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The shadow king : the bizarre afterlife of king Tut's mummy
2013
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Draws on myriad disciplines to address mysteries surrounding the mummy of Tutankhamun, providing coverage of the first autopsy of the mummy in 1925, recent arguments over its DNA, and the stories behind archaeological documentaries. - (Baker & Taylor)

A New Scientist editor draws on myriad disciplines to address mysteries surrounding the mummy of young Tutankhamun, providing coverage of the first autopsy of the mummy in 1925, recent arguments over its DNA and the stories behind hyped-up archaeological documentaries. 25,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Experienced science journalist Jo Marchant (Nature, New Scientist) has written a rare book: journalism as lively as a mystery novel, researched as first-rate science. She tracks down facts like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes and brings readers along for the ride. Here her subject is King Tut; not the boy-king himself but what's happened to his mummy. It's a grand tour through the stories we spin about who he was, his family, his kingdom, his curse, how he died, and what it all means. In page-turning prose, she reveals the dramas surrounding Tutankhamun: was he murdered? Was he lame? Was he a woman? What's the real DNA evidence? Is he a god-king, a national treasure, a dead boy, a cash cow? Marchant travels the globe, interviews witnesses, opens archives, finds material evidence, and does not stop until she has the facts. She has expertly tracked down and integrated much evidence that was isolated, lost, or forgotten. The facts turn out to be that the "facts" are fabrications. Every new public discovery about Tutankhamun's life and death-confidently proclaimed in TV shows, banner headlines, million-selling books, IMAX films, and on the cover of the National Geographic-is not true. Some are possibilities; many are lies, most are games of telephone or have been manufactured for profit. With the dispassionate eye of a detective and an easy, skillful style, Marchant reveals what happens to knowledge when public museums and international science funding are taken over by a demand for instant blockbuster results that will make cash registers ring. But the book is not an expose of anything but the ways good and bad science are made. Marchant debunks the idea that you need to make up dramatic facts by writing a ripping yarn about King Tut in which every fact is true (we follow her meticulous scientific detective work in quick, entertaining prose, supplemented by a smart combination of lively footnotes and formal endnotes). Marchant respects both our human need to know facts and to tell stories. Like all celebrities, she discovers, Tutankhamun is what we have made up. His death is a disappearing act. The culprit caught at the end is time and uncertainty, the distance between what we can know and what we want to know. Marchant persuasively reminds us that the only way to tell a great mystery story is to respect the mystery. Uniquely, this book will both appeal strongly to general readers and be required reading for professional Egyptologists. Highly recommended. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) - (Book News)

More than 3,000 years ago, King Tutankhamun's desiccated body was lovingly wrapped and sent into the future as an immortal god. After resting undisturbed for more than three millennia, King Tut's mummy was suddenly awakened in 1922. Archaeologist Howard Carter had discovered the boy-king's tomb, and the soon-to-be famous mummy's story--even more dramatic than King Tut's life--began.

The mummy's "afterlife" is a modern story, not an ancient one. Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the mummy's story from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today's high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy's secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped-up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can't tell us about King Tutankhamun. - (Grand Central Pub)

Unraveling the mysteries of Tutankhamun’s mummy—a story of history, archaeology, crime, business, politics, and science

- (Perseus Publishing)

More than 3,000 years ago, King Tutankhamun’s desiccated body was lovingly wrapped and sent into the future as an immortal god. After resting undisturbed for more than three millennia, King Tut’s mummy was suddenly awakened in 1922. Archaeologist Howard Carter had discovered the boy-king’s tomb, and the soon-to-be famous mummy’s story—even more dramatic than King Tut’s life—began.

The mummy’s “afterlife” is a modern story, not an ancient one. Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the mummy’s story from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today’s high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy’s secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped-up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can’t tell us about King Tutankhamun.

- (Perseus Publishing)

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