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A Review Of Terry Jones' "The Hidden History Of Egypt"

1328 words - 5 pages

I chose to review the documentary The Hidden History of Egypt, presented by Terry Jones. The reason I chose this documentary is because I had prior knowledge about Terry Jones in a comical sense through Monty Python and Ripping Yarns, hence I had some expectations about it. I also think that of the three documentaries we viewed, this one was the most engaging as it presented aspects of factual information in a humorous manner.The Hidden History of Egypt had a greater emphasis on the everyday life of the Egyptians, unlike the other documentaries we watched which dealt more with the pyramids and tombs of Egypt. In this documentary Terry Jones walked through the ruins of ancient Egyptian houses, sampled Egyptian food, dressed like an ancient Egyptian and visited the some tombs of an "average" Egyptian. Throughout the documentary Jones's manner was very relaxed and the documentary was almost a spoof of "traditional" documentaries. He used comedy and visuals to communicate with the audience, such as dressing up as an Egyptian, and this worked with immense success. In the documentary there was a small amount of archival footage used, but unlike most documentaries this one did not rely on it. The documentary featured Dr. Joanne Fletcher, an Egyptologist, who explained to the audience a variety of facts relating to ancient Egypt. The purpose of bringing an 'expert' into the documentary probably had the effect of providing credibility to it.The documentary focused on six different aspects of ancient Egyptian culture. These were: tombs, housing/craftsmen, agriculture, food and drink, engineers/languages and dress and makeup. The documentary started with Terry Jones and Joanne Fletcher investigating the tombs of typical Egyptians and how the hieroglyphs, within those tombs, told their stories. An interesting fact they shared was that the tombs were built in the Egyptians spare time. After this Terry and Joanne looked at the housing of ancient Egypt and then compared it to the housing of modern Egypt. The documentary showed the ruins of Deir-el-Medina and the inside an ancient Egyptian home that was there. This home had a front room for guests, a "family" room, a kitchen and bedrooms. It also showed us that the ancient Egyptians had a "refrigerator" which consisted of a hole in the ground that was kept covered in order to keep the food cool. A similarity between the ancient Egyptian home and the modern Egyptian home was that in both cases the family slept on the roof in summer, in order to keep cool.From housing to agriculture, the documentary explained how the flooding of the Nile was crucial to ancient Egyptian society, as it brought silt down from Ethiopia and Uganda. The silt that came with the flooding fertilized the land. The fertile land was so important to the Ancient Egyptian that they named their country after it; they called it "Khemet" or "Black Land". The land that was not touched by the flood was called the "Red Land" or "Deshret", from which...

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