While many people consider Egypt to be one of the most well-explored areas of the world, “Expedition Unknown” star Josh Gates hopes to prove them all wrong.
The 41-year-old host will put his long career of exploring new places to the test in a 2-hour live special on April 7. “Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live” will see him explore a newly-discovered tomb with viewers in tow. Joining him will be TV personality Chris Jacobs; world-renowned Egyptologists Dr. Zahi Hawass and Ramy Romany; and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt.
Gates has spent more than a decade taking viewers to strange and exotic places by way of Syfy’s “Destination Truth” and Discovery’s “Expedition Unknown,” which is about to premiere its fifth season. However, with this new expedition, he’s excited to show the real work that goes into exploring one of his favorite countries.
“It really is one of the great playgrounds of archaeology in the world. Ancient Egyptian culture was so enduring. It went on for thousands of years. Egypt really is one of the worlds greatest open-air museums,” Gates told Fox News in an interview. “It’s a place where history is just continuing to reveal itself.”
Archeologists recently uncovered a network of vertical shafts leading to an underground network of tunnels and tombs with 40 mummies believed to be part of the noble elite. Gates is excited to explore these ancient Egyptian relics, but he also wants to highlight that modern-day Egypt needs a boost as well.
“Egypt’s tourism is not in a great place. After the Arab Spring, tourism really dried up in Egypt in a lot of places. A lot of European tourism has returned, Asian tourism has returned, but U.S. tourism really hasn’t bounced back as much,” he said.
While Gates is driven by an academic love for Egypt both past and present, he’s also addicted to the danger that explorers like him face every day.
“Snakes are a very real thing in Egyptian tombs, they like to hang out underground. The structure of the rooms is a major concern, they’re not really stable places,” he said of the tight, dark caverns he'll be moving through for the first time since their discovery.
However, he believes the biggest danger for him is working “without a net.” Gates will be live without the ability to cut out false finds, life-threatening moments or plain old flubs.
“As for what we’re going to find in the tombs that we’re exploring, we don’t really know and that’s kinda the excitement of it. We hope to open a sarcophagus on live TV, which would be incredible,” he said. “I’m hoping not to find a cursed tomb, that’s on the other end of the spectrum.”
Gates says he is excited to bring viewers on one of his adventures live for the first time. He believes that it’s in keeping with the overall goal of his career - to show a younger generation that the world as they know it isn’t fully explored.
“I think that it’s important for people to understand that there's a lot of mystery left in the world, there’s a lot of wonder left in the world and there are places that we don’t fully understand. There are places that are unmapped. There are jungles and mountains and places in the world that there are no good map of, and that’s shocking to people sometimes!”