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Not really about Nefertiti
on 25 December 2010
The full title of this book is "Nefertiti: Unlocking the mystery surrounding Egypt's most famous and beautiful queen".
The title is obviously a commercial ploy. This is not a sensationalist book claiming to uncover uncanny Egyptian mysteries. Nor is it about Nefertiti. Not really.
"Nefertiti" is actually about the Amarna period in Egyptian history, a short period during which ancient Egypt was ruled by the heretical pharaoh Akhenaten. We don't know as much about this period as we would like to, and we certainly don't know much about Nefertiti, Akhenaten's queen and wife. Most of the book is about Akhenaten or the Amarna period in general, not specifically about Nefertiti.
Joyce Tyldesley's book is "scholarly", in the sense of being moderately boring. Often, it sounds like a college textbook in archaeology. It never really thrills the reader. It's not bad if you are a budding student of Egyptology, but the general public might get disappointed.
After all, "Nefertiti" never unlocks the mystery surrounding Egypt's most famous and beautiful queen...