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NOVA; Mummy Who Would Be King, The


Anamorphic Ch 1/2: Full Mix Ch. 3/4: Med TRT: 56:46 Not for Broadcast, use version with updates for Jan. 2007 broadcast

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Mummy Who Would Be King, The
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

A shriveled mummy with crossed arms that has lain neglected on a dusty museum shelf at Niagara Falls could be the remains of a long-lost Egyptian king. It had languished in obscurity and had been "discovered" in the 1960s only to be declared a fraud. Yet Egyptologist Gayle Gibson tells NOVA that as soon as she laid eyes on the body, she was convinced it was someone special. In 1998, when the Niagara Falls Museum closed down and its mummies were sold to the Carlos Museum at Emory University, the mysterious cross-armed body finally received the attention and resources needed for a thorough background check. NOVA is there as esteemed Egyptologist Salima Ikram, an expert with intimate knowledge of the era and its rituals, examines the mummy. NOVA also interviews Meinhard Hoffman, the man who first suspected royal connections. After exhausting the evidence, there is one last crucial test: the opinion of the man who speaks for Egypt, Director of Antiquities Zahi Hawass. Declaring the body to be that of an ancient pharaoh, Hawass brings Rameses I home to rest alongside his family in the Cairo Museum, a fitting solution to a 3,000-year-old puzzle.

Working Title: Royal Mummy

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Mummy Who Would Be King, The,” 11/01/2005, GBH Archives, accessed June 18, 2024,
MLA: “NOVA; Mummy Who Would Be King, The.” 11/01/2005. GBH Archives. Web. June 18, 2024. <>.
APA: NOVA; Mummy Who Would Be King, The. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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