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Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet
Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet
by Nicholas Reeves
Edition: Hardcover

29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Dr Reeves' usual standards, 7 Aug. 2001
Although this is a good introduction to the life and times of Akhenaten, it falls far short of the definitive account I was expecting from Nicholas Reeves.
I find it suprising that Dr Reeves maintains the misleading tradition of calling the pharaoh Amenhotep IV-Akhenaten, since throughout his reign he was known (always and only) as King Neferkheperure Waenre.
This also somewhat destroys Reeves' argument about the rise of the Aten being a reaction against the growth in power of the priests of Amen during the first half of the 18th Dynasty.
Every single king of the 18th Dynasty incorporated Ra into their name as Pharaoh, and none of them included the name of Amen - they are (up to 'Amenhotep III') Kings NebpehtiRE, DjeserkaRE, AkheperkaRE, AkheperenRE, MaatkaRE, MenkheperRE, AkheperuRE, MenkheperuRE and NebmaatRE.
Note also that even 'Akhenaten' himself was King NeferKHEPERuRE WaenRE - making any claims of his supposedly dogmatic monotheism somewhat lame.
Far from being a revolutionary account of this (alleged) revolutionary king, this is a fairly standard account that takes far too much for granted. For instance, I find it amazing that an Egyptologist as experienced as Nicholas Reeves will tell us about the famous limestone bust of Nefertiti - but fail to mention that we only assume it's the head of Nefertiti (there are no names or inscriptions on it, after all).
Sorry to be so pedantic, but I really expected a lot more from Nicholas Reeves.
Tutankhamen by Christine el-Mahdy is a much better account of the end of the 18th Dynasty - more thought-provoking, more detailed, more accurate and more interesting.

The Royal Mummies (Duckworth Egyptology) (Duckworth Egyptology Series)
The Royal Mummies (Duckworth Egyptology) (Duckworth Egyptology Series)
by G. Elliot Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.00

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for every Egyptian bookshelf, 28 Sept. 2000
The Royal Mummies must be able to claim some sort of world record for being the most frequently referenced yet impossibly obtainable book ever.
Nearly every book you pick up on Egypt will mention The Royal Mummies, and some will often reproduce the odd photograph - but the book has been impossible to get hold of virtually since it was first printed (if it was generally available in the first place).
Essentially, The Royal Mummies is part of the vast Catalogue of exhibits at the Cairo Museum - but the astounding subject matter makes this one of the most amazing books you'll ever see.
Although the story of how the mummies came to be discovered is sadly missing (Nicholas Reeves could surely have written a brief resume in his introduction?), the book is a fascinating account of the unwrapping and examination of Egypt's most famous pharaohs and their families.
Half the book is taken up with minutely-detailed body-by-body descriptions that include lengthy German and French quotations, while the other half is taken up with stunning photographs of the mummies themselves.
The book is badly out of date in parts (an unwrapped mummy of a prince has since been discovered (by X-Rays) to actually be a baboon; the mummy of Tuthmosis I may not be his (it may even be that of a woman); an unidentified woman has since been proven to be a relation of Tutankhamen; Akhenaten is written as Khentounoumai or something), and there's no mention of Amenhotep II (who was still in his tomb at the time the book was written), but there is information and pictures here that you simply can't find anywhere else.
A wonderful book about two discoveries that surely equal (if not surpass) the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb.
Absolutely indispensible. Prepare to be amazed.
Now all we need is for someone to translate Maspero's book on the mummies' discoveries. Attention publishers!

The Complete Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs
The Complete Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs
by Nicholas Reeves
Edition: Hardcover

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Egyptology bookshelf should be without it..., 8 Sept. 2000
Any book by Nicholas Reeves is worth reading, and a book by Nicholas Reeves on the Valley of the Kings is a treat indeed.
This is a wonderfully-illustrated, updated and more accessible version of Reeves' hard-to-find, hard-to-read and hard-to-afford Valley of the Kings: Decline of a Royal Necropolis. In other words, it's the only book you'll ever need on the Valley of the Kings in general.
This book fully delivers on it's titled promise of being complete - every aspect of the Valley and its tombs is covered, and if there's something missing here, I can't find it.
Packed with maps, illustrations and photographs, this book is as much a joy to look at as it is to read. Nicholas Reeves has a real passion for the Valley of the Kings and had produced a brilliant and detailed work on its history, excavation, tombs and abandonment.
Read it from cover to cover, use it as a (reliable) reference work, dip into it from time to time...however you use this book, you'll enjoy it.
In my opinion this is one of the very best generally-available books on Ancient Egypt at the moment.

Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen
Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen
by Joyce A. Tyldesley
Edition: Paperback

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too little, too late - but okay for beginners, 6 Sept. 2000
I realise it's difficult to write a biography of someone for whom there's virtually no documentary evidence, but that's no reason for Joyce Tyldesley to have written such a mediocre book on Nefertiti - especially in 1999.
Understandably there's very little on Nefertiti here - it's really a beginner's guide to the Armana period in Egyptian history.
People interested in Nefertiti will find all the information in this book re-interpreted, re-examined, brought up to date, put into context and brilliantly argued plus a lot, lot more in Christine El Mahdy's Tutankhamen - a book that makes reading Joyce Tyldesley's redundant.
There's nothing new here - and there's none of the fascinating archeological argument and counter-argument that makes El Mahdy's book so enjoyable.
Having said that, if you know absolutely nothing about Nefertiti, this is (I guess) as good a place to start as any.
But I guarantee you'll enjoy Christine El Mahdy's book more - even though it's called Tutankhamen, it's a far, far better study of Nefertiti's life and times.

Tutankhamen: The Life and Death of the Boy-king
Tutankhamen: The Life and Death of the Boy-king
by Christine El Mahdy
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read if you think you know about Akhenaten, 6 Sept. 2000
The title of this book is really misleading - because it appears to be just another book about Tutankhamen. IT'S NOT!
This book should be called Armana - The Truth, because it brilliantly and convincingly dismantles all the misconceptions and assumptions we have been given and now take for granted about this strange period in Egyptian history.
It leaves you with a completely new view of Armana and Akhenaten, which you feel is probably quite close to the truth.
Christine El Mahdy's arguments are superb and she cleverly encourages you to take part in identifying the problems and arriving at the solutions.
This book also contains the most convincing explanation of the 'mystery' of tomb KV55 you'll come across.
This is by far the best (generally available) book on the Armana period - it's a fascinating read and I can't recommend it highly enough.
If the publishers read this - change the title! This is much, much more than a book about Tutankhamen.

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