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on 23 April 2013
I'll state right swat, I love the valley of the kings, in a 3 year period, I visited the valley 15 or 20 uimes. The problem was back then, 1993, there were no proper guides just to the valley. There was a small guide to Luxor which included the west bank, and Baedeker and others included the valley, but not user friendly.
For reading good histories, John rohmers valley of the kings is still the best general historical piece for beginners, with ancient lives telling the stories of the tomb builders. Wilkinsons mthe complete valley of the kings is a good review of thebthen known tombs, but is more on the scholastic. Kent weeks atlas of the valley of the kings is essentially plans of the valley and all the tombs.
This book is, as far as I'm aware, the only guide to the tombs and temples of the west bank. Is is about a4 un size, easy to read texts and magnificent colour photos.
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on 4 November 2013
This is a stunning book, full of fabulous photos of internal views of a lot of the tombs that are normally inaccessable to the public ( unless you can pay a lot of money to see them!) Kent Weeks has been excavating the famous KV5 Tomb since the mid '80s, that was built we now know, for the sons of Rameses the second. It is great to see photos of this project in more detail.

There is a so much well researched information; a must for Egyptophiles! Super book!
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"Valley of the Kings" was published in 2001 by the Italian publishing house White Star Books, which specialises in picture books in large format. A revised edition appeared in 2011.

It is illustrated by numerous pictures, drawings and maps. All illustrations are in colour - except a few old pictures, which are in black-and-white. Most pictures are taken by the Italian photographer Araldo de Luca, who has worked with White Star for many years.

One drawing is made by the French scholar Emile Prisse d'Avennes (p. 44). For more information about this man and his work see: Atlas of Egyptian Art.

Some drawings are made by the Italian scholar Ippolito Rosellini (pp. 26-27, 42-43). For more information about this man and his work see: The Monuments of Egypt and Nubia.

The quality of the illustrations is high. The details are sharp and the colours bright. Several pictures are taken from the air. You can not do this yourself, unless you can afford to rent a helicopter or a hot air balloon. Many pictures are taken inside the ancient tombs. You cannot do this yourself, because ordinary visitors are not allowed to use a camera inside the ancient tombs. The pictures published in this book are the result of a special permit issued by the Egyptian authorities.

The book is edited by Kent R. Weeks, who is Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo and the author of several books, including The Treasures of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings (2005).

The text is written by the editor and seven other scholars. Biographical information about all contributors appears on page 9 (and on the dust jacket). Here are the names in alphabetical order:

*** Hartwig Altenmüller
*** Peter Brand
*** Betsy M. Bryan
*** Edwin C. Brock
*** Erik Hornung
*** T.G.H. James
*** Christian Leblanc

The main text is divided into four parts. Here is a summary:

Part one "Introduction" contains a preface and two chapters - "Thebes: A Model for every City" and "The Exploration of Thebes"

Part two "The Temples of Millions of Years" contains an introduction plus five chapters about five funerary temples on the west bank

Part three "The Valley of the Kings" contains an introduction, a chapter about funerary literature in the tombs, plus fourteen chapters about fourteen royal tombs

Part four "The Valley of the Queens" is divided into two sections: the first section covers one tomb (the tomb of Queen Nefertari), while the second section covers two tombs (the tombs of the sons of Rameses III)

The book concludes with an index and photographic credits. There is no bibliography.

I like this book, but I have to mention a few minor flaws:

(1) On page 37 Weeks says: "In 390, Constantine moved two obelisks from Thebes to Alexandria, then to the Circus Maximus in Rome and Istanbul."

This passage is unfortunate: two obelisks were moved from Thebes, but Constantine I did not do anything in 390, because he died in 337. Here is what happened:

Obelisk # 1 was moved to Alexandria by Constantine I ca. 330 and moved to Rome by Constantius II in 357. It was raised on the spina of the Circus Maximus. In 1588 it was re-erected next to St. John Lateran, where it still stands today.

Obelisk # 2 was moved to Alexandria by Constantius II ca. 350 and moved to Constantinople (today Istanbul) by Theodosius I in 390. It was raised on the spina of the hippodrome, where it still stands today.

(2) On page 37 Weeks mentions the Jesuit priest Claude Sicard "who came [to Egypt] in 1726." A caption on page 36 refers to "Claude Sicard's map of Egypt drawn in 1717."

Something is wrong here: how could this person draw a map of Egypt in 1717, if he did not come to Egypt until 1726? Here are the facts: Sicard, who was born in 1677, came to Egypt in 1707 or 1708 and stayed there for the rest of his life. He drew the map in 1717 and died in Cairo in 1726. In other words: the caption is correct; the text is wrong.

(3) On page 119 Weeks explains how the walls of the tombs were decorated: the workers "drew in red ink outlines of the figures and hieroglyphs to be carved there. Senior artists and scribes used black ink to adjust the proportions of figures or correct spelling errors."

But the caption on page 118 says: "Black lines are the artist's original outlines, red lines are corrections, made to enhance the proportions of the figure."

These two passages contradict each other. In this case the caption is false, while the text is correct.

(4) On page 120 there are two unfortunate misprints about KV5: Weeks says the area of the tomb is "over 1800 m_." He wants to say m² (square meters). He says the volume of the tomb is "about 6,000 m_." He wants to say m³ (cubic meters).

(5) On page 297 (about the tomb of Nefertari) Christian Leblanc says: "The tomb is once again accessible to tourists, but only in limited numbers."

This statement is no longer true. The tomb was re-opened to the public - in limited numbers - in 1995, but it was closed again in 2005. It seems the editor (or the publisher) forgot to update the original text from 2001, when the revised edition was published in 2011.

These flaws are unfortunate, but they are minor and they are the exception.

"Valley of the Kings" is an excellent book, written by experts, who know their topic very well. If you are interested in the history of ancient Egypt, this volume is highly recommended.

PS. This hardcover book with fabulous illustrations is available from Amazon UK for a fair price. It is a bargain!
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on 19 December 2012
A reprinted book that gives an overall picture of the delights of Egyptian ancient architecture, painting and sculpture. Excellent details of the temples, with maps and diagrams of their layouts. Glorious pictures. Some good heiroglyphs in close up.
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on 18 August 2013
A lovely book to browse through - the pictures are stunning, and fold out imges of the interior of the tombs are great. Love that it does not just focus on the royal men of egypt but their queens as well.
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on 28 January 2015
After giving a historical introduction to the Valley of the Kings, listing the ways in which the tombs there have been damaged over the centuries by theft, graffiti and the smoke from torches and cooking fires, Weeks (Director of the Theban Mapping Project [TMP]) and Hetherington go on to enumerate the threats that it now faces: flash-flooding, the effects of which have been exacerbated by the changes made to the topography to ease visitor access; humidity in the tombs caused by tourist numbers; accidental physical damage to reliefs by tourists and by cleaners; accumulation of dust on the painted surfaces.

They also state the ways in which visits to the Valley are made less pleasant by the current transport arrangements, ticketing procedure, toilet facilities and souvenir sellers.

Bearing in mind the importance of the income from tourism to the economy of both Luxor and Egypt, these threats have to be managed if the tombs are to survive. After carrying out a series of surveys of visitors, guides and locals, the TMP has come up with set of proposals, fully evaluated in the book, that would help to alleviate the threats, while simultaneously improving the lot of both visitor and local alike. It is to be hoped that they are implemented.

Reviewed by ancientegyptmagazine dot com
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on 8 March 2013
Beautifully presented book and as would be expected, from Kent Weeks, great details in the writing. A book to suit most 'wana-a-be' Egyptologist.
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on 3 June 2015
These reviews are NOT for this book ISBN978-977-416-6008-2 "A Site Management Handbook" but for the other "Valley of the Kings" by Weeks
1-58663-295-7. There are NO color photos at all and is a report of tourist control with pie charts, questions and answers, surveys, new lighting needed in tombs, pick up the rubbish, etc. If you buy on the basis of the reviews you will be sadly disappointed. Strictly for the professionals.
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on 18 April 2013
A Well illustrated book with stunning pictures and clear diagrams and maps. I have been able to clarify some aspects which I did not fully understand from previous reading on the subject . A useful addition to my books on Egyptology .
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on 21 June 2014
Outstanding for quality, content and value.

Packed full of detailed information, superb images, including fold out spreads. Will keep us entertained for months.

Highly recommended book.
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