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Mysteries Of The Pyramids With Dara Ó Briain | Preview (Channel 5)

In this brand-new series Dara Ó Briain unravels the most intriguing mysteries surrounding the world’s pyramids.

His destination is Egypt, where some of the most spectacular pyramids dominate the landscape. Dara explores the mysteries of these phenomenal structures, and joining him is archaeologist Raksha Dave and Egyptologist Dr Chris Naunton.

With their help, Dara unravels some of the questions still unanswered: ‘How were the pyramids built using massive blocks of stone, so heavy that even today a modern crane would struggle?’ and ‘What were the pyramids’ true function?’, and ‘If tombs, why has no-one ever discovered a Pharaoh in any of them?’.

With so many questions, there will always be conspiracy theories, which sceptic Dara endeavours to demystify through archaeological, historical, and scientific findings and tell the story of the Pyramids.

In this the first episode, Dara Ó Briain - comedian, amateur astronomer and confirmed sceptic - embarks on a journey to explore the mysteries of the world’s pyramids. With the Royal Pyramids of Egypt as a backdrop, Dara, assisted by Egyptologist Chris Naunton and archaeologist Raksha Dave, delves into the fundamental questions: Why and how were these pyramids built? How did they come to be?

The journey begins with a search for answers about the missing body of pharaoh Khufu, the man behind the most intriguing pyramid on the planet: The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Inside the King’s Chamber Dara meets up with his main accomplice Dr Chris Naunton who reveals the vast gaps in our understanding of both pyramids and ancient Egypt, emphasising that we have barely scratched the surface of this captivating civilisation and its remarkable architectural feats.

Chris sends Dara off to meet Salima Ikram who sheds light on the significance of pyramids in ancient Egyptian beliefs, linking them to the afterlife and how pyramids are ‘resurrection machines’ essential for safeguarding the Pharaoh's body and maintaining cosmic order.

The programme also looks at the parallels with some of the pyramids around the world. In China, the pyramidal mausoleum tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, like the treasures of the Pharaohs, also reveals a cache of goodies to be taken to the afterlife to serve and protect the dead leader. In this case it’s the famous 8000 strong Terracotta Army.

The series also explores how pyramids are catnip for alternative theorists. Paranormal researcher Laura Rowton and ancient mysteries researcher Hugh Newman offer their perspectives for some of the more unexplained questions.

Raksha Dave helps Dara on his journey by offering a compelling analysis of the precision and allure of the pyramids, which have captivated not only Napoleon's men but also the Romans over two millennia ago.

An intriguing transatlantic interview with ex UK government UFO expert Nick Pope adds depth to the investigation while only reinforcing Dara's scepticism. Stargazing in Cairo allows Dara to blend his astronomical knowledge with insights into the ancient Egyptians' understanding of the meaning of some of the stars in the cosmos.

Practical experiences, such as hammering a block of limestone, and discussions with Chris Naunton, underscore the intricacies of pyramid construction. Inside the Great Pyramid, scratches hint at advanced building techniques, and cosmic ray scans reveal the presence of two hidden chambers, adding to the intrigue surrounding where in the Great Pyramid the body of Pharaoh Khufu may be.

Raksha's revelations about a lost ancient harbour are brought to life through captivating CGI, offering a glimpse into Egypt's distant past. Despite the allure of alternative theories, the series maintains a focus on scientific rigour and critical thinking.

Through captivating storytelling and immersive exploration, Dara Ó Briain’s journey unravels the mysteries of the pyramids, offering viewers a deeper understanding of these iconic structures and the civilisations that built them.

Begins Monday 20th May at 9pm on Channel 5.


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