Ancient Cold Cases are Re-Opened in New Smithsonian Channel Series "Mummies Alive"
02 June 2015
All photos courtesy of Smithsonian Channel
Sunday, June 7 at 9PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
Golden Globe Nominee® Jason Priestley Narrates 6 Episode Series
A new Smithsonian Channel series narrated by two-time Golden Globe nominee Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210) traverses four continents to reveal the extraordinary stories behind the world's most enigmatic mummies. MUMMIES ALIVE, premiering Sunday, June 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, spans 5,000 years of history, with each of the six episodes focusing on one mummy including: a legendary cowboy gunslinger of the American Wild West, a 3,000-year-old Egyptian pharaoh, and a 14-year-old girl found on top of a 22,000-foot volcano in South America. These mummies are time travelers from the past and the most precious human link we have to our ancestors. By investigating their incredible preserved remains and bringing them to back to life through cutting-edge CGI, their stories and the secrets of past civilizations come to light.
The series kicks off with The Gunslinger Mummy, nicknamed ‘Sylvester”, whose preserved remains and eerily life-like face are on display in the “Ye Olde Curiosity Shop” in downtown Seattle. One legend claims that he was killed in a saloon shootout 120 years ago. But as the color is restored to his sunken cheeks and his ancient eyes open, the MUMMIES ALIVE scientific investigation and computer animation reveal the most likely and surprising truth about Sylvester’s last moments.
Other episodes include Buried In A Bog, which unravels the riddle of two Iron Age bog bodies unearthed from the peat fields of Ireland and the story of a 5,300-year-old mummy, known as Ötzi the Iceman who was discovered frozen on a mountain glacier in the Italian Alps.
Another mummy, The Inca Maiden, believed to have been 14 years old at the time of her death, was found buried near the top of a 22,000-foot volcano in South America. A CT-scan will try to solve the mystery of how she died and what she was doing at 22,000 feet. The Inca Maiden is the best-preserved mummy in the world, and today she is kept in a specially-designed cryogenic chamber at a museum in Argentina.
MUMMIES ALIVE: THE GUNSLINGER MUMMY Premieres Sunday, June 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This mummy has been on display at a Seattle curiosity shop since the 1950s. According to one legend, he was an American Wild West cowboy, killed 120 years ago in a saloon shootout. He’s got what appears to be a bullet hole in his stomach, but using CT imaging technology and state-of-the-art virtual autopsy techniques, investigators piece together a new and surprising story; one involving a notorious con man, the sideshow circuit, and a lesson on how to turn a buck using the myth of the Old West.
MUMMIES ALIVE: BURIED IN A BOG Premieres Sunday, June 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
In 2003, the police were twice called to the peat fields of the Irish midlands to examine mangled corpses unearthed from their peaty graves by the claws of peat-harvesting machines. Found within three months of each other and a mere 16 miles apart, these two bodies had evidently met with extremely violent ends before being buried in the bog. Despite their incredible states of preservation it quickly became clear that they were long dead - possibly thousands of years old - and that an archaeological, rather than criminal investigation, was in order.
MUMMIES ALIVE: ÖTZI THE ICEMAN
Premieres Sunday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This episode re-opens one of the oldest cold cases in human history by examining a Neolithic murder victim buried under ice for over 5,000 years. Chilling events are reconstructed, and the latest forensic and scientific techniques are employed to expose Europe’s ancient, violent past. Samples taken from his stomach reveal his last meal. A copper axe found with his body may rewrite the history books, and wounds discovered on his hand and back suggest a violent death.
MUMMIES ALIVE: THE PHARAOH’S SECRET Premieres Sunday, June 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This episode peels back the wrappings on a mysterious, mutilated pharaoh. Using the latest forensic techniques, investigators unearth a violent story of conquest and rebellion that laid the foundations for Ancient Egypt’s golden age.
MUMMIES ALIVE: THE INCA MAIDEN Premieres Sunday, July 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This is the story of the stunningly preserved mummy of a 14-year-old girl who died and was buried at the top of the highest active volcano in the world. The extreme environment guaranteed her preservation, but did it also kill her? As the secrets of a lost civilization are revealed, shocking clues point in a more sinister direction and provide an unprecedented emotional and intimate look at the tragic life and death of this young girl.
MUMMIES ALIVE: HERO OF HERCULANEUM Premieres Sunday, July 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This investigation looks into a forgotten chapter from the volcanic destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Three hundred mummified skeletons were found buried in ash, including the body of a man armed to the teeth and carrying a huge cache of gold and silver. Who was he? What was his role in the disaster? How did he die? For the very first time, his story is told.
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