Zahi Hawass Dug Up a Lost, 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian City – and Discovery+ Got the TV Rights (Exclusive)

Must’ve been some shovel

Dr. Zahi Hawass

Archeologist Zahi Hawass has done it again, and regular collaborator Discovery+ is (again) sharing the spoils. Hawass recently discovered an ancient Egyptian city in Luxor — The Rise of Aten — that was lost under the sands 3,000 years ago. The Discovery streaming service has obtained exclusive filming access and presentation rights to the dig, TheWrap has learned.

Discovery’s cameras were already rolling during the excavation, which started last year, a person with knowledge of the mission and upcoming special told us. More filming will take place in the fall.

The lost city dates to the reign of Amenhotep III and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay, according to the Discovery+ description. Artifacts, treasures and in-depth analysis of this new city will be featured in the upcoming special to be produced by At Land Productions’ Executive Producer Caterina Turroni, and executive produced for discovery+ by Neil Laird.

“Every time we come to Egypt with Dr. Hawass, we come away with new insight into the incredible history of Egypt. This new city paints a picture of life in ancient Egypt that has never been seen and we are thrilled that Discovery+ will bring this ground-breaking discovery to our viewers around the world,” Scott Lewers told TheWrap.

He’s got a mouthful of a title: Lewers is “Executive Vice President of Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content, Science.”

So he sounds important.

“Thanks to the support of discovery+ I can now concentrate all my efforts into this unique excavation, and one of the biggest discoveries of my career,” Hawass added.

This isn’t the first time Hawass and Discovery have excavated Egypt together. In April 2019, Discovery followed Hawass and his team as they uncovered a 2,500-year-old mummy of a high priest for the first time ever on live television. That special “Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live,” also revealed two other mummies and various ancient antiquities, including a mysterious wax head.

Discovery also followed Hawass and his team on the biggest Egyptian excavation ever attempted to the rugged western Valley of the Kings, a great burial ground for the pharaohs, in a two-hour special streaming now on Discovery+.


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