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  • For the first time, the secrets of ancient Egypt yielded themselves to television cameras early Wednesday as Fox TV broadcast the live opening of several mummies' tombs on its two-hour special, Opening the Tombs of the Golden Mummies Live.

    Cameramen filmed inside tombs that were recently discovered in this Sahara Desert oasis and broadcast live footage as Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian government's chief archaeologist, pried open the 3rd Century B.C. stone coffins of a man and a small child, revealing their well-preserved, dark gray mummified remains.

    But when Hawass, accompanied by actor Bill Pullman, opened the third sarcophagus belonging to the 5th century governor of Bahariya, the heavy stone casket yielded only dust, a few bones, and a collection of small statues and amulets that had been placed alongside the dead official to assist him in the afterlife.