54 min

Tomb Raider Second Decade

    • History

One of the most bizarre and mysterious cultures in human history, ancient Egypt still holds considerable interest for us today. This was even more true in the 1810s, not long after battles between France and Britain in the region of the Nile brought European travelers, scholars and opportunists to the desert to hunt for ancient Egyptian artifacts. One of the most notorious of these characters was Giovanni Battista Belzoni, a former barber and circus strong man who in 1815 became the go-to guy for British agents seeking to make a killing on selling Egyptian artifacts back in Europe. Belzoni’s incredible run of luck in the tomb raiding business, especially in October 1817, resulted in the discovery of numerous undiscovered and forgotten tombs in the Valley of the Kings, bringing to light their mysteries and questions that have lingered for the past 3,000 years. 
In this episode of Second Decade, Dr. Sean Munger will trace the rise of Europe’s interest in Egypt, why the 1810s was such a crucial part of that story, and the discoveries on (and under) the ground that still tantalize us today. You’ll meet not only the audacious character of “The Great Belzoni,” but an ambitious and superstitious Ottoman prince, a wily British agent seeking to move as much loot as possible from the land of the pharaohs to the British Museum, and an Egyptian king who left behind over 800 wooden servants to work for him in the afterlife. Dr. Munger also has a rare occasion to share a story from his own childhood, one of his very first encounters with history. 
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Additional Materials About This Episode

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One of the most bizarre and mysterious cultures in human history, ancient Egypt still holds considerable interest for us today. This was even more true in the 1810s, not long after battles between France and Britain in the region of the Nile brought European travelers, scholars and opportunists to the desert to hunt for ancient Egyptian artifacts. One of the most notorious of these characters was Giovanni Battista Belzoni, a former barber and circus strong man who in 1815 became the go-to guy for British agents seeking to make a killing on selling Egyptian artifacts back in Europe. Belzoni’s incredible run of luck in the tomb raiding business, especially in October 1817, resulted in the discovery of numerous undiscovered and forgotten tombs in the Valley of the Kings, bringing to light their mysteries and questions that have lingered for the past 3,000 years. 
In this episode of Second Decade, Dr. Sean Munger will trace the rise of Europe’s interest in Egypt, why the 1810s was such a crucial part of that story, and the discoveries on (and under) the ground that still tantalize us today. You’ll meet not only the audacious character of “The Great Belzoni,” but an ambitious and superstitious Ottoman prince, a wily British agent seeking to move as much loot as possible from the land of the pharaohs to the British Museum, and an Egyptian king who left behind over 800 wooden servants to work for him in the afterlife. Dr. Munger also has a rare occasion to share a story from his own childhood, one of his very first encounters with history. 
Sean’s Patreon 
Make a PayPal Donation 
Additional Materials About This Episode

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

54 min

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