The Shadow King

The Shadow King : The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut's Mummy

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More than 3,000 years ago, King Tutankhamun's desiccated body was lovingly wrapped and sent into the future as an immortal god. After resting undisturbed for more than three millennia, King Tut's mummy was suddenly awakened in 1922. Archaeologist Howard Carter had discovered the boy-king's tomb, and the soon-to-be famous mummy's story-even more dramatic than King Tut's life-began. The mummy's "afterlife" is a modern story, not an ancient one. Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the mummy's story from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today's high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy's secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped-up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can't tell us about King Tutankhamun.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 36mm | 439.99g
  • The Perseus Books Group
  • Da Capo Press Inc
  • Cambridge, MA, United States
  • English
  • 16 page of b/w photos
  • 0306821338
  • 9780306821332
  • 470,992

Review quote

Smithsonian Magazine, June 2013 "[A] thoughtful account of the post-unearthing life of the famous entertaining, lively book--she also interjects common sense, science and authentic history into her account...In the context of Marchant's book, the initial discovery fades: Real insight lies in the layers that time and new technologies reveal about the king and his nation." New Jersey syndicated "First Read" column, 5/26/13 "A fascinating tale" Nature, 6/27/13 "[The] rip-roaring story unwraps the science layer by layer, in tandem with the momentous discoveries and the emergence of theories on the ruler's health and parentage" Sacramento Bee, 6/30/13 "It's been a wild ride for King Tutankhamun's mummy...Marchant separates the facts from the fiction that has surrounded the controversial relic and explains 'what science can and can't tell us' about King Tut." American Way Magazine, 7/1/13 "Compelling." New Scientist "An unusual, gripping spin on the familiar." The Book Bag "A must-read for anyone who is fascinated in the history of Egypt." San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review "This is science journalism at its best -- elucidating, thorough, and just plain fun...Intense and exciting, The Shadow King is written like a fast-paced detective novel, with cliff-hanger chapter endings and breathtaking impetus. In the hands of a good writer, even the driest subject becomes fascinating. The Egyptian mummies are about as dry as they get, but in Marchant's extremely competent hands, they are resurrected into a vivid afterlife, albeit one they may not have imagined." Wall Street Journal, 7/27/13 "Marchant expounds Tut's scientific aspects and mysteries with engaging clarity." TrulyArts "Well worth a read for anyone who's interest in the Pharaohs."

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About Jo Marchant

Jo Marchant is an award-winning journalist who specializes in writing about cutting-edge science. She has worked as a staff reporter and editor for Nature and New Scientist, where she is currently a consultant. She lives in London.

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