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York academic’s focus on life and death in Ancient Egypt

Posted on 8 March 2013

Dr Joann Fletcher, a Research and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, has written and presented Ancient Egypt: Life & Death In The Valley Of The Kings for BBC 2.

The first of two 60-minute programmes goes out on 22 March though there will be a special screening in Dr Fletcher’s home town of Barnsley today (Friday 8 March).

It is Dr Fletcher’s first television series and she aims to cast light on the everyday lives of ordinary ancient Egyptians. The show does this through the prism of a married couple, who gave their entire lives to the service of their masters in the tomb-builder’s town of Deir el-Medina.

The series, produced by All3-Media’s Lion Television, will mix cutting-edge science, new discoveries and live archaeology in a bid to bring the era to life in a way that the BBC believes has never previously been achieved.

Last year, a documentary featuring the mummification of taxi driver Alan Billis, using research Dr Joann Fletcher and Dr Stephen Buckley, also a Research Fellow at York, won a Bafta and Royal Television Society Awards.

Dr Buckley and Dr Fletcher spent nearly two decades uncovering the secrets of the mummification process used during the 18th dynasty ‘Golden Age’ of ancient Egypt. In Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret they replicated this process on the body of Alan Billis, who volunteered after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

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