The Private Lives of the Pharaohs

The Private Lives of the Pharaohs

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How were the pyramids built? What were two unborn children doing in Tutankhamen's tomb? What was the blue lotus depicted in many tombs - a drug, a perfume? Accompanying a Channel 4 documentary series, this volume shows how scientific techniques can be used to answer questions about the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 153 x 234mm | 440g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Channel 4 Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 8pp colour illustrations
  • 0752219030
  • 9780752219035

Review Text

A very concise, informative addition to the discipline of Egyptology that will be welcomed by both professional and amateur alike. Tyldesley skilfully condenses the presently understood history of the Pharaohs into a fluent narrative which relies on scientific evaluation and discoveries. She goes further to describe the lives of the pyramid and mausoleum construction workers and their families with material gleaned from the same sources. The logic of engineering techniques are placed within a believable, logical context together with the social complexities involved in employing thousands of workers. The reader is taken from these vast building sites to an appreciation of the terrible damage and theft to their fabric, the deceased and their possessions. This has occurred on the grand scale over several millennia and is still prevalent. No doubt pharaohs were responsible for saving their mummified ancestors from grave robbers by moving them en masse to safer sites, but this sits uneasily with recycling their valuables, the grave goods necessary for their comfort. It indicates a cynicism at odds with their professed religious beliefs. Tyldesley makes no comment on this but describing the scientific analysis of Asru, a Temple chantress of the Middle Period, remarks on the idealized illustrations of a pristine, beautiful life on tomb walls in comparison with the evidence of excruciating diseases and parasites found in the vocalist's mummified remains. It is clear what litte we know of the ancient Egyptians is less than half the story. The exquisite photographic plates included are a joy and the text a very superior accompaniment to the television production. (Kirkus UK)show more