[07/30/09 - 01:01 PM]
Discovery Channel's 'Out of Egypt' Spans the Globe Unraveling Common Threads of Ancient Civilizations
The six-part series will now roll out on Monday, August 24 at 9:00/8:00c with back-to-back episodes.

[via press release from Discovery]


World Premiere Event Series Premieres Monday, August 24, 2009, on Discovery Channel

(SILVER SPRING, MD) � Secret societies, ritual sacrifice, brutal religious edicts, macabre burials � how are ancient civilizations linked together and what does it say about human instinct? A whole new kind of class is in session with the dynamic, engaging Dr. Kara Cooney. Join this UCLA Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture as she bolts the lecture hall for tombs and temples around the world bringing an exciting new perspective to the most fascinating riddles in history in OUT OF EGYPT premiering Monday, August 24 at 9:00 and 10:00 PM (ET/PT) on Discovery Channel.

Kara uses her understanding of Egyptian customs and practices as a baseline to study how other ancient societies were formed. In "Relics," which airs at 9:00 PM (ET/PT), Kara investigates how and why our hallowed dead are preserved and worshipped. A relic could be the finger of a Catholic saint or a mummified ibis bird buried in an ancient Egyptian catacomb. For millennia, people have ascribed meaning and power to these remnants of their hallowed dead but why? Kara explains that the bodies might be dead, but they remain buried in our current physical world. They are then seen as somehow magical � a bridge from the living here on Earth to the dead in the heavens beyond.

In "Pyramids," airing at 10:00 PM (ET/PT), she takes a closer look at these iconic monuments. In 2560 BC, the ancient Egyptians built the Giza Pyramid. Nearly 2,700 years later and some 7,700 miles away, the Aztecs erected a similarly imposing structure. A coincidence? Kara explains that human nature's desire to be close to the gods, to literally build a conduit to greater holiness, can be seen in civilizations far from Egypt, from the construction of the stepped temples of Mexico to the round pyramids of Sri Lanka.

To illustrate beliefs in the power of relics, Kara undergoes a ritual cleansing in Mexico involving human bones, takes part in a Buddhist burning ceremony in Vietnam and pays a special visit to Sri Lanka's most holy shrine � The Temple of the Tooth - to pay respects to what is believed to be the actual tooth of the Buddha. Throughout history, loved ones, martyrs and political figures all share the appearance of being closer to Gods just by the fact that they are no longer among the living.

"Kara brings a fresh vitality to the field of archeology. She embodies one of Discovery Channel's core attributes - an insatiable curiosity. Her enthusiasm and energy shine through in this exciting new series of specials," said John Ford, President and General Manager, Discovery Channel.

Each special begins in Egypt, where she asks a question that launches her on a quest around the world, As Kara interviews experts and visits sacred sites, she expertly crafts linkages between the social and religious practices of these ancient cultures. In future OUT OF EGYPT specials, Kara looks at beliefs that built and destroyed civilizations, she traces the origins of the Devil and literally descends into the underworld of ancient burial practices.

As Kara ventures "Out of Egypt" over continents and countries to study the Mayans of Central America, the Incas of Peru, the Singhalese of Sri Lanka and other civilizations, she discovers that when faced with the same materials on Earth, the same biological matter and laws of physics, people will come up with very similar strategies independently of one other.

OUT OF EGYPT is produced for Discovery Channel by Digital Ranch Productions. Rob Kirk and Rob Lihani are executive producers. For Discovery Channel, Susan Winslow is executive producer. Neil Crawford is also an executive producer of OUT OF EGYPT.

About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel (DSC) is dedicated to creating the highest quality nonfiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which reaches 98.1 million viewers in the U.S., can be seen in over 170 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres, including science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and indepth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

  [july 2009]  


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