Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stranger in the Valley of the Kings

Ahmed Osman
Grafton Books
ISBN: 0-586-08784-2

This 1987 book is a study of the mummy of Yuya discovered in 1905 in the Valley of the Kings and the biblical figure of the Patriarch Joseph. This short book requires no knowledge of the Bible, Koran or the Pentateuch as Mr. Ahmed explains his theory well.

The author's theory is helped by the mummies Semitic looks and name as well as one of Yuya's titles on his funerary equipment which matches the Biblical Joseph's title " a father to Pharaoh". The book is certainly on the preachy side of the old testament and the Koran but the author's knowledge on these subjects as well as Egyptology is very good.

The argument is highly desirable that such an important historical religious figure could be represented by perhaps the most beautifully preserved mummy from ancient Egypt. However, we know that the viziers of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III bore names of Ramose, Ptahmose and possibly Aper-el there is no historical mention of this or the preceding King Thutmosis IV of a vizier named Yuya.

The author himself lists the mummies titles and that of Tjaty (vizier), as well as other titles associated with viziers, are not present. The theory is delightful but the proof is lacking and there appears to be no place in the Egyptian historical record for Yuya to have ever been a vizier to Pharaoh which the religious books tell us was Joseph's occupation to his pharaoh.

The book was a good read but its religious content may not be for everyone and the book's theory appears to me to be without merit.

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