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DVD Review: Tomb Detectives

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So, what are your thoughts on mummies, skeletons, and ancient gruesome death mysteries? If any of these things remotely pique your interest, Tomb Detectives, presented by the Smithsonian Channel, will truly be fascinating for you. I, for one, love this sort of thing – the science, mystery, and what century-old bones can reveal.

Tomb Detectives
consists of six separate episodes, each averaging approximately 25 minutes in length. My favorite would have to be "Vampire Graves," which focuses on an abandoned 1800s cemetery in Connecticut. I found this to be a very intriguing and interesting episode for the simple fact that it discusses the myth (or perhaps truth) of vampires and the undead. It also brings into play the role of tuberculosis and its connection to the undead – or folklore of.

Other episodes include "Severed Skull," "Battlefield of Bones," "Bog Bodies," "Child Mummies" and "Plague Mummies." I have to admit that "Child Mummies" was a bit disturbing to me; to see these tiny little bodies mummified pulled at heartstrings and  especially played on my motherly feelings.  It was heartbreaking to think of the immense physical and emotional pain the people in the Atacama Desert went through, eight thousand years ago. Never before had I thought of a mummified fetus, but this episode sheds an entirely new light on my ignorance about such practices and rituals to preserve that line between life and death. However it also brought forth knowledge of the contaminates within the water in Chile and surrounding areas.

It is truly amazing how bones that have been buried for centuries can be discovered, and with the excellent technology and scientific knowledge, bits and pieces are put together to tell people today what happened during brutal times and deaths – even the area from which a body was probably originated. Decapitation seems to be a recurring theme throughout Tomb Detectives. Whether from rituals, punishments or trophies, beheading was not an uncommon practice. With this in mind, I do want to mention that there are a few graphic scenes, and not-so-pretty visuals of decapitation and heads impaled on stakes. They are used to show what might have occurred that caused the condition in which the mummified body was found. Though highly educational, I would use caution with viewing Tomb Detectives with children. Whether or not it is intended for such, I can’t say, however from a personal perspective, I allowed my seven-year old daughter to watch the majority of this with me and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Mind you, she loves anything scientific and I did repeatedly ask her if she was becoming “freaked out” at any time; she never did. We both enjoyed watching this together and it is an excellent and educational peek into an entirely new and different culture and time.

Since the episodes in Tomb Detectives do focus on similar themes, watching a couple episodes at a time worked out well for us. Otherwise, trying to watch more at a time may become a bit tedious and take away from the overall enjoyment and interest of the shows.

Tomb Detectives brings forth great insight and education of times past, focusing on highly intriguing and interesting themes – shedding light on why and what occurred, resulting in some of history's most disturbing and macabre mysteries. Tomb Detectives will make a most excellent addition to any library!

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