on 20 September 1999
This book is written by a man who clearly knows his Egyptology. He writes with a true passion for his work and this passion easily spills out of the covers and into the reader. The book starts with an almost autobiographical feel to the life and work of Dr.Weeks but moves swiftly to the beginning of his work in Eygpt. It is here that he begins his seemingly endless task of mapping the entire area of the Theban Necropolis - the Valley of the Kings. Whilst carrying out this task it transpires that several of the tombs, discovered and opened either in ancient times or in the last couple of hundred years, are now 'missing'. This book tells the story of the 're-discovery' of one of them; what turns out to be the largest and most unusual of all tombs in Eygpt; KV5.
I found the book a compelling read and thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in history as a whole.
This book is an excellent read, providing a fascinating insight into the excavation of the largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It helps you both understand the significance of the tomb itself but also the thoughts and feelings of those working in it. The narrative is a bit plodding at times, which is why I have not given it full marks. This is to be expected really as the author is an archaeologist and so presumably is used to documenting in fine detail, rather than for "entertainment value". However, this does not detract hugely from the book as a whole.
The discoveries documented are a fascinating development in the archaeology of Egypt as a whole, and it is arguably the most important discovery since Tutankhamun. They may be of particular interest to those with an interest in Rameses II as the tomb is that of his sons. The book is also particularly interesting if you are interested in how the process of an excavation works, both the problems faced and the triumphs. Well worth a read.
I have been to Egypt, the first time was in 1993, and I made my mind up that I'd like to study Egyptology. During my second year of studying Egyptology I discovered this book. It wasn't one of the study books I was required to read I decided to purchase it.
Kent Weeks starts off by giving us a little background on himself and how he got into Egyptology and why he felt there was a need for a more in depth and informative research into all the tombs and temples in Egypt.
He then starts up the "Theban Mapping Project", (TMP), and as always runs into red tape and financial problems before everything starts to run smoothly.
The project was set up to map and find all tombs in the "Valley of the Kings" so everything could be recorded for future generations so nothing would be lost.
When he re-discovers KV5 he takes us a great journey of his discoveries from season to season, he and his team show a lot of emotion throughout this discovery. We find out that KV5 is like nothing else that has been found in the "Valley of the Kings", "Valley of the Queens" and the "Valley of the Nobles".
The books has both colour and black and white photos, there are also drawings of tomb plans which are useful when referring to certain things as you can look and picture in your minds eye where they have discovered things.
This book was originally published in 1998, so more season have passed since then if you would also like updates to continue where this books left off, whilst we patiently wait another book on KV5 to carry on from where he left off have a look at the "Theban Mapping Project" website.
Kent Weeks has done an excellent job in writing this book and it's worth every penny, you won't be disappointed with this book I can assure you of that.
It makes an excellent edition to my little Egyptian library, which now stands at nearly 1000 books on this subject. :-)
on 12 June 2007
Kent Weeks came to tomb KV5 in the Valley of the Kings as part of the Theban Mapping Project. The ongoing work to survey and record the known tombs in the valley was soon overshadowed as the diggers realised that KV5 was, in so many ways, special and unusual.
This book contains an excellent narrative history of the discovery and the mounting excitement as KV5, tomb of the sons of Rameses II, kept exceeding the diggers' expectations. It covers not only the historical background and archaeological nitty-gritty, but also the practicalities of everyday work, life with a team of local diggers, and relations with the Egyptian political and archaeological bureaucracy. The author's style is engaging and easy to read.
Those familiar with Egyptian funerary archaeology and the history of the New Kingdom may find that a lot of the content is familiar. Nonetheless there is enough new content to keep even the most ardent amateur egyptologist happy.