The Man Who Discovered Egypt

The Man Who Discovered Egypt
Fri 3 Nov 12:40am - 1:40am BBC Four


“All archaeologists working today stand on the shoulders of Sir Flinders Petrie,” says one British Museum curator of the great British archaeologist. Petrie surveyed the Pyramids in the 1870s, was the first to excavate properly in Palestine and became the world’s first Professor of Egyptology at University College London. He was also a controversial eccentric who liked to dig in just his underwear and held uncomfortable views about racial purity.

Chris Naunton (a startling lookalike for another jaunty young TV expert, Dr Michael Scott) tells Petrie’s story with the help of various academics and the now ubiquitous iPad (saves on a rostrum camera, I suppose).


Chris Naunton, director of the Egypt Exploration Society, profiles Flinders Petrie. He explains how the Victorian adventurer changed the world's understanding of ancient Egyptian civilisation by conducting a scientific survey of the pyramids, making valuable historical discoveries along the way. He also discusses how Petrie's methods of investigation revolutionised archaeology.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Chris Naunton
Director Deborah Perkin
Executive Producer Christina Macaulay
Producer Deborah Perkin