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Valley of the Kings (1981)

by John Romer

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296669,668 (3.61)8
For more than 500 years, the Valley of the Kings held a thriving community--and then it disappeared from the historical records for hundreds of years. Here is the story of the tombs and the ancient royalty buried there, as well as the compelling archeological hunt for the past. ..".vividly written...authoritative, informative, and entertaining throughout."--TLS. ..".bound to become a classic of Egyptology. One of the best serious books on archeology to appear in many years."--LA Herald Examiner.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Lost Tomb by Kent R. Weeks (jlelliott)
    jlelliott: John Romer's history of the Valley of the Kings provides a wonderful setting for Week's story about tomb KV5. The Lost Tomb is a great continuation of the valley's story, elaborating on modern archaeological work in this ancient site.
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Showing 4 of 4
A narrative history of of the valley post-burials.

There's a bit in the opening where Romer's describing the Egyptian landscape. You can feel the weight of history pressing in on you and it's only the limits of your own imagination that stops you being crushed. The man's a poet.

Unfortunately some technical problems with the writing contuses the meaning of some of his sentences. That problem is intermittent however, and the book is on the whole enjoyable.

Romer's particularly good on Egyptian art and makes a number of insightful comments. I understand he's an artist himself.

The book is particularly well illustrated, avoiding the glossy whore-shots you can find anywhere and using a lot of things you'll not find anywhere else.

If you're interested, Romer did a couple of excellent documentaries that complement this book: Romer's Egypt and Ancient Lives. You can find them knocking about on Youtube. ( )
  Lukerik | Mar 4, 2018 |
Great book about the excavations of the tombs of the Pharoahs. If you are, like me, an armchair Egyptologist, this is a book you'll enjoy. ( )
  bfgar | May 13, 2014 |
Wonderful book. More pictures, maps and layouts would help a lot. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Jun 3, 2009 |
It isn’t hard to make Egyptology interesting; the lure of uncovering history preserved for thousands of years, the glint of gold, the confrontation with death and with a culture that seemingly embraced it have all captivated the attention of generations. This book is no exception. It presents a chronological history of excavation in the Valley of the Kings, both describing the finds and introducing the varied cast of treasure hunters, archeologists, and entrepreneurs who discovered them. It is a book primarily about Egyptology, rather than of Egyptology, neither idolizing nor absolving the early excavators. Romer’s love for the ancient Egyptians shines through his record of history every time he describes their art or architecture. This is the book’s main drawback, as Romer’s enthusiastic portrayal of the beauties of the valley inspires a desire to see that is not sufficiently served by the book’s few plates and smattering of tomb layouts. I wanted so much more, more pictures and more layouts, maps of the valley, etc. Otherwise thoroughly enjoyable, this book made me long for a trip to Egypt. ( )
1 vote jlelliott | Aug 30, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Inevitably, there is no better way to start a description of a part of Egypt than to begin with its relationship to the River Nile.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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For more than 500 years, the Valley of the Kings held a thriving community--and then it disappeared from the historical records for hundreds of years. Here is the story of the tombs and the ancient royalty buried there, as well as the compelling archeological hunt for the past. ..".vividly written...authoritative, informative, and entertaining throughout."--TLS. ..".bound to become a classic of Egyptology. One of the best serious books on archeology to appear in many years."--LA Herald Examiner.

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