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The Private Lives of the Pharaohs [Hardcover]

Joyce A. Tyldesley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Nov 2000
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 pharaohs.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Channel 4; 1st Edition edition (10 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752219030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752219035
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 839,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Joyce Tyldesley was born in Bolton, Lancashire. She studied archaeology at Liverpool and Oxford Universities, before writing a series of academic yet accessible books on ancient Egypt, including several books for children. Her 2008 book Cleopatra: Egypt's Last Queen was a Radio 4 "Book of the Week". Her 2012 book Tutankhamen's Curse (published as Tutankhamen in the USA), won the Felicia A. Holton Book Award of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Having taught prehistory at Liverpool University, Joyce currently teaches students througout the world on the innovative on-line Certificate and Diploma Courses in Egyptology, plus a series of Short Courses in Egyptology, at Manchester University.

Product Description

About the Author

Dr Joyce Tyldesley is an Honorary Research Fellow, School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies, Liverpool University. She has lectured widely on Egyptology and archaeology, made national radio appearances and won several academic awards for her work. She has also worked on numerous archaeological expeditions and excavations in Egypt. In addition to numerous academic works and papers, her previous books include Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt and Ramesses: Egypt's Greatest Pharaoh (both Viking/Penguin). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent pragmatic narrative 25 Jun 2001
Format:Hardcover
A very concise, informative addition to the discipline of Egyptology which 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. The author rarely lapses into speculation but when doing so, avoids the consequences. 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, through the Royal Treasury. 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 idealised 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 little 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 frequently tiresomely presented television production.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and entralling 16 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
THis book is perfect for anyone interested in Egyptology. It takes you through the pyramids, the 18th dynasty and the blue lotus flower which was thought to have magical powers. I found the section on the 18th dynasty very interesting. It mainly tells of Akhenaten and Tutankhamen who were the last two Pharoahs of the 18th dynasty. It coveres the concept of inbreeding which was thought why that dynasty died out with Tutankhamen. Just more recently the tombs of the pryamid builders were found and it goes on to explain that the builder were not slaves at all. I found this very easy to read and would recommend it to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Private Lives Of The Pharaohs 8 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very engagingly written book about a fascinating subject. The chapter on Tutankhamun was very interesting and the forensic studies in the book were fascinating.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 30 Mar 2008
By Gr Rocker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Egyptian civilization, preserved for two thousand years, left a mysterious legacy in the form of human remains, monumental buildings, inscrutable writings, and elaborate tombs. But until recently, Egyptian mummies were considered to be little more than curiosities. Much of our understanding of Egyptian civilization has been gleaned from nineteenth century tomb robbers and twentieth century filmmakers. Private Lives of the Pharaohs highlights the exciting new developments in medical science that are allowing Egyptologists to extract information from mummified Egyptians.

Recent scientific advances, including DNA analysis, endoscopy, and CAT scans, are allowing Egyptologists to bring Egypt's dead "back to life." The once-hidden evidence extracted from their bones, hair, and rehydrated skin is unlocking the mysteries of the pyramids, showing us the secrets of Tutankahamen's court, and revealing the use of recreational drugs in the royal household. The result is a breathtaking new look at the Pharaohs and their monumental civilization. Renowned Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley describes the major secrets that forensic scientists have been able to retrieve from Egypt's famed mummies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Tyldesley's 'Private Lives' 11 Dec 2010
By Ryan Mease - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I understand why this book is no longer in print--it was attached to a television program. However, I'd like to argue that this work could flourish as a stand alone introduction to recent developments in archaeology. Tyldesley offers a mixture of basic history and recent developments in archaeology that work to reexamine traditional accounts. The movement through three different case studies is especially effective. It allows for a sense of focus on particular historical landscapes as Tyldesley introduces new information to modify these landscapes.
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