Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Valley of the Kings by Otto Neubert, ca.1957
Robert Hale Limited
This fascinating book is filled with unusual highlights from excavations in the first half of the twentieth century. Complete with a mention of the recently found mask of Kanefernefer before it was noticed in 1959 as missing, now at the center of a scandal between Egypt's S.C.A. and the St. Louis Art museum.
The author's chronological history is off of course it is 50 years later but his view is interesting when his attitudes are not annoying. Mr. Neubert's vision of Akhenaten is a Christ-like figure as opposed to a tyrannical egomaniacal despot.
His inclusion in the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen has its interesting points, however, the accuracy of his words is not good and this failing becomes more apparent as the book goes on.
The book contains a lot of unsubstantiated theory including that King Tut's brains and heart were placed in one of his four canopic jars. The book ends with a roundup of ancient history in the middle east and Mesopotamia with the final conclusion of the book on Christian theology.
The author was all over the place in this book his nuggets of information which made the start of the book so interesting were totally called into question by the regular misinterpretations later on and for me ruined the impact of his words.
The Valley of the Kings was not great and certainly, the best words I can give for it are average and dubious.
No second read for this puppy!