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Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 6. März 2012

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Tyldesley's strength has always been her storytelling, and here she is on top form Sunday Telegraph This excellent biography scores with a wealth of splendid detail. Independent [An] engaging reconstruction of [King Tutankhamen's] tomb discovery, family and life. Fluent in her subject, Tyldesley gives her own spin to the story in order to get beyond the sensational nonsense... Tyldesley does an admirable detective job of reconstructing the boy king's narrative. Kirkus reviews [An] authoritative book... If Tyldesley finds the curse stories empty nourishment, the core of her book reveals Egyptian history to be full of more satisfying riches. Sifting through the findings from Tutankhamen's tomb, and the arguments of Egyptologists since, she aims to resurrect the man behind the mask. She succeeds: Tutankhamen emerges as a credible figure, a ruler presiding over a turning point in history, when his father Akhenaten's heresies were abandoned and the polytheistic traditions revived... That has always been Tutankhamen's power: charm all who encounter him. As Tyldesley confesses, he kindled her schoolgirl fixation with ancient Egypt. She calls this 'my own personal version of Tutankhamen's curse', but if it inspires books like this, the rest of us may consider it a kind of blessing. Sunday Times Tyldesley's account of [Howard] Carter's momentous find and the clearance of the tomb is brought to life with contemporary quotes and colourful details... [Tyldesley is] a gifted storyteller... Her writing is crystal-clear and charmingly irreverent... She puts what little we know about Tutankhamun [sic] into context, giving a fascinating discussion of the discovery's social history. Nature [S]olidly researched and accessibly written. The range of topics covered is impressive. Guardian [Tutankhamen] is undeniably an entertaining read and full of interesting information... [Tyldesley] livens up her narrative with some arresting details... [E]njoyable. The Sunday Business Post (Ireland) In this well-researched study for the general reader, Tyldesley acknowledges the fragile nature of her biographical reconstructions, presenting conflicting theories and drawing careful conclusions. Highly recommended for all Egyptophiles. Library Journal

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Joyce Tyldesley's books include acclaimed biographies of Rameses the Great, and the queens Hatchepsut and Nefertiti. She is the author of Egypt: How a Lost Civilization Was Rediscovered, which accompanied a major BBC television series. Her books have been published all over the world. She lives in Bolton, Lancashire.


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Before the Discovery of the Tomb, and After 22. Mai 2012
Von R. Hardy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
It has been ninety years since the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered by Howard Carter. Before that time, Egyptologists had known almost nothing about the king, even ignorant about whether he had died young or had lived a long while as king. There was a huge influx of data about the king once the contents of the tomb had been brought out and examined, and the media sensation which started at the opening of the tomb has continued to this day, with Tut a rock star of museum and touring exhibitions. Tutankhamen may have started many Egyptologists on their careers. Joyce Tyldesley is one of these, but she admits, in _Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King_ (Basic Books), that part of the "Curse of Tutankhamen" (she debunks that there was ever really such a thing) is that the enormous popular appeal of Tutankhamen makes people forget other aspects of the centuries of Ancient Egypt including kings who were far more powerful and reigned longer. He is so popular, for instance, that he has a nickname, Tut, and a catch phrase, "The Boy King." Tutankhamen's celebrity status has also meant that he is a less attractive figure for research by established Egyptologists; Tyldesley says that the Egyptologist who expresses an interest in Tutankhamen does the equivalent of confessing a preference for soap operas over Shakespeare, and may be accused of taking up the subject because its of popularity in order to make money from it.

Tyldesley, however, has here produced a satisfying and entertaining summary of what we can know about Tutankhamen and how we got to know it. There are important gaps; scholars are still arguing, for instance, about the king's parentage, even after recent DNA tests that have not exactly cleared everything up. The facts from evidence about the king's life and reign form the first part of the book. The second part considers what has happened to Tutankhamen and his lore after his discovery in 1922. Tutankhamen came to the throne when he was eight years old, so necessarily his advisors would have guided him. They restored the orthodox worship of many gods on whom his father had turned his back. How he died will remain mysterious; it is not thought that he was murdered, but there was damage to his chest and leg. Perhaps he died of an accident while he was out on a royal ostrich or hippopotamus hunt. There is an appealing portrait of Howard Carter here. He had little formal education, but at age seventeen, he left Norfolk, England, to work as a draughtsman among the archeologists in Egypt. He was hooked up with George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, and became his employee and friend. Carter had dug around the Valley of Kings with meager results, but a last minute gamble resulted in Tutankhamen's grave being found. It was to be his great success and the success meant the end of his career as an active explorer in Egypt; he was to spend the rest of his time there documenting his finds, although he never finished publishing them, even though he lived until 1939. He did not die early due to any curse. Carnarvon did die early, curse or not, but Tyldesley summons the statistics to show that those "violating" the tomb were no more likely to face an accelerated death than anyone else. The idea of a cursed tomb was a new one, and the concept of a vindictive, reawakened mummy was foreign to the Egyptians themselves. Carter mentioned "the ridiculous stories which have been invented about the dangers lurking in ambush, as it were, in the Tomb, to destroy the intruder." Contrary to the legends, there were no curses inscribed over the thresholds of the tomb. The author gives us Tyldesley's Law: "Any theory about the behaviour, beliefs and abilities of the ancient Egyptians, no matter how unlikely, will be accepted as truth by someone."

Tyldesley admits that without some spectacular new discovery to transform our ideas about his life, "... anyone who claims to be able to write a `warts and all' biography of Tutankhamen is being either economical with the truth, or naïve, or, perhaps, works in television." She has, however, after giving as many facts as are available, provided a useful tentative ten-page biography here. In describing the folly attached to interpretations of Tutankhamen, and in careful accounts of the role of the media in the sensational finds, Tyldesley acknowledges that the modern response to Tutankhamen is just as essential in understanding him as any tentative biography might be. She has produced an entertaining and accessibly-written account of the mysterious life and society of Tutankhamen with as many facts as can be enrolled in the telling, and her accounts of our insistence of wrapping it all up in superstition just make a reader wonder how modern we really have come to be.
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Very interesting and yet no-nonsense 14. September 2012
Von Kurt A. Johnson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
You know who Tutankhamen/King Tut was, right? Sure, everyone knows who he was. But, you may just find that you know a good deal less about him than you thought.

In this fascinating book, author and historian Joyce Tyldesley takes the reader on a grand tour of everything that is known about the boy-king (and a lot that is suspected, you see we "know" a lot less about him than we "believe from the evidence"). Everything is covered from his life and death, his tomb, and what all has happened since the discovery of the tomb.

I found this to be a very interesting read. I thought that the author did a good job of presenting the information in an interesting and yet no-nonsense, no-sensationalism manner. If you want a good book on King Tutankhamen, then I recommend you get this book.
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Up To Date Tut 10. Oktober 2013
Von William Suddaby - Veröffentlicht auf
Verifizierter Kauf
This is probably the best current book about the famous Egyptian boy king. It takes into consideration all the recent research, speculation, and controversy surrounding the king in an even-handed and thoughtful way. It is laced with revealing quotations from the many personalities involved in the discovery of Tutankhamen and specialists, past and present, who have studied the vast hoard from the tomb. Tyldesley's research is nothing less than remarkable in depth and relevance.

Yes, the story has been told many times before, but as someone who for the past 60 years has read all he can about Tutankhamen, I must say I found much that is new to me. For example that the king's childhood sidelock of hair was preserved in the tomb, and that the strange tomb 55 across the path from Tutankhamen was robbed of some of its artifacts immediately after it was discovered in 1907. Some of the items have never been recovered. Tyldesley's account of this mysterious tomb 55 will probably stand for some time as the definitive and thorough summation of what little we can make of it.

One small glitch detected: The two colossal red quartzite statues thought to have originally been made for Tutankhamen but found at the mortuary temple of kings Ay/Horemheb are standing, not seated as stated on page 20. But this in no way detracts from the five stars this book deserves.
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Tutankhamen - The Man, the Myth, the Mummy 17. September 2012
Von David Roy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Joyce Tyldesley has written many books on Egyptology, one of which was an excellent book on Nefertiti. When I saw that her latest book, Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King, was available, I had to have it. Tyldesley's current book does delve into Tutankhamen's history a bit, but it more addresses the archaeology of Howard Carter's immensely important find and the aftermath than it does the boy-king's actual life. Part of that is because so little is known, and part of it is because the story of the discovery and excavation of the tomb makes an excellent story in itself. While the book is slightly muddled, overall it's a very good tale of early 20th-century archaeology.

Tyldesley begins with a description of Egyptian burial practices, pyramids and tombs, and also gives readers a little bit of information on other archaeological work Carter had done. She often goes back and forth between discussing modern archaeology and the extensive lengths to which contemporaries of Tutankhamen had to go in order to safeguard the royal tombs from grave robbers. It's not only in the modern day that the greed for burial treasures occurs.

Tyldesley's transitions easily from one to the other as she describes what Carter and his team found and the efforts to safeguard the tomb so that they could fully excavate it, then harkens it back to what the royal guards had to do thousands of years ago. Occasionally this contributes to the muddled feel of the book, as it seems to bounce all over the place. Most of the time, though, the transitions are fairly seamless.

Mixed in with it all is as much information as is known about just who Tutankhamen was, including an extensive chapter on his family and all of the possibilities regarding who his mother was. This has never been confirmed, but the speculation is enjoyable. Tyldesley gives her reasons for why the various suspects are likely, possible, or unlikely. Even his father and brother are undetermined.

The last few chapters of Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King are called "Life After Death," and basically tell the story of the aftermath of his tomb's discovery. Tyldesley debunks the supposed "curse" that was laid on everyone in the party that discovered the tomb. She also talks about the stories that came out about the boy king, fictional and supposedly nonfictional. She even talks about how mummies were purchased and kept as collector's items (and sometimes buried with their owners, which she admits would make an interesting scenario when future archaeologists come upon those bodies).

In one standout chapter, Tyldesley takes everything that she knows about Tutankhamen and puts together an elaborate theory about his life and his death. She prefaces this by informing readers of a few basic assumptions, but she also assures readers that she is not putting this forth as fact. She even states that she will not be using footnotes for this section, as this is all just her own speculation. As in Nefertiti, Tyldesley is very reluctant to posit anything as "fact" that she can't document, an admirable trait in a historian or archaeologist.

All in all, Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King is a wonderful book for anybody interested in archaeology or even just the king himself. It has something for everybody.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2012
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A definitive account of the "ultimate ancient-world celebrity" or Who was that masked man? 26. August 2012
Von Stephen Pletko - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe

"The discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen [who reigned over Egypt circa 1336 to 1327 BC] was a defining moment in the cultural history of the early 20TH century. It surpassed the boundaries of archaeology and fired the imagination of people all over the world, profoundly influencing high, as well as popular, culture and made millions of people aware of ancient Egyptian civilization."

The above extract comes from the epilogue of this well-researched and well-written book by Joyce Tyldesley. She is an archaeologist, Egyptologist, lecturer, and author. (Note that in the above extract, the author does not say these words but she is quoting somebody else.)

This book is divided into two separate but complementary sections resulting in one complete story:

(1) The evidence for Tutankhamen's life and death. (Seven chapters.) Note that the spelling of Tutankhamen's name has many variations but the author uses the spelling indicated in the above extract. ("Tutankhamen" means "living image of the god Amen.")

(2) Considers the development of the post-discovery Tutankhamen. This section consists of two chapters entitled "Tutankhamen's Curse" and "Secrets and Lies" respectively.

One of the characteristics of this book is that it is exceptionally detailed. All the modern research included in it is, in my view, exceptional. I also enjoyed the writings of others that permeate this book. For example, here is what the excavator of Tutankhamen`s tomb (marked as "KV 62"), Howard Carter (1874 to 1939), wrote in November 1922 before entering the tomb located in Egypt's Valley of the Kings:

"It was a thrilling moment for an excavator. Alone, save for my native workmen, I found myself, after years of comparatively unproductive labour, on the threshold of what might prove to be a magnificent discovery. Anything, literally anything, might lie beyond that passage, and it needed all my self-control to keep from breaking down the doorway and investigating then and there."

The last chapter of the first section is especially interesting. In this chapter, the author gives us the possible true story (from her perspective) of Tutankhamen's life and death (based on the previous chapters). She admits that this is not a "full and accurate story" (which is not possible) but, in her opinion, agrees "best with the evidence--biological, historical, and archaeological--to date." I found this chapter fascinating and well-done.

At the beginning of the book are three maps and at the end are two appendices (not indicated as appendices but indicated in the table of contents in italics). I found these to be invaluable since I found myself constantly referring to these in order to get maximum satisfaction and understanding from reading this book.

There are over twenty black and white illustrations (photographs, diagrams etc.) found throughout. There are also over fifteen colour photographs or "plates" found near the center of the book. All of these are interesting and enhanced my appreciation of this book.

Finally, the picture found on this book's cover (displayed above by Amazon) is a close-up image of Tutankhamen's golden death mask that was found on his mummy.

In conclusion, don't be surprised if this book turns you into a "King Tut" fan. For myself, I found myself walking "like an Egyptian" after reading this well-researched and detailed book!!

(first published 2012; acknowledgements; 3 maps; 4 notes; introduction; 2 parts or 9 chapters; epilogue; main narrative 270 pages; 2 appendices; notes; list of illustrations; bibliography; index)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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