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Secrets of the Dead is part detective story, part true-life drama that unearths evidence from around the world, challenging prevailing ideas and throwing fresh light on unexplained events.[NOTE: Episodes shown only in the UK are listed in Season 0, first digit of episode number indicated UK series.]

Genres: Mystery | History
Station: PBS (US)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 2000-08-14

Secrets of the Dead Season 17 Air Dates


S17E01 - Scanning the Pyramids Air Date: 25 January 2018 03:00 -

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The only one of the seven wonders of the world still standing, the Great Pyramid of Khufu has fascinated people for centuries. Tracing the origin of the legends of secret chambers hidden in the heart of the pyramid, Secrets of the Dead will show what lies within, solving a 4,500-year-old mystery, by following the first scientific mission in 30 years to be authorized by the Egyptian government to examine the pyramids of Egypt.

Passionate about ancient history, the global team of Scan Pyramids consists of particle physicists, experts in innovation and 3D technologies, and engineers in thermal imaging from Egypt, France, Japan, and Canada. For more than two years, they explored every corner of the pyramid, using non-invasive technologies including infrared cameras, 3D scanners and cosmological particle detectors located inside and outside the monument. Their search detected unknown cavities in the Great Pyramid of Khufu for the first time since the Middle Ages. Witness Scan Pyramid's adventures and successes in this extraordinary scientific and historical journey through time and space that led to this historic discovery.


S17E02 - Hannibal In The Alps Air Date: 11 April 2018 00:00 -

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Hannibal, one of history's most famous generals, achieved what the Romans thought to be impossible. With a vast army of 30,000 troops, 15,000 horses, and 37 war elephants, he crossed the mighty Alps in only 16 days to launch an attack on Rome from the north. For more than 2,000 years, nobody has been able to prove which of the four possible routes Hannibal took across the Alps, and no physical evidence of Hannibal's army has ever been found…until now. In Secrets of the Dead: Hannibal in the Alps, a team of experts – explorers, archaeologists, and scientists – combine state-of-the-art technology, ancient texts, and a recreation of the route itself to prove conclusively where Hannibal's army made it across the Alps – and exactly how and where he did it.


S17E03 - The Woman in the Iron Coffin Air Date: 04 October 2018 02:00 -

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On October 4, 2011, construction workers were shocked to uncover human remains in an abandoned lot in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, New York. So great was the level of preservation, witnesses first assumed they had stumbled upon a recent homicide. Forensic analysis, however, revealed a remarkably different story. Buried in an elaborate and expensive iron coffin, the body belonged to a young African American woman who died in the first half of the 19th century, before the Civil War and the federal abolishment of slavery. But who was she? Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin follows forensic archaeologist Scott Warnasch and a team of historians and scientists as they investigate this woman's story and the time in which she lived, revealing a vivid picture of what life was like for free African American people in the North.


S17E04 - The Nero Files Air Date: 21 February 2019 03:00 -

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The Roman emperor Nero is considered one of history's greatest criminals. His name has become synonymous with evil, as historical accounts have accused him of killing his stepbrother, his wife, and his mother, as well as persecuting Christians and instigating the devastating Great Fire of Rome. This is the judgment that is passed in history from one generation to the next, but are these accounts of Nero's reign accurate? New scientific discoveries and a closer examination of the ancient texts written about Nero cast a different light on the Roman emperor and the accusations leveled against him. Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files follows internationally renowned criminal psychologist Thomas Müller and a team of scientists and historians as they investigate the new evidence in order to discover the truth about the controversial emperor.

Noteworthy Moments in Nero's Timeline

As his stepson, Nero should not have inherited the throne after Claudius' death. But Brittanicus, the rightful heir as Claudius' biological son, was too young to become emperor, allowing Nero to take control. It is believed that Nero had Britannicus killed by poisoning his drink to eliminate a potential adversary.

It is believed that Nero turned to matricide because of an ongoing power struggle with his mother He engineered a plan to have her swept off a boat and drowned at sea.

The phrase ‘fiddling while Rome burned," refers to the belief that Nero played music while watching the destruction of his city. He's also been accused of starting the terrible blaze in order to make room for his own construction projects and then, after blaming Christians for the fire, had them brutally and publically executed.

In one of the darkest tales of Nero's reign, it is believed the emperor killed his wife, Poppaea Sabina, by kicking her in the stomach while she was pregnant with their child.


S17E05 - King Arthur's Lost Kingdom Air Date: 28 March 2019 02:00 -

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After four centuries of occupation and leadership, the Romans left Britain in 410 AD and the island's fate was left hanging in the balance. History teaches that in the 5th century, the country descended into a tumultuous and violent period knows as the Dark Ages, leaving the nation vulnerable to invading Angle and Saxon hordes from northern Europe. With a nation divided, a great leader known as King Arthur emerged, uniting the lawless lands to fight off invaders – or at least that's what the fragmentary historical texts suggest. The truth is, no one really knows what happened, and this pivotal moment in history has been shrouded in mystery – until now.

The key to Professor Roberts' quest is the excavation of a stone palace complex on the Tintagel peninsula in Cornwall, England – long believed to be the birthplace of the King Arthur legend. More than folklore, was Arthur, in fact, ruler of a prosperous and sophisticated trading village, and the heroic defender of the native Britons against the invading Anglo-Saxons?


S17E06 - Egypt's Darkest Hour Air Date: 04 April 2019 02:00 -

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The discovery of a rare mass grave with the bones of nearly 60 people outside Luxor sends archaeologists on a quest to find out who the remains belong to, why they were buried the way they were and what was happening in ancient Egypt that would have led to a mass burial. Could the collapse of the empire's Old Kingdom provide any clues?

Following the long reign of Pepi II, a series of weak kings ruled ineffectively. Without a strong central government, local leaders asserted themselves, fracturing the country's power base. As the climate shifted all over the world, the country was then hit by a decades-long drought that caused a great famine and economic failure.

In Secrets of the Dead: Egypt's Darkest Hour, viewers will go behind the scenes with archaeologists and scientists as they venture through Africa – from the Pyramids to the glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro – in search of clues to solve the mystery of the mass grave, examining the political and environmental catastrophes that plunged Egypt and its people into anarchy. Were the bodies found victims of the famine, civil war or something else?


S17E07 - Galileo's Moon Air Date: 03 July 2019 02:00 -

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Next Episode of Secrets of the Dead is

Season 20 / Episode 2 and airs on 28 October 2021 02:00

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