Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist

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9780061732829: Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist

“Donald Ryan is a rare bird—a field archaeologist who can write with verve and immediacy. I heartily recommend his book to all Egyptology buffs.”
—Barbara Mertz ( a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters), author of Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs

 

A real-life “Indiana Jones,” Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D., offers a breathtaking personal account of his adventures in archaeology in Beneath the Sands of Egypt. Fans of The Lost City of Z will thrill to the exploits of this “unconventional archaeologist” as he retrieves the remains of Egypt’s past—including his breakthrough discovery in the Valley of the Kings of Egypt’s famous female pharaoh, Hatshepsut.

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From the Back Cover:

From the known to the unknown . . .

With its spectacular temples, tombs, monuments, and mummies, as well as esoteric metaphysics, legendary historical characters, and connections to the Bible, ancient Egypt has enticed the human imagination for centuries. This search for understanding and drive to uncover a lost civilization has also been the life work of archaeologist Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D. In Beneath the Sands of Egypt, he offers an intriguing personal account of a career spent researching the remains of Egypt's past—including his headline-making rediscovery of a lost tomb in the Valley of the Kings containing the mummy of the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut.

Since his early childhood, Ryan dreamed of exploration and adventure. Inspired by his plastic dinosaurs, his books—including Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki—and his father's National Geographic collection, Ryan was determined to become an archaeologist. It is a quest that has taken him from harsh desert digs to the modern comforts of Europe's finest museums to treacherous Alpine peaks—and into the lives of his archaeological predecessors, gathering insight from obscure documents and, literally, digging in their wake.

Beneath the Sands of Egypt interweaves Ryan's captivating tales from the field with reflections into the arcane world of Egyptology, from the writings of Herodotus to the tools of the trade, the intricacies of obtaining a digging permit to the thrall of popular myths. In addition, Ryan introduces a diverse cast of eccentric colleagues, helpful locals, wily entrepreneurs, and enlightened benefactors who have touched his life, including the legendary Thor Heyerdahl, Ryan's childhood hero who eventually became his friend, mentor, and boss. Throughout, Ryan adds his unique touch, reminding us how an artifact as seemingly insignificant as a piece of rope can unlock invaluable insights and offer its own wonderful tale.

Infused with the irrepressible curiosity that has fueled Ryan's journey, Beneath the Sands of Egypt is the extraordinary story of a man who has spent a lifetime embracing adventure whenever—and wherever—he finds it.

About the Author:

Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D., is a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, Polynesian archaeology, and ancient languages and scripts. He is best known for his research in Egypt, including excavations in the Valley of the Kings, where he has discovered lost tombs and controversial mummies. The author of several books and numerous articles on archaeological subjects, he is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society and worked closely with world-renowned Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

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