A four-part Series for BBC2, Produced by Lion Television in association with media lab. Distributed by All3 Media.

The story of the world’s greatest civilisation spans 5000 years of history that has shaped the world. It is full of spectacular sites and epic stories, but also an evolving society full of inventors, heroes, heroines, villains, artisans and pioneers.

Now Professor Joann Fletcher pulls together the complete story of Egypt – charting the rise and fall of the ancient Egyptians while putting their whole world into a context that we can relate to.

In this series, Joann Fletcher brings alive the history and people of Ancient Egypt as nobody else can. She shows us who started the world’s first Nation State and why; how writing, mummification and taxation came into being; why thousands died of famine and how Egyptian society rode a rollercoaster of success and failure for thousands of years.

Jo will reveal some genuine surprises: new evidence shows how in times of famine the Egyptians were sometimes driven to eating their own children, women could rise to the very top of Egyptian society and the earliest royal tomb builders were buried with their own sacrificed families.  Ancient Egyptians, it seems, even built the first Suez Canal.

Threaded throughout, Jo will also explore personal details from all levels of society. From Ramses’ penchant for hiding his grey hair, the truth behind Amenhotep III’s multiple and incestuous marriages, or why Tutankhamen’s widow feared for her life - to the ailments that afflicted many Egyptians, why some people got the best jobs, and how ‘men in sheds’ often powered the Egyptian penchant for innovation.

Jo will show that monument builders were well-paid middle class workers not slaves; revealing key military manoeuvres and just how large Egypt’s empire became and how frequently during its long history Egypt was ruled by foreigners. How climatic incidents sparked a number of key events in Egyptian history as well as extensive immigration and trade; while Jo’s investigation reveals precisely how the Egyptians safe-guarded their treasures.  She’ll uncover how bible stories really fit into Egyptian history.

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