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FASCINATING HISTORICAL, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, ARCHITECTURAL, & ARTISTIC DOCUMENTARY
on September 20, 2009
ANCIENT LIVES is a DVD set that is not only educational, but it makes learning about the artists of Ancient Egyptian kings fun and inviting. By the time archaeologist John Romer completes his filming and explanations of the Egyptian artists and their life-style, you want to grab a pick and shovel and hop on the next plane to Thebes and the Nile River.
This 4 episode DVD set (205 minutes plus more on Bonus) is not about the Kings and their lives; but rather, this detailed documentary is about the people who lived generations, lifetimes, in the Workers' Village. These were the scribes, the artists, the carvers, and the craftsmen and their families that decorated the royal tombs and created the antiquities that get all the attention in other Egyptian stories. These were the laborers, the common folk, like you and me.
They not only left written documentation about the rulers, the these scribes also carefully carved their own stories and way of life into the rock walls and pieces of stone around Deir el Medina, the tomb-makers' village. They left their own mark and story among the hills around the valley of the kings, and the scribe's family history is as interesting, or in some ways with more relatedness, than that of Pharaohs, Queens, and their gold plated mummies.
Several royal tomb scribes, beginning with Ramose (1275 to 1241 BCE)provide enough data to follow them through their lives and discover how they lived, how they felt, what they admired, what they dreamed and who they loved. They left behind personal family correspondence, with historic footnotes. It's a textbook via DVD on the ANCIENT LIVES of these common workers, but extraordinary artists.
The "people of the village" faced hardship, hard work, and little reward except the pride of their work. Eventually things like famine, grave plundering, and changes in the pharaohs wishes, brought about major changes in the village, even it's eventual doom.
You'll get some looks inside magnificent tombs; see valuable aesthetic pieces, and hillside scratches; visit museum housed artifacts; and all along this trip, get thoroughly enlightened as to what you are experiencing from John Romer, a famous archaeologist that looks and acts the part of one of the commoner people of the village.
This set includes subtitles, a Bonus featurette called "Pharaohs' Liquid Gold" (about the ancient Egyptian beer that was a staple along with bread), & a booklet to follow during each episode which includes highlights as well as added information of important people met in the episode. This booklet also poses questions usable for educational classrooms, or with your viewing friends. It has a bibliography, a bit on a scribe's education, a bit on hieroglyphics and hieratic writing, and a 2009 piece "The Making of Ancient Lives" by John Romer. More DVD bonus features include Who's Who among Egyptian Deities, and Real-life Indiana Joneses, an archeologist segment.
You'll see a small bit of King Tut and Queen Nefertiti, but you'll enjoy more the story of scribe Harshire (and others), and actually are shown a location Romer thinks will be the next great golden Egyptian dig archaeological windfall. Just ten feet down from where he is standing? Grab your pick and study your Egyptian symbols.
OR, buy this DVD set and enjoy a personally guided ride through rocky tomb-filled Egypt's Nile valley, near Thebes.