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10 Best Documentaries About Egypt (For 2024)

These documentaries about Egypt transport you to a land of mesmerizing wonders and deep historical roots, from the ancient mysteries of the pyramids to the bustling chaos of Cairo’s streets.

These documentaries provide a window into a nation that has captivated the imagination for centuries, offering insights into its archaeological treasures, vibrant traditions, and the evolving challenges faced by this enigmatic country.

Whether you’re intrigued by the secrets of the pharaohs, the splendour of the Nile, or the complexities of modern Egypt, these films promise a journey through time and culture that will leave you both enlightened and enchanted.


Documentaries About Egypt

These documentaries about Egypt show a country with a rich history and a wide range of fascinating topics to explore. Naturally, Egypt is most famous for its ancient civilization and the monuments from that time, so many of these documentaries are based around that.

On a side note, I have lived and travelled in Egypt for several months and explored most of the country. I always recommend to my readers to watch some documentaries or movies of the countries they visit to get a deeper understanding of the area and its people and history.


The Nile: 5000 Years of History (2019)

This documentary series traces the history of the Nile River and its importance to Egypt, from the earliest civilizations to modern times.

Historian Bettany Hughes, who is one of my favourite TV history presenters, explores 900 miles of the Nile from the Mediterranean Sea to the country’s border with Sudan in the far south. She travels on a cruise boat up the Nile to experience life as the ancient Egyptians did.

This is one of the best documentaries about Egypt that explores the Nile River and gives an in-depth understanding of the places and people there.

You can watch this series on Amazon here:

Trailer:


The Story of Egypt (2016)

This documentary series, hosted by historian and archaeologist Joann Fletcher, takes viewers on a journey through Egypt’s history, from its ancient civilization to the modern era.

It explores many parts of the culture of Egypt, from the many inventors, artisans, heroes, villains, explorers, scholars, and more.

If you were going to watch only one documentary about the history of Egypt, then this is the one to watch.

You can watch the entire series in one video on YouTube for free. It’s 4 hours long!


Ancient Egypt by Train with Alice Roberts (2023)

Professor Alice Roberts is an excellent historian and also a great TV presenter and in this series, which is one of the latest ones to watch on this list, she explores ancient Egypt.

As the title of the series suggests, she travels around the country by train to do it. Egypt also has one of the oldest train networks in the world which adds to the charm of this documentary-travelogue.

You can watch all the episodes for free on DailyMotion. This is the first episode:


Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb (2020)

Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb follows a team of archaeologists as they excavate the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt. The focus is on the discovery of a tomb belonging to a high-ranking Egyptian official named Wahtye, dating back more than 4,000 years to the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

The documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at the excavation process, showcasing the challenges faced by the archaeologists and the excitement surrounding the uncovering of artefacts and the tomb itself.

The film explores the historical significance of the discoveries made in the tomb and it also delves into the mysteries of the burial practices and rituals of the time. This is one of the best documentaries about Egypt that explores the Saqqara necropolis.

Trailer:


Egypt’s Lost Queens (2014)

This documentary explores the powerful and often overlooked women who ruled ancient Egypt, shedding light on their roles and contributions to Egyptian society.

Ancient Egyptians were very different compared with the other old civilizations of the time with sexual equality. Women held the power of Pharaoh 18 times in ancient Egypt.

Egyptian society had many female tutors, doctors, priestesses and more. This documentary shines a light on the reign of these queens in history.

This whole documentary is free to watch on YouTube:


Tutankhamun’s Treasures: Lost Treasures of Egypt (2020)

New technology reveals why Tutankhamun’s tomb remained hidden in the Valley of the Kings, Tut’s treasures take a once-in-a-lifetime journey and archaeologists open a 4,000-year-old tomb.

The archaeologists unearthed a lost box of treasures from inside the tomb and show us how his tomb remained hidden for millennia.

You can watch the full episode in good quality on YouTube for free:


Egypt’s Sun King: The Mystery Tombs (2017)

Archaeologists uncovered a cache of royal mummies in 2011 and in this documentary they explore the mystery surrounding their identities and significance. It was the first new tomb to be discovered since that of Tutankhamun.

The documentary explores the discovery and excavation of a series of ancient tombs near Luxor. These tombs are believed to date back to the era of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, which includes the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.

Amenhotep III, often referred to as Egypt’s “Sun King,” ruled during the 14th century BCE, and his reign was known for its opulence and artistic achievements. His funerary complex on the west bank of the Nile near Luxor is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Egypt.

The documentary follows archaeologists and experts as they investigate and uncover these tombs, shedding light on the lives and times of the individuals buried within them and the connections to Amenhotep III’s reign. The tombs are notable for their richly decorated walls and the artefacts found within them.

Trailer for Egypt’s Sun King: The Mystery Tombs:



Mysteries of Egypt (1998)

Mysteries of Egypt is an IMAX documentary and is a visually stunning exploration of the history and culture of ancient Egypt, with a particular focus on the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza and the life of Pharaoh Ramses II.

Narrated by Omar Sharif, this documentary takes viewers on a visual journey through Egypt’s most iconic landmarks and explores the mysteries of its ancient past.

This one is a classic of the documentaries about Egypt, although it is a little old now.

Watch on YouTube:


The Pyramid Code (2009)

This series challenges traditional views of the pyramids and explores alternative theories about their construction and purpose, incorporating both scientific and mystical perspectives.

It has been both praised and criticized for its unconventional theories and interpretations of ancient Egyptian history and culture.

While it presents some intriguing ideas and perspectives, it’s important to note that many mainstream Egyptologists and archaeologists do not endorse some of the claims made in “The Pyramid Code.”

As with any documentary of this nature, viewers should approach it with an open mind and consider a variety of sources and viewpoints when exploring the history of ancient Egypt and the construction of the pyramids.

You can watch the whole documentary on YouTube although the quality is a bit low.


Secrets of Egypt’s Lost Queen (2007)

Follow the discovery of the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s most powerful female pharaohs, and learn about her life and reign.

She was more powerful than Cleopatra or Nefertiti. In fact, Hatshepsut was Egypt’s greatest female ruler. 

This is from the Discovery Channel and you can see the trailer for it here:


Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids (2001)

This documentary delves into the lesser-known aspects of Egypt’s history and culture, including its natural wonders, ancient temples, and contemporary life.

This is a slightly older documentary now but still good to watch for the history it shows. You can watch all the episodes for free on YouTube but the quality is a little low. This is the first episode:


Egypt

These documentaries about Egypt offer a diverse range of perspectives on Egypt’s history, culture, and natural beauty, making them a great way to explore this captivating country from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re interested in ancient history, modern culture, or the natural beauty of the country, many other documentaries about Egypt can satisfy your curiosity, apart from these, but these are 10 of the best to get started with.

For more on travel in Egypt take a look at the 10 best books about Egypt to read.


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