Unknown: The Lost Pyramid review: A cinematic experience of an expedition

In Unknown: The Lost Pyramid, archeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass looks for a lost pyramid that belongs to a forgotten Egyptian king. The documentary is now streaming on Netflix.


According to Dr. Zahi Hawass, Saqqara is the most magical and important site in Egypt. Many foreign expeditions have explored the place for the last two centuries and have discovered tombs and pyramids.

There is one area in Saqqara that no one has excavated. It is a patch of open desert called Gisr el-Mudir. All the pharaohs of the Third Dynasty that followed built their own pyramids, but there is one early pyramid that has never been found: the missing Pyramid of Huni.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, with a team of archeologists, aims to find the Pyramid of Huni at this location. The desert remains inhospitable for three months of the year, which leaves Dr. Hawass’ team only nine months to see what’s beneath Gisr el-Mudir.

While Hawass’ team concentrates on its search for the missing pyramid, his former student, Dr. Mostafa Waziry, is working a kilometer away at a site called Bubasteion in search of the unknown.

Four years ago, Dr. Waziry discovered the Tomb of Wahtye here, and he hopes to make another discovery that will shake the world.


The entire documentary is presented in a cinematic ratio and shot in a similar way. From drone shots to the reactions of archeologists, everything makes a viewer feel like they are watching a movie, not a documentary. In the case of production, the documentary looks aesthetic, rich, and exceptional.

The documentary helps the viewer understand how an archaeological expedition works. The skilled archaeologists lay down the basic fundamentals of archaeology for the viewers while making the discoveries.

They talk about what they feel when they go underground, the fear of discovering the unknown, how scary the experience is, and how, after discovering something important, it makes you feel like you have won something.

A viewer gets familiar with not only the archeologists’ spirit but also the workers’ spirit, who are digging with them and trying to keep their hopes high by singing together.

A viewer gets to see the first-hand experience of discovering a tomb or relic from the past. Along with the archeologist, the viewers also find themselves lost thinking about what the archeologists have just discovered, and a thousand questions run through their minds.


At times, Unknown: The Lost Pyramid gets too lost in introducing an archeologist and making them familiar to the viewers. The documentary already has a short runtime, and it should not have diverted from its fascinating aspects.

The second archaeological expedition featured in the documentary feels more like compensation for a discovery not made yet. The biggest attraction remains the lost pyramid, and this second expedition could’ve had a different film for itself.


Unknown: The Lost Pyramid, unlike many documentaries, doesn’t focus too much on stories of the past or theories the archeologists have right now. It rather gets into action and gives results in one form or another. It’s cinematic, intriguing, and will make you question what else is hidden deep beneath the Earth.

Unknown: The Lost Pyramid
Unknown: The Lost Pyramid review: A cinematic experience of an expedition 1

Director: Max Salomon

Date Created: 2023-07-03 12:30

Editor's Rating:

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