Friday, January 03, 2003

One of the members of my ancient Rome discussion group complained about the Discovery Channel's obsession with Hitler and King Tut. I agreed with him but I must admit I'd rather watch an Eygptian topic rerun than my husband's old "B" Rated Westerns! Last night I was watching ANOTHER "Pyramids, Mummies, and Tombs" piece on TLC (http://tlc.discovery.com/convergence/pmt/pmt.html) and was not really paying close attention when I caught the tail end of a description of an early "opening of the mouth" ceremony where the priests cut off somebody's leg and held the quivering leg up to the mouth of the mummy. I had never heard of that practice before so I guess there's always more to learn about Egyptian burial practices. But I can't understand the educational value of such offerings as "Junkyard Wars" and "Monster Garage".

I got really frustrated when History Channel International was advertised as "History Before OUR Time". I thought at last we would get a channel with something other than rehashed WWII combat footage. Alas, they apparently must have decided costuming or something was too expensive to feature pre-20th century topics too often. However, at least we get the occasional quality piece. Last night's piece on the history of the war horse was quite good (although I've seen it before). The segment on Roman saddle design was particularly interesting and I appreciated the horsemanship quotes from Xenophon.