Sunday, December 21, 2008

Book Review: The Royal Mummies, Immortality in Ancient Egypt

This gigantic book was difficult to read by the very nature of its size and weight. The introduction of the book was by Dr. Zahi Hawass and was his basic standard line with nothing new.

Dr. Hawass repeats his recent "discoveries" including pictures from the "Discovery" program about the finding of the mummy of King Hatshepsut in which a late nineteenth dynasty mummy of unknown woman "D" is represented as being the late seventeenth dynasty mummy of unknown woman "B". Though it appeared in his words that he was describing the correct mummy the unknown "D" was the one pictured in the book.

The introduction felt compiled and uninspiring with the fine doctor repeating himself at one point in his introduction.

The massive book had a number of interesting photographs but more than that came the same old photo's. Still yet more photo's of king Tutankhamen's coffins and pictures of the same royal mummies as Dr. Hawass always shows.

Enough already I know what the first four Thutmosis's look like even though the mummy of Thutmosis I has long since been discredited even though Dr. Hawass has only recently been able to come to terms with that finding. Same with Seti I and the mummy of Ramses II, III and V, you would think that was all the kings.

Why the mummy of Amenhotep II is represented in the book as hidden under modern wrapping is suspicious or an error but perhaps the mummies head has been damaged and it is being deliberately hidden. Readers may remember that when the Sphinx at Giza lost blocks off one of its shoulders it was the end of the previous chiefs career.

Yes the pictures are nice but the content of this mega-book is common and not worth the struggle of propping oneself into position to read it.

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