Preview: Treasures of Ancient Egypt

Alastair Sooke rides out into the dune sea to learn about ancient art. Photo BBC

In the first episode, ‘The Birth of Art’ historian and archaeologist Alastair Sooke guides us through the evolution of ancient Egyptian art and sculpture.

This visual treat, taking us to Egypt’s greatest historical sites, reveals 30 extraordinary masterpieces.

Tracing the origins of the unique ancient Egyptian visual style, Sooke treks across the Sahara and travels to the Nile to find the rarely seen art of its earliest civilisations.

Exploring how this culture’s art reflected its religious beliefs, he takes a new look at the Great Pyramid, and the statuary and painting of the Old Kingdom amaze Sooke; the technical prowess of ancient artists contain skills and practices that still confound contemporary critics.

Treasures of Ancient Egypt – Saturday at 7pm on BBC Four