It was, however, an interesting and entertaining programme despite this. They had filmed the archaeologists as they were actually working - getting them to explain what they were doing, and watching them discover things. Including some footage of Salima Ikram (who appears in a lot of programmes about ancient Egypt, always explaining things in professional mode) squealing with glee as she discovered fragments of pottery with inscriptions on in one of the storage jars from the "tomb". There was also a lot of footage of how much work they had to put into conserving the wood of the 7 coffins they found before they could move them - a painstaking task that took months, and very nerve-wracking as they moved them. One of the coffins was full of pillows - linen covers at 30-40 threads/cm (I think), filled with feathers. Still fairly intact, too, and the oldest examples ever found. The coffin that they thought might contain a mummy was jammed full of various artifacts, a treasure trove as one of the archaeologists said. They also showed some of the realities of archaeological work in Egypt both weatherwise & politically - baking hot down in the tomb, and when they found names in the inscriptions nothing was revealed even to the camera crew making this documentary until the Supreme Council of Antiquities had signed off on it. And when they came to open the last coffin (that they hoped had a mummy) Zahi Hawass himself came to do it, followed by an entire zoo of media.
And after a short break we moved on to the next episode of Seven Ages of Britain - The Age of Revolution. Covering, obviously, the Stuarts and the Civil War and subsequent Restoration of the Monarchy. I'm vaguely inclined towards being a royalist, personally, but Charles I did rather bring it all upon himself by his arrogance. There were quite a few fun sequences in this programme - Dimbleby haranguing a group of "drunken" young people with words from a puritan tract, Civil War re-enactors. The art looked at included the Van Dyck pictures of Charles I's court, and Cromwell's changeableness about his own image. First he was represented almost as a king, then painted "warts and all" to play up his ordinariness, then back to a more pompous representation on a coin as a roman emperor. And once Charles II was invited back the changed nature of the monarchy was mentioned (not by divine right, but by the request of his people) as we looked at the Lely paintings of the women of the court - Charles II being somewhat of a playboy ;) The programme also showed the scientific advances that were beginning to be made - including showing us Hooke's Micrographia, which would be fascinating to have a look at. And ended up with the great fire of London, and Wren (and Hooke)'s plans to rebuild - none of which happened except St Paul's cathedral. (The radio programme we listened to on Monday touched on this, actually - because the land was all privately owned the owners wanted to build their houses again, not have them swept away into these plans for broad avenues and squares.)