Tony Robinson was exploring a necropolis – or “city of the dead” with Egyptologist John Ward for his Channel 5 show “Opening Egypt’s Great Tomb”. The pair were investigating an area known as Gebel el-Silsila, which is 40 miles from the city of Aswan, looking for remnants from the 19th Dynasty. They stumbled across an area dating back roughly 3,500 years, where they believe many of the pharaoh’s followers at that time were buried.
Mr Robinson told viewers last month: “Many of the workers here served under Egypt’s greatest pharaoh – Ramses II.
“1,200 years before Cleopatra, he ruled Egypt at the very peak of its powers and pushed Egyptian building to new heights.
“But every great pharaoh needed a highly skilled workforce.
“Oh look – there’s a shabti!
“Just like the pharaohs, Egypt’s workers liked to be buried with their possessions and ensure they would be looked after for eternity.”
After making the discovery, Mr Ward revealed it was likely that a tomb would be located nearby.
Then the pair spotted a small crack in the rocks.
Mr Robinson added: “But to find that owner, we’re going to have to do some digging.
“The sand itself comes away very easily, it’s just all the vegetation [that is the problem].
“Beyond this block, there’s still a load of debris between me and being able to explore this tomb.
“It’s one of those archaeological highs and lows – I come here, we get a find, we’ve got the gap which will lead into the tomb.”
However, Mr Robinson managed to dig his way into a big hole and what he found beyond was remarkable.
He added: “With a little help from John’s team, our small crack in the rock is beginning to look like a proper entrance.
“There really isn’t very much room at all here.
“I’m absolutely flat on my stomach now, [I can see] a lot of horizontal cut marks.
“I can see, like, the shape of what appears to be picks in the ceiling.
“This is a sizeable chamber, cut out of the solid rock, most likely 3,500 years ago, but it’s almost entirely filled with sand.”
It comes after it was also discovered the Great Pyramid of Giza was once a completely different colour.
The Diary of Merer detailed how the pyramids have changed over time, by revealing the use of Tura limestone
These white, shiny and highly precious stones were then added as the final layer to a pyramid featuring some six million tonnes of rock underneath.
They were highly polished, meaning they would reflect the Sun’s rays and become a prominent feature from miles away.
However, in the 14th century, many of these stone were cut loose and used to build mosques around Egypt, under the orders of ruler an-Nasir Hasan.
Many of them can still be seen around Cairo completely intact.
The remaining stones began to wear away under the unforgiving Sun and the constant weathering.
Earthquakes have also loosened the casing stones and created piles of rubble around the structure.
This was cleared away in order to keep the region looking tidy.