In the Valley of the Kings

inthevalleyofthekingsSuggested by Brad NelsonHoward Carter and the Mystery of King Tutankhamun’s Tomb • The world celebrated the find that gave Carter such renown. But by the time of his death, the discovery had nearly destroyed him. This is an evocative account of this remarkable man and his times.
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One Response to In the Valley of the Kings

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m very nearly to the end of this book so I thought I’d do a quick review while I had time.

    This is, for me, an enjoyable read, particularly because it is the kind of book that gives an overall view of the life and times without drowning you in minutia. Whether Meyerson’s view of the times — if he has all the heroes and villains categorized correctly — is beyond my knowledge. But archeology would sure appear to be a much more rough-and-tumble sport than I thought possible.

    Carter is a remarkable self-made man of enormous talent. He was one of the best copyists and developed the skills of archeology and excavation to a very fine art for the time. His knowledge of Egyptology in general might have been second to none, although he often consulted specialists regarding deciphering some of the hieroglyphics.

    He seems to be a man for whom it was written, “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” The monomania that made him such a great archeologist and Egyptologist gave him an extremely abrasive personality. Still, he was in a field full of nutty professors, gigantic egos, and a scholarly rivalry that was just short of murder.

    This book (apparently, from the reviews I’ve read) is not a detailed exposition about the finds in King Tut’s Tomb. I think the finding of the tomb is more or less the culmination of the book. Perhaps another book can fill in this gap if one’s interest is piqued. Nevertheless, I found Meyerson’s style of writing to be fluid and interesting, often quoting directly from the people of the times in fascinating and relevant ways.

    Lord Carnarvon and his involvement with Carter and Tut is also given just enough detail to give you a good overall, as well a smattering of interesting history of the Pharaohs. Carnarvon is both a frivolous and fascinating man whose inherent love for gambling is what likely propelled him to stay with the expensive multi-year underwriting of Carter’s search for un-plundered tombs in Egypt. It’s interesting that Carter thought there was more than one in the Valley of the Kings. Who knows if there is yet another great find to be made?

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