 2017 innovation strategist Mehdi Tayoubi, along with engineering professor Hany Helal, headed up a team of Egyptian, French, Japanese, and Canadian engineers, 3D model experts, and physicists to use light from the universe to X-ray the 45-story pyramid, and discovered a previously unknown space inside. With this data, they hope to have a better understanding of how the pyramid was built.
Is It Any Good?
This intriguing documentary shows how a multicultural group of scientists and engineers used modern technology to discover what they claim is a previously unknown chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Scanning The Pyramids breaks down how they used cosmic-ray muography -- which measures the rate of muon particles (a heavier version of the electron) made when cosmic rays slam into the Earth's atmosphere over a period of time -- to see through the dense structure.
Impressive 3D digital models of the phenomena, which is between 1400-1800 cubic feet in size, are used to help the group theorize about what they are seeing. Also revealed are the concerns the Egyptian government had about the process, and the results. Some may find this painstaking journey a little dry, but Scanning the Pyramids successfully shows viewers how modern science is helping us learn more about the marvels of ancient times.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how both teamwork and curiosity were displayed in Scanning the Pyramids. How did the scientists and engineers use their expertize to work together and learn? What other character strengths did they display?
What did you know about ancient Egypt before watching this documentary? Has it inspired you to learn more? Why is it important to take an interest in the past?
Discuss how technology has helped us learn more about the past. Can you think of any other examples of where technology has taught us things about our ancestors?
How did this documentary compare to other history documentaries you might have seen? What did you like and/or dislike?
- Premiere date: January 24, 2018
- Cast: Paul Bandey, Geoffrey Bateman, Andy Chase
- Network: Max
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: STEM, History, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Communication, Curiosity, Perseverance, Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: August 26, 2021
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