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Library Journal Review
Naunton, current president of the International Association of Egyptologists and author of numerous scholarly articles, is best known as the presenter of TV documentaries, including King Tut's Tomb: the Hidden Chamber. Here, he explores the search for the yet-undiscovered tombs of some of the most famous people in ancient Egyptian history, from the early Dynastic Period to the Roman era: Imhotep, Third Dynasty architect of the Step Pyramid; Amenhotep I and Nefertiti of the 18th Dynasty; Herihor, high priest of Amun in Thebes during the 21st Dynasty; Alexander the Great; and Cleopatra VII. Also highlighted are archaeologists from the 19th century to the present, whose ongoing research missions and excavations have resulted in significant discoveries. A fascinating examination of the Amarna Period royal burials is included along with a survey of the royal cemeteries of the Third Intermediate Period in the Nile Delta. Naunton succeeds in his goal to get readers "excited by the possibility that there might be such extraordinary surprises yet to come." VERDICT This unique study is recommended for anyone interested in ancient Egyptian civilization or the history of Egyptology.-Edward K. -Werner, formerly with St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., FL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Are there any ancient Egyptian royal tombs yet to be discovered? The question animates Naunton's presentation of various pharaohs whose sepulchers have thus far eluded archaeologists. Tutankhamun was sought for years by Howard Carter, who finally made his spectacular find in 1922. Its location in the necropolis known as the Valley of the Kings inspired a current search for the burial place of Amenhotep I, who is conjectured to have initiated valley interments. Yet there are numerous other places to look, such as the Nile Delta, where, in 1940, a French scholar found an intact tomb as amazing as Tut's and belonging to a pharaoh named Psusennes I. Other tantalizing possibilities include the cemetery called Saqqara and Amarna, the capital city built by the famous heretical pharaoh, Akhenaten, where royal burial chambers have been found but no Akhenaten mummy, yet. In Alexandria, the hunt is on for its namesake founder (the Great) and for the tomb of Cleopatra. With the lure of ancient celebrities, Naunton beckons readers to Egyptology, and with abundant photographs and chronological guidance, he masterfully succeeds.--Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2018 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A noted Egyptologist follows the search for burial sites.Former director of the Egypt Exploration Society and president of the International Association of Egyptologists, Naunton has presented his research in several TV documentaries, most recently King Tut's Tomb: The Hidden Chamber (2016). He makes his book debut with an insightful, informative, and beautifully illustrated overview of archaeologists' quests to find the tombs of some of the most famous individuals of the ancient worldImhotep, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and the Macedonian leader Alexander the Great foremost among themthat so far have eluded discovery. Along with chronicling expeditions, Naunton provides colorful biographies of these major historical figures and the world they inhabited. The 19th-century craze for Egyptian antiquities resulted in major finds, but despite two centuries of efforts, much has not been revealed. Of the tombs that have been discovered over the years, the author notes that many have been found empty, plundered by robbers lusting after the considerable wealth buried with the mummified corpse. Some robberies, he speculates, were likely carried out by the same people who buried the deceased or by workers involved in the construction of a new tomb that opened accidentally into the old one. Naunton vividly describes the sumptuous riches of burial sites: In 1939, for example, a team under the direction of French archaeologist Pierre Montet discovered a royal tomb containing a "falcon-headed coffin of solid silver," a solid gold funerary mask, a scarab of lapis lazuli, and objects made of other precious materials. The following year, his team discovered a mummy "wrapped in almost unimaginable riches," including 22 bracelets, solid gold toe and finger rings, and jeweled weapons, amulets, and canes. While it seems mysterious that the tombs of famous individuals should remain hidden, Naunton suggests that ancient "waves of rebuilding," sieges, geological changes, and recent redevelopment have caused sites to be obscured. The tomb of Cleopatra and, perhaps, Marc Antony, for example, may lie buried in the sea, off the coast of Alexandria.An authoritative guide leads an illuminating journey into the distant past. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.