The Lost Army of King Cambyses

The Lost Army of King Cambyses

2002, History  -   8 Comments
Ratings: 6.72/10 from 47 users.

Six centuries before Christ, King Cambyses II, the emperor of the First Persian Empire, rallied his army of over 50,000 troops with the intent of overtaking the Egyptian temple of Amon. They never arrived, and are suspected of having fallen victim to the perils of the Egyptian desert. Yet, in the centuries since, no traces of their existence - or their brutal deaths - have been uncovered. It was as though they simply vanished into thin air. Did this event actually take place, or is it merely an example of a myth made more grandiose over time? The Lost Army of King Cambyses recounts this intriguing piece of history, and the expedition that may finally confirm its veracity.

For many years, countless archeologists, geologists and historians have attempted to uncover the mystery of the missing army. Most notably, desert explorer Laszlo Almasy - whose daring efforts formed the basis of the lead character in the Oscar winning film The English Patient - claimed to have discovered evidence of the army in the 1930s. Alas, the exact location of his supposed discoveries died with him.

Then in 1996, an explorer happened upon a series of bone fragments and ancient arrowheads in the desert by accident. He was later banned from returning to the site by Egyptian authorities, but a new team of explorers soon decided to pick up where he left off. The filmmakers follow this team as they make their journey through the barren wasteland in search of the most profound archeological find of all time.

Along the way, the team begins to question the probability that the Cambyses army could successfully make such a journey all those years ago. They estimate it would have taken over 3,000 tons of food, water and supplies to keep them nourished during their travels. Additional skepticisms focus on the route the army is reported to have taken given their unfamiliarity with the environment and lack of sophisticated maps.

Beyond the obvious suspense generated by what these modern-day explorers might at last uncover, The Lost Army of King Cambyses offers rich perspectives on ancient Egyptian history, and a tactile sense of what life in a desert oasis truly entails.

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4 years ago

If someone tells you thousands of people went deep into the desert and were never seen again, you'd say it was made up. Then if someone added that an ancient king sent soldiers on a mission to capture a hated enemy, you'd say it probably really did happen. It's the context that gives the improbable the stamp of probability. We know enough about leaders to know there's nothing they wouldn't send others to do; so there's no reason to doubt this folly of King Cambyses.

5 years ago

Great piece of ancient lore, the tale of the lost army. We may never know what really happened, and this documentary leaves so much unanswered. Hopefully further investigation is made.

5 years ago

History belongs to the victor , every culture is told there past history but its fictionalized !
Evolution theory is pushed as fact , yes subtle changes did occur !
If some can believe complex en-coded human DNA can be created in primordial ooze then you can believe the first 767 jumbo jet was created in a junk yard during a hurricane ! science debunked

5 years ago

Unfortunately that is and has been the way of world since long before I was born: If there is insufficient data/information... make stuff up. Oftentimes, instead of calling it BS, they call it "scientific theory" and soon after leave off the "theory" qualifier to sound more authoritative about their making stuff up.

You often get to pay for a fair bit of it via taxes through govt grants. Some such comes from private foundation grants. It would seem one of the motives for making stuff up is that if their findings were bluntly cited as, "we found nothing because we had a ball partying off camera and didn't do much looking..." -or- "we toiled 14 hrs a day, turning over every pebble we could find ...and found nothing because we read the map wrong so we were in the wrong place" -or- "ehfn hell, I have no idea"; they may be less likely to get another grant.

6 years ago

I'm really shocked at how much these "experts" make up to justify an old story.

Dr.Rajarshi Majumdar
6 years ago

I am really proud to have all these extraordinary films from ur side.It's making me literate a film lover.Thanx and keep on sending