Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs (2007) Movie Script

Ancient land of all and wonder,
who's people whisper from the desert sands.
For the Egyptians life was eternal.
They search the globe for ingredients to
proserve their bodies and their immortality.
With knowledge came from centuries of practice,
a priests created the finest mummies,
the world has ever known.
And now they were on a critical journey.
To return to Egypt, with the ingredients
for the mummification of the pharaoh.
Ramses the Great was being prepared for
the next stage of his life,
when his mummy would ressurect in paradise.
But how they were mummified?
Where they were hidden, and whether
may they still give life today?
These are the secrets of the pharaohs.
There is a handful of mummies, whose names
was written on the bandages and coffins.
These mummies are people, who did not
decomposed, when they died,
because their flesh was preserved by secret methods.
And according to the writing,
these mummies are three of the most
powerful pharaohs, that ever lived.
Ramses the Great, his father and his son.
Ruled by pharaohs like Ramses,
Egypt Empire dominated
the Near East for 3000 years.
And in all that time Egypt's gods and
government barely changed.
The Egyptians attributed this to the will
of the the gods. "Divine order".
Ramses shared his life with queen Nefertari.
Like all Egyptians, they loved life
and wanted to live beyond death.
They thought dying was just
a gateway to the next world.
And if they would not not been born on earth,
their lives would continue in paradise.
So they prayed, that their honesty and
offerings would ensure order on earth and beyond.
Th Egyptian universe was controlled by the goddess Ma'at,
who govern the world and the heavens.
Even Ra, the mightiest son god
obeyed the laws of Ma'at.
If Ma'at's order was ever broken,
the sun would not rise.
The Moon would no follow.
The egyptians mummies would never rise again.
They called the soul for the essence
of each person his Ba.
After death your Ba faced your final judgement.
Your heart was placed on the scales of judgement,
and wait against the feather of truth.
If you done evel, your heavy heart would tip the scales,
and the Devourer would of innihilate u.
But if you have allways been truthful and rightchous,
your heart would be feather light.
Your soul would fly to paradise
to reenter your body.
Your mummy would come to life in the next world.
A world, in which every momment
was like a beautiful day.
But the preparation of a mummy for
this journey remains a secret.
The Egyptians recorded their
tales of war and death...
Their myths and legends...
Everything, except how they mummified their dead.
Strangely, no complete records have been found,
so when the last priest in ancient Egypt died,
he took the secret to his grave.
Many aspects of mummification remain lost,
until Egyptologist, Dr. Bob Brier
patiently gathered the surviving clues.
I was looking at tomb paintings, ancient writings,
temple carvings,
anything, that might show the ingredients
used for embalming.
Queen Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri
describes an egyptian expedition to east Africa.
The egyptians were getting ingredients for the
mummification from allover the known world.
The first mummies were natural, dried by
a bariel in hot desert sands.
But when the egyptians started
to use tombs in pyramids,
the bodies was no longer in contact with the sand,
so they had to preserve the body artificially.
And the art of mummification was born.
To dry the body, embalmers covered it
for 35 days with Natron,
a naturally occurring blend
of salt and baking soda.
Ancient embalmers used seven sacred oils.
some extracted from rare trees,
they carried home from distant lands.
Hatshepsut's temple shows mounts of
frankincense and myrrh they brought back.
These were key ingredients in mummification.
Over time the egyptians noticed,
that beeswax, pine resin and golden honey
were particularly good at preserving mummies.
These natural antiseptics were described by the
Greek historian Herodotus in his book.
Priests sliced the skin with flint knives.
Removed internal organs like the liver and left the heart,
which they believed to be the source
of consciousness in place.
The jackal headed Anubis guarded the mummy.
His tempt allowed desert breezes to dry the body.
His priests adorned the dead with gold
and perfumed them with frankincense and myrrh.
With the ceremony of the opening of the mouth,
the mummy would breath and speak in the next life.
The priests chanted powerful spells
as the mummy was wrapped.
And with the decoration of innocents, that
the person did not sin in this world,
he and his mummy would be reborn in the next.
We knew about the religious rituals, but there
were still gaps in the mummification procedure,
that i could only fill in
by creating a modern mummy.
So i teamed up with a colleague anatomist Ron Wade
and used the body donated to science.
We performed the first human mummification in the
Egyptian style since the time of the pharaohs.
For 20 years scientists have tried to extract
usable DNA from egyptian mummies without success.
More than a decade later, if we can get DNA
from any part of our modern mummy,
it will tell us where to look at ancient mummmies.
I'm not an DNA expert, but working with
Dr. Angelique Corthals, a specialist in this field,
we took the samples of skin, muscle
and bone from a modern mummy.
What makes it so difficult to extract DNA from mummy?
Is it the passage of time, the 3000 years?
Or is it the combination of time and
chemical effects of mummification?
DNA is the blueprint of all life.
Sand and air are lifeless, because
they contain no DNA.
DNA is the magic ingredient.
For where is DNA, there is life.
This instruction manual is written
in a 4-letter code.
You rearrange this 4-code letters, and you get
endless possibilities to make a living organism.
So a beetle and a bee, a bird and a man have the
same components in every cell.
Just rearranged, and in different links.
DNA changes slightly with every generation
and these changes are recorded.
So by comparing their DNA, we can tell how close
plants and animals, including people, are related.
DNA can even tell us, what diseases
ancient mummies suffered.
Some diseases, like malaria are caused by
parasites invading the body.
Some of these parasites have left traces
of their DNA in the mummies.
Many ancient egyptians died from malaria,
just as millions of people will this year.
Like all life, diseases like malaria
evolve over time to survive.
Because malaria parasites reproduce very fast,
their DNA evolves quickly.
Thousands of generations of malaria have lived,
since the pharaohs ruled.
I want to compare an ancient malaria with
its modern descendant. Ancient DNA with modern DNA.
The differences may point towards a cure,
and millions of lives could be saved in the future.
These tests will give us the answer.
Perhaps the DNA held in mummies like Ramses,
will help to cure the people today.
To advance our research, Dr Corthals has traveled
to Egypt to see the latest mummy in the diggings.
She's visiting Dr. Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt's
antiquities on his excavations at Saqqara.
In early times, only the pharaohs bodies were made
in to mummies and buried in their pyramids.
Later more people were mummified.
First are the royals, then the nobles,
and by the time of Cleopatra, the middle class to.
So during Egypt's history, literally
millions of mummies were made.
For scholars like Dr. Hawass, these mummies
are window to ancient Egypt's past.
Many of these mummies still lie beneath the ground,
awaiting the call to paradise.
Ramses believed, his body would
come to life in paradise.
He knew, he also lived as long
as people would remembered him.
As long as they said his name.
So he built monuments for himself,
and to his beloved Nefertari.
The gods demanded, that the pharaoh
keep Egypt safe and rich.
So on the bank of a river Nile,
at Egypt's southern border,
Ramses constructed Abu Simbel,
a warning to barbarians beyond.
Ma'at, divine order was maintained for centuries.
As i was looking for clues to mummification,
i became involved in the lives of the pharaohs.
You visit their tombs and temples, translate their
encryptions, you cant help about wondering about these people.
Im viewing Ramses as a person, but you have to
remember, Ramses was viewed by the Egyptians as a God.
Responsible for divine order in the universe.
What kind of king was Ramses?
What kind of man?
Ramses was the pharaoh of the exodus.
This may be the only face from the Bible,
we will ever see.
When i first looked at his mummy, i remember
about thinking about all those things Ramses did.
Ramses personally led his troops into great battles.
3000 years ago he signed the oldest known peace treaty.
Ramses built more temples up and down the Nile,
than any other pharaoh.
Sure it took 20 years to carve Abu Simbel
out of the mountain, but Ramses rules Egypt for 67 years.
He had plenty of time to build.
For the 1000 miles throughout Egypt, Ramses
built temples to please the gods.
And ensure, that the divine order prevailed.
He intended to be remembered.
Because the ancient egyptians believed,
that the memory of a good man lives forever.
But a council Ramses's deeds were lost to history,
because no one could read the ancient egyptian text,
the hieroglyphs on his temple walls.
And than in the 19th century, scholars
finally cracked the code to hieroglyphs.
A massive inscribed tablet,
the Rosetta stone held the key.
The buildings and the powder scrolls came alive.
Only a few dozen people could read the hieroglyphs.
And one of the finnest translators
was an american Charles Wilbour.
With the unlocking of the secret code,
a passion for Egypt, egyptomania was born.
And ever more adventurers on Egypt shores
to search the sands for hidden tombs.
But when adventurers entered the pharaohs tombs,
there was a mystery.
They found paintings of the pharaohs,
their gods and their mummies everywhere.
Anubis - god of mummification,
protected them after death.
Painted food and drink fed the mummies.
The night sky kept watch over the sleeping pharaohs.
Work on the tombs continued, until
the pharaohs were buried,
Then craftsmen stopped,
what theire were doing, and left.
But tho these tombs were made for kings,
not a single pharaoh's body remained.
Where were the royal mummies?
No one knew.
Tombs have been robbed for thousands of years.
In ancient Egypt, workers build
the tombs in the good times,
and robbed them in the bad.
After the great reign of Ramses,
there have been many hard years,
so the royal tombs were raided.
But in the eighteen hundreds, tourists would pay
more for antique souvenirs, then it would for gold.
Master thieves trusted Egypt's rare rainstorms,
to reveal hidden tombs.
When water quickly disapears into the ground,
it could be emptying in to a tomb below.
Ahmed and Mohammed Rassoul were experts
in this dangerous profession.
And now they've made a discovery,
that would change history.
People of all sords, locals and
foreigners, rich and poor alike,
were trading in goods from mummies tombs.
Like other codebreakers, Charles Wilbour knew,
no pharaoh's mummy had ever been found,
but at some unusual artifacts had recently
appeared for sale in Egypt.
These objects bore the names of kings.
The Rassouls could not read the hieroglyphs
on what they found, but Wilbour could.
What he was being shown, was
freshly stripped from a mummy.
And the cartouche the oval in circling the name,
meant that these were the wrappings of a king.
He asked the brothers, to take him to the tomb.
The gleaming new house told him, that
brothers were coming to some money recently.
There were only two ways to earn a living here.
Farming and tomb robbing. And sudden wealth didn't
come from farming.
It was a beautiful tomb.
But not Royal.
Wilbour had to leave Egypt soon.
He pressed the brothers,
to tell him the tombs' true location.
They were the suspects already.
And police judgement would be rough,
if they didnt cooperate.
In desperation he offered "bakshish",
a bribe for the truth.
Wilbour went to investigate
the valley of the kings himself.
In early Egypt pharaohs built
their tombs in pyramids.
But the gold in the pyramids was a magnet for thieves
who plunder them soon after they were built.
So the pharaohs moved their tombs hundreds of
miles south down the Nil to this hidden valley.
Eventually this tomb was robbed.
Inscriptions at the entrances told Wilbour,
which tombs have been brief
holding places for the royal mummies.
But the trail went cold.
And why has relics from different
kings and queens spending centuries,
appeared on the market suddenly at the same time?
All he knew for certain, was that
what he bought on the market,
had wrapped the mummy of the pharaoh
for three thousand years.
Until now.
Wilbour wanted to save a pharaoh's tomb.
He tried to persuade the brothers,
to tell him where it was. One last time.
Wilbour had to leave. And Egypt's
heritage lay in the balance.
The brothers had left him no option.
Emil Brugsch was a top antiquary's
official at the time.
And another codebreaker.
This was the pharaoh's tomb.
But it was unlike any tomb ever seen before.
Dozens of mummies, all royal.
The Pharaoh Tuthmosis I.
And his successor, Tuthmosis II.
Husband to Hatshepsut,
Greatest Queen ever to rule.
Builder of Deir el-Bahri,
and the finest obelisks in Egypt.
His son, Tuthmosis III., Great warrior King.
Builder of an empire, and the temple of Amun.
Ramses III.,
who's legacy stands at Karnak and beyond.
Seti I.
Brilliant general, who commissioned exquisite
temples at Abydos and Thebes.
And his tomb in the valley of the kings.
And the father of this man
- Ramses the Great.
His temples at Luxor, Karnak and Abydos.
Abu Simbel still gods Egypt's southern border.
His name lives on.
These were the men and women,
who built the Egypt.
And so it was, that the pharaohs began their journey
out of the darkness and in to the light.
Fulfilling their wish, that their names
be said and they might live on.
Four decades later, Howard Carter would find
a near perfect tomb of the boy king - Tutankhamun.
But the greatest cash of
royal mummies in history, 40,
including 12 pharaohs had left
the valley of the kings forever.
These mummies traveled 400 miles
north to Cairo, where they lie today.
Years later the tomb collapsed.
But the mummies have been saved
and may reveal their secrets.
The samples from the modern mummies skin,
muscle and bone have shown,
that the skin and muscle didn't contain DNA.
But the bone did, 4x more DNA than ever
extracted from an ancient egyptian mummy.
Now we know, where to look for DNA in
ancient mummies. In the bones.
The DNA held in mummies like Ramses the Great
may yet provide cures for diseases today.
Some might call it luck, but the ancient priests
hid the pharaoh's mummies.
And robbers didn't destroy them and they escaped
annihilation in the collapsing tomb.
The Egyptians would call it "divine order" - Ma'at.
But now we might be on the cusp of another wonder.
The pharaohs mummies have meant
different things over the centuries.
For the ancients they were the source of hope,
for the robbers the source of wealth,
for scholars the source of knowledge.
But finally perhaps the mummies
will fulfill their destiny.
To sustain the gift of life.
Translation: Jierro