Netflix’s newest documentary brings us along the journey of the Saqqara excavations, which has unearthed one of archeology’s biggest discoveries in fifty years.
Following the thrilling discovery of an exquisitely preserved 4,500-year-old Saqqara tomb in late 2018, the whole world watched in awe as archaeologists unearthed over 3,000 artefacts, including the first mummified lion cub to be discovered and 55 wall-carved statues. The tomb, which housed the body of Old Kingdom Priest Wahtye, has now become the subject of Netflix’s latest release, Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb.
Described as a ‘once in a generation find’, the tomb has now become the centre of a 113 minute documentary directed by James Tovell and produced by Lion Television and At Land Productions.
The tomb didn’t just hold the body of Wahtye; his whole family had been buried alongside him. According to Dr. Amira Shaheen, Professor of Rheumatology at Cairo University, there is an ongoing belief that the family could have died from a malaria epidemic. If this theory could be proven, it would be the first documented case of malaria in history.
The documentary will follow the team of archaeologists as they excavate the passageways and shafts, and piece together the discoveries of one of Egypt’s most remarkable tombs. “This has been an exciting moment for the whole world. Shooting this film has been an experience full of thrilling surprises," director James Tovell said "Working with an Egyptian team that has a deep connection with their ancestors has made the project even more unique. This mission wasn’t like any other. Normally in archaeology, you labor for weeks to find anything. Here every 30 seconds there was a new jaw-dropping discovery.”