His dying wish, Alan Billis donated his body to science – but he had a very specific purpose in mind. Unlocking the secrets from the dynasty of Tutankhamen, MUMMIFYING ALAN explores the enduring scientific mystery of how ancient pharaohs were perfectly preserved for millennia.
Premiering Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, this captivating 90-minute special explores and replicates Egypt’s ancient mummification formula to create a 21st century mummy.
Few would donate their bodies for such an extraordinary experiment – and lasting legacy. But this is the dying wish of Alan Billis, a man who has provided his body as a means for a team of scientists to crack an ancient Egyptian enigma.
But why would a family man from Torquay, UK, with terminal lung cancer decide to become an Egyptian mummy? And what can recreating this ancient technique tell scientists about how the greatest pharaohs were preserved 3,000 years ago?
Inside one of the UK’s leading forensic pathology labs, a team of scientists endeavour to unlock the preservation techniques used during the 18th Dynasty, the Golden Age of Tutankhamen. A time of vast cultural and political revolution, this era also marked the pinnacle of the Egyptian embalming techniques. Using a secret and complex blend of ingredients and processes, these early embalmers managed to stop decomposition almost entirely. But what were the mysterious recipes they were using? Did they understand the science behind them? And if so, could this represent the greatest scientific achievement in the entire history of Ancient Egypt?