In 2022, world-renowned archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and his protege, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, embarked on separate excavation projects in Saqqara, with the hopes of making groundbreaking discoveries. ‘Unknown: The Lost Pyramid’, available on Netflix follows the journey of these two archaeologists, who were once colleagues but are now friendly competitors in the field. The documentary sheds light on the immense physical effort and unwavering conviction required to carry out an excavation project and the thrill of discovering something from ancient times.
Director Max Solomon vividly describes his experience working on the project, “There’s a magic in these locations. You are there the moment that the seal to a tomb is broken open. Your flashlight is the first beam to penetrate the darkness after 4,000 years. It takes your breath away.”
Dr. Hawass is determined to uncover the pyramid of Huni, the last Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty and a critical figure in ancient Egyptian history. Finding Huni’s burial ground is crucial to understanding this period, and Dr. Hawass is confident that he will be remembered for this significant discovery. He is passionate about preserving Egypt’s past and believes that it is crucial for local people to contribute to uncovering their history, as most artifacts discovered by foreigners were taken out of the country.
Meanwhile, Dr. Waziri and his team were studying the Bubasteion site, Dr. Waziri’s team discovered several statues that were used as magical protection; they also uncovered the wooden coffin belonging to an individual named Ahmose. They found a nine-meter-long papyrus scroll of the “The Book of Death.”
Dr. Hawass and his team found statues near a quarry, indicating that the cemetery belonged to elites and suggesting that a pyramid was close by. They were thrilled to discover that the cemetery had not been looted and was worth excavating.
‘Unknown: The Lost Pyramid’ highlights how Dr. Hawass and Dr. Waziri are leading the way for archaeology in Egypt. Despite their different approaches, their shared love for discovery and history unites them. The documentary showcases how their mentorship is shaping the future of archaeology in Egypt.
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