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The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut's Mummy (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. Juni 2013

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Smithsonian Magazine, June 2013
“[A] thoughtful account of the post-unearthing life of the famous royal…an 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

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.”

“Well worth a read for anyone who's interest in the Pharaohs.” 

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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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13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Shadow King 20. Mai 2013
Von Charles R. Hensel - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I have always had a soft spot for archaeology, Egyptology, and all things ancient but have never had the time to read and research as much as I would like, so when the opportunity to review The Shadow King arose I was very excited to say the least! It has been a long time since I had read anything of substance on the subject, especially about Tutankhamun, well since I had visited the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 2005. I was hoping that the Shadow King would be a great re-introduction to this mysterious ancient king and maybe provide some additional information I hadn't encountered before, but it was much, much more!

Framed around the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 and the subsequent research on his mummy through the next 90 years, Marchant branches out to give us a snapshot of the evolution of Egyptology, archaeology as a whole, and forensic anthropology. This story flows in a very accessible, easy to read narrative that gives the readers an overview of the evolution of the science behind studying ancient Egypt. From the days of treasure hunting Europeans to more scientifically minded Egyptian nationals, Marchant tells a story of what would now be considered mistreatment of artifacts to the careful analysis of hard data.

Not dry in the slightest, the story of these mummies, their discovery, and analysis (especially Tutankhamun himself) is fraught with politics, in-fighting, and a myriad of different stories about his life and death. We see how after his undisturbed 3,000 year rest, Tut's mummy became a media sensation almost overnight, leading to two different waves of "Tutmania" in the 1970s and 2000s. Learn how changes in forensics from basic autopsy to DNA analysis have taken Tut from an 18 year old murder victim to a buck-toothed, club-footed, disease-ridden invalid, to a strong charioteer and general and then back again as Egyptologists attempt to interpret their data.

As the story unfolds, Marchant does an excellent job of keeping interest alive, providing an excellent balance between the modern analysis of the mummies and the intrigue behind the scenes that has gone on non-stop from Howard Carter through Zahi Hawass and beyond. She is able to paint vivid images of the work and research, as well as the conditions of the mummies and how in the end scientists have found Tutankhamun's embalming to be rather unique. All of this was of great benefit to me as my review copy was on the Kindle and I didn't have the benefit of the reference images until the very end.

I highly recommend The Shadow King to anyone who even has a passing interest in Ancient Egypt, archaeology, or forensic science. It pulls together the ups and downs of scientific research and interpretation that reads at times with the intrigue of a thriller while still staying based in the fact. The reader is able to reach their own conclusions, especially in the area of ancient DNA analysis where even those involved in the research admit there is an "all or nothing" approach to its acceptance. The Shadow King has rekindled my interest and love of Ancient Egypt and can only hope that as politics in the region settle, more research and progress will be made before too long!
10 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Light in the Shadows 20. Mai 2013
Von Julie Ann Dawson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut's Mummy, is not simply another rehashing of the King Tut legend and lore. Instead, author Jo Marchant focuses the stranger-than-fiction history behind the search for Tut and the subsequent fallout of Carter's discovery. And indeed, fallout; in terms of scientific, historical, sociological, and political consequences, is the best way to describe the decades since The Boy King was discovered. The hunt for King Tut and the search for clues as to the truth of his demise have had a hidden, but substantial, impact on not only Egypt but the world.

Marchant makes every effort to go back to the original source material, tracking down the people who were directly involved in the many events described in the book wherever possible, and uncovering the original notes and journals of those long-dead individuals who first led the charge to find Tut and open his tomb. What we learn is that the search for answers pushed the boundaries of science in a hundred different directions, encouraging (and in some cases forcing) scientists to completely rethink what we knew about everything from DNA to radiology to forensic odontology.

Some of the most interesting sections of the book focus more on how the mystique of Tut has been used to gain influence in socio-political spheres. We see how Tut served as a de facto "ambassador" for Egypt during the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty negotiations. We see Tut's image usurped by the Black Power movement of the 1960's. We see how certain elements attempted to usurp Tut's legacy to prove the validity of the Bible. The Boy King proved to be more influential in death, in a way, than he could possibly have been in life.

Marchant does a thorough and balanced job of sorting through all of the various theories and conspiracies surrounding Tut and his treasure. Again, she goes to the original source material to make her points clear. In most cases, she refrains from passing judgment per se and instead lets the evidence speak for itself.

When dealing with some of the more outlandish beliefs, however, she barely contains her contempt in a way that is refreshingly funny. So often with this type of book, the author takes great care to remain "diplomatic" in how he or she responds to the less reasoned elements in the field. There are points where the sarcasm almost drips off the page. It is nice to see someone refusing to give serious weight to nonsensical ideas instead of pretending all ideas are equally valid.

Despite the complex nature of the research, Marchant maintains an accessible style that allows the reader to follow the twists and turns easily. The Shadow King reads like a history lesson cleverly disguised as an adventure/mystery. Perhaps it isn't so much a disguise, as the only way to do justice to the story of King Tut.

Review Note: I was given a complimentary advanced review copy of this title for review.
5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Marchant does it again. 14. August 2013
Von Sinohey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The story of the "Boy King" Tut Ankh Amun has fascinated the Western world since the serendipitous discovery of his tomb and its riches, in 1922.
Most King Tut groupies know the tale of the accidental finding of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings, in Upper Egypt, by the English archeologist, Howard Carter, just when his financial backer, Lord Carnarvon, was about to withdraw his support. The mysterious death of the latter, a few months later; initially rumored to be caused by the curse of the Pharaoh but later on found to be septicemia (infection in the blood) in a frail old man, caused by a mosquito bite that festered.
Since that time, books, pamphlets and news reports flooded the culture about Ancient Egypt and mummies. Mummy lore became popular.
Then Hollywood began its series of Mummy films with Boris Karloff , Lon Chaney Jr. in the pre-WW ll era, on to Hammer studios in England with Christopher Lee et al in 1959, culminating in the recent trilogy starring Brendan Frasier. On film, mummies were resurrected, reanimated, walked, mumbled (even spoke!) and pursued their victims. SNL had the unforgettable funny skit by Steve Martin "King Tut".
Most recently, in 1972-81, the King Tut exhibits travelled around the world, including several major cities in the USA, to huge audiences and box office revenues.

In the past decades a wave of "scientific" investigation and studies were conducted on the hapless Tut mummy, including DNA, X-rays, CT scans, MRI, chemical and tissue analysis; done mostly at the behest and financing of TV and documentary producers. The shows are populated by media savvy scholars, advancing their particular theories as to Tut's lineage, maladies and cause of death; in 2002 it was murder, in 2005 TB? Malaria? or head wound, and in 2010 a crushed chest "from a Hippopotamus stepping on him"!

Jo Marchant systematically and methodically clears out the smoke of contradicting theories and conjectures, posing as facts. She does that in a clear concise prose and crisp scientific syntax without academic sophistry. The Shadow King is mainly two parts; the first section is about the so-called common knowledge about the subject but the second part is where Marchant challenges all the facts based on (dubious) scientific conclusions.
The book reads like a "who-done it" thriller and captures the attention of the reader.
Amateur Egyptologists, historians and King Tut groupies will thoroughly enjoy "The Shadow King". It is even better than Jo Marchant's previous book "Decoding the Heavens"(about the Antikythera Mechanism), that was a tour de force of scientific popular writing.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A TUT FOR THE AGES 15. Juli 2013
Von LMG - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a fine book that should appeal to both layman and scholar alike. Written in a chatty style, the book divides into two basic parts. The first is an overview of the beginnings of Egyptology and the rediscovery of the ancient Egyptian mummies, especially pharaonic, that have enthralled societies around the world for generations. The specific primary focus is the discovery by Howard Carter of the tomb of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamen (amun) early in the 20th century and what happened in its aftermath. In addition to an abundance of relevant and up to date end notes, there are also many special footnotes at the bottom of various pages that should help the general reader.

It is the second half of the book that will appeal most to scholars who might wish to skip directly to that part of the volume. There, one will find a detailed discussion of DNA results, CT scans, blood types, X-rays, and other forensic information employed by various scientists and Egyptologists in order to unravel particular mummy mysteries. Familial relations, basic identifications, what really killed certain individuals (Tut is a key focus), conflicting conclusions, contradictory evidence, and other interesting facts are all presented in a thorough, objective, and clear style.

At times, this page turner reads like a murder mystery. Speaking of which, Marchant rightly takes Bob Brier to task for his hyperbolic and incorrect presentation of Tut's death in his popular but misleading book THE MURDER OF TUTANKHAMEN. James Patterson's book THE MURDER OF KING TUT which he calls "A Nonfiction Thriller", in fact, reads more like fiction with his own inserted "dialogue". The book WHO KILLED KING TUT? by King, Cooper, and DeNevi appears to be more "scientific" but comes to the same (now known) erroneous conclusion as the other two. Marchant's detailed presentation as to how Tut expired, based upon the most current evidence, appears to be the most correct one.

Other interesting tid bits put forward by Marchant are the following: The mummy identified as Thutmose I may not be Thutmose I. Yet, in spite of serious doubts, it continues to be blindly accepted as such. Even the mummy identified as Amenhotep III (the grandfather of Tut) may not be Amenhotep III. The identity of the female mummies in KV35 is still problematic as is the male mummy found in KV55. The latter is especially controversial. Were it not for the contradictory and changing position of Ashraf Selim regarding the age of the mummy, its long time identification as Smenkhkare, the brother of Tutankhamen, would stand unchallenged. However, now there are those - particularly in the British Egyptological community - such as Rohl, Wilkinson, and Reeves who embrace the new identification as being Akhnaten. But Selim's conclusion is a very weak reed to lean on as Marchant indicates. R,W,&R want it to be Akhnaten for what I believe are their own particular reasons. First: the discovery of Akhnaten's mummy is far more significant than that of finding Smenkhkare's; Second: by identifying the mummy in KV55 as Akhnaten, the British contingent can repudiate the main thesis of the late Immanuel Velikovsky's book OEDIPUS & AKHNATON and continue to ignore it. (More said now on this point would go too far beyond the current review.)

Marchant devotes a great deal of attention to the career of Zawi Hawass, former head of Egyptian antiquities, who did more than anyone else to bring Tut and the artifacts of Ancient Egypt before the eyes of the world. He may yet return.

A final note has to do with a letter supposedly written by Ankhesenamun, the widow and sister of Tut, to a Hittite king asking for a Hittite prince in marriage. This "correspondence" has been highlighted as though it were the centerpiece of a soap opera and has been uncritically overblown in all too many publications. Known as Letter 41 of the el-Amarna Collection, it was actually found in the Hittite archives and not in Egypt. According to the "letter", an Egyptian queen named Dakhamun, widowed and having no male heir, sent this letter to the Hittite king Suppiluliumas requesting that he send one of his sons for her to marry and to occupy the throne of Egypt. She did not wish to marry any of her subjects. Here is where several problems appear. 1)How was the Egyptian queen, if it was Ankhesenamun, able to get past the extremely watchful eye of her uncle Ay and able to send this letter to the Hittite court? 2)According to an ancient document, the grandfather of Ankhesenamun - Amenhotep III - prohibited any Egyptian princess from marrying a foreigner. This would have precluded Ankhesenamun from sending any letter to the Hittites. (Since King Solomon was married to a "daughter of Pharaoh", this prohibition either ended by his time or came after his reign according to several revised chronologies.) What is of particular interest here is the fact that the name of the widow's husband is given as Bib-khururia or Nib-khururia; and, as it happens, one of the names of an ETHIOPIAN Pharaoh called Tirhaka ends with "khu-ra". The name of his queen was Duk-hat-amun, a unique name among Egyptian queens. A rationalization was offered, owing to the chronogical difficulties, that what we have is not a name but a status. Yet, a widowed Ethiopian queen would have been able to write the letter since Amenhotep's marriage dictum would not apply to
her as she was also a foreigner. (See I. Velikovsky, RAMSES II AND HIS TIME, pp. 217-221.) In the end, a Hittite prince was sent but was murdered before he could reach Egypt.

One last caveat should be mentioned. This book may not be for the squeamish since it contains mummification details and what happens to the dead when conditions do not hold back decay. Furthermore, the Chronology at the back of the book was provided by UK Egyptologist Aidan Dodson and is decades lower in some cases compared to many chronologies presented elsewhere and not universally accepted. Other than that, the book is a mine of information and a moving read. Marchant loves her subject and presents it very well!
Undying King 23. März 2015
Von Glen V. Mcintyre - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The fascination in the life and mummy of King Tutankhamun never seems to go away. This very interesting book tells more about his death and burial than his life-which is just as well as his life still has a lot of mysteries connected with it. His mummy seems to have gone through enough trials for ten kings. With all his body has gone through you would think that somebody would have been cursed by the dead King's spirit by now.
This is a well written book and definitely worth the time for those of us who can't get enough on Ancient Egypt.
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