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The murder of Tutankhamen by Bob Brier

The murder of Tutankhamen (1998)

by Bob Brier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 5 of 5
Flicked through this again, in the same vein as I flicked through the Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt book yesterday. Reread bits of it. I believe the actual theory is discounted now, due to more high-tech scans, but it's still interesting, because it doesn't solely seek to pose the theory that Tutankhamen was murdered -- there's a lot about his life, too, and that of Akhenaten (now confirmed to be his father, I believe?).

Very exciting stuff for me, when I was younger, and still interesting when I read it now. ( )
1 vote shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Bob Brier knows as much about ancient Egypt as anyone but no-one knows very much. This book is of the conspiracy theory school with a little scholarship sprinkled on top. ( )
1 vote denmoir | Mar 17, 2012 |
This is the translation of The Murder of Tutankhamon. It is a very curious mixture of ancient egyptian history, detective story, and popular science enquiry. The author, an egyptologist and paleopathologist at the University of Long Island, suspects that Tutankhamon was murdered. The possible supporting evidence was obtained from analysis to the x-ray images of the king's mummy. Half of the book is taken by a description of Egypt, particularly during the 18th Dinasty, close to the end of which Tutankhamon reigned. Also included are good short descriptions of the expeditions that led to the discovery of the tomb, and also of some important archeological discoveries with connection with the author's argument, such as the el-Amarna ruins, and the progressive discovery of the existence and importance of Akhenaton, the father of Tutankhamon. The book is well translated and it seems that the plot to murder Tutankhamon could indeed have taken place (although I was not convinced neither way...), but I am not going to reveal here who's the most likely culprit! An enjoyable book. ( )
1 vote FPdC | May 24, 2010 |
Forensics and ancient documents lead the author to believe that King Tut was murdered. (Duh, you could tell that from the title.)

The book gives a brief history of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt and details the contemporaneous goings-on in the years surrounding Tutankhamen's reign. The author lays out his evidence for his belief, including his prime suspects for the actual deed.

An entertaining read, regardless if one agrees with his conclusions. ( )
  avanta7 | Apr 24, 2009 |
The Gist: (Note: There isn't really a blurb on the back of the book so I have cobbled one together.) King Tutankhamen of the Eighteenth Dynasty became pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt at the age of ten and died at the age of 18 or 19. Many scholars of ancient Egypt question why Tutankhamen died at such a young age. While examining his remains, scientists discovered (through x-rays) that Tutankhamen suffered a blow to the head right where the skull meets the neck. This injury and other evidence causes Bob Brier, Ph.D author of The Murder Of Tutankhamen, to find the murder theory of the young king plausible. In this book, Brier examines not only the physical evidence that remains today, but also the motives of those who would be king.

Readers do not have to be experts in ancient Egyptian history to enjoy Bob Brier's book The Murder Of Tutankhamen. Brier provides the reader with a "crash course" on the history of ancient Egypt: how it became a great power, the creation of its social structure, its political structure and so on. If you are already familiar with ancient Egyptian history, this portion of the book provides a good "refresher course." I learned many new facts about ancient Egypt--including how often the embalmers screwed up when preparing a body for burial. I find it intriguing yet highly disturbing that the embalmers often misplaced body parts or reassembled the body incorrectly. For example, placing the arms where the legs belong or losing some one's head.

Brier spends several pages discussing Akhenaten, Tutankhamen's father. I agree with Brier that to understand Tutankhamen's reign, his death/murder, and its aftermath an understanding about Akhenaten's reign is important. However, while Brier does a good job bringing this ancient king to life, I found that at times he loses his objectivity as a scientist/historian. When I read the sections in which Brier lauds Akhenaten for being a visionary and for bringing monotheism to ancient Egypt, I began to vehemently disagree with Brier about how "terrific" Akhenaten was as a visionary leader. I find Akhenaten's neglect of his pharaonic duties appalling.

Brier tends to generalize a lot about religion and other aspects of ancient Egyptian history. I suspect the reason for these generalizations is that Brier wants to give readers an overview of ancient Egyptian life. Any greatly detailed history would lead away from the point of the book: Did someone murder Tutankhamen and if so, who orchestrated and carried out the act? If you read this book, I recommend performing a little research on your own just to have another historian's point of view about ancient Egypt.

Brier intrigued me with his discussion about the power vacuum created after Tutankhamen's death. I wish he had spent more time discussing the political intrigue that took place in a pharaoh's court. For example, we know a lot about the backstabbing politics of England's Tudor court. Was the pharaoh's court similar?

Brier excels at bringing Tutankhamen and his wife Ankhesenamen to life. They become three dimensional people with wishes and dreams. Through Brier's discussion about artifacts depicting the royal couple, readers learn that Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen truly loved each other and enjoyed each other's company. According to Brier, the artists who created the paintings and carvings of the couple always show them holding hands or in some way showing affection for each other. For Tutankhamen, Ankhesenamen was the only wife and queen for him. He did not have any other wives.

So for me, their story is tragic. Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen died at unusually young ages. And both of them died under mysterious circumstances. From what little historians know about them, they seemed to enjoy life as well as each other's company. To me, their story is worse than Romeo and Juliet because Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen's story is true. ( )
1 vote Blacklin | Nov 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425166899, Paperback)

For decades after the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, the dazzling treasures found along with the mummy distracted many of us from the actual events of Tutankhamen's life. But take a look at the body itself--cranialX-rays reveal a location on the back of the skull that may indicate a hemorrhage, perhaps one caused by a deliberate blow. The question thus arises: Was King Tut murdered?

Egyptologist Bob Brier specializes in paleopathology, the study of diseases in the ancient world. In essence, he performs high-tech autopsies on 3,000-year-old corpses. (He's also taken part in a re-creation of Egyptian mummification techniques, including the extraction of the brain through the nasal passages.) Here, he examines the X-rays and other photographic evidence, correlating it with the research of other Egyptologists, and concludes that Tutankhamen was the victim of political and religious intrigues that developed into a fatal conspiracy. True crime buffs and historians alike will find much to like in Brier's fast-paced recounting of his investigations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:57 -0400)

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Examines artifacts, documents, tombs, and x-rays of ancient mummies to support the author's claim that young Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen was murdered.

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