EXCLUSIVE: As the King Tut exhibit prepares to leave Los Angeles en route to Europe, Discovery is doing a little digging of its own in Egypt. The cable net is going live in the spring with a two-hour multiplatform special hosted by adventurer and explorer Josh Gates that will search for ancient artifacts and open an Egyptian sarcophagus for the first time.

Set to air at 9 p.m. April 7, Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live (working title) will give viewers a rare opportunity to see the inner chambers of an excavation site, where 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.

Discovery

The massive underground complex of chambers is a treasure trove of antiquities – all laying undisturbed for thousands of years. But there are several chambers yet to be explored and many more discoveries to be revealed, including a mysterious limestone sarcophagus found buried deep within the complex. The identity of the mummy inside has been a mystery for 3,000 years.

“This is Discovery at its best, as we seek to uncover history that has been buried in the sands of Egypt for millennia,” said Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer at Discovery & Factual. “I’m excited as Josh Gates takes us on one of his most ambitious expeditions yet.”

Gates will be joined by Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt.

Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live is produced for Discovery Channel by Discovery Studios and Ping Pong Productions in association with Big Dreams Entertainment. The executive producers are Leslie Greif, Sandy Varo Jarrell, Peter Isacksen, Jason Sklaver, Brad Kuhlman, Casey Brumels, Josh Gates and Howard Swartz.