Bob Brier The Murder of Tutankhamen

ISBN 13: 9780425166895

The Murder of Tutankhamen

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9780425166895: The Murder of Tutankhamen
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"By the time you finish his intrigue-filled reconstruction of Tutankhamen's world--which includes such elements as teen-age love, religious heresy, the Orwellian rewriting of history and the desperate pleas of a terrified queen--you risk coming to care a good deal about the young Pharaoh's fate."--The New York Times
"The Murder of Tutankhamen observes the conventions of a whodunit: a compelling victim, a batch of suspects (each of whom might be the killer), a vivid setting, and a climactic gathering wherein an ace detective produces the evidence that indicts the assassin. However, the detective and the story are actual here, and it is through forensic evidence and scholarly sleuthing that Bob Brier assembles his persuasive conclusions."--The Boston Globe
"Respected Egyptologist Bob Brier, specialist in paleopathology and host of the Learning Channel's acclaimed series "The Great Egyptians," believes it can. Skillfully combining known historical events with evidence gathered by advanced technologies, Brier has re-created the suspenseful story of religious upheaval and political intrigue that likely resulting in the murder of the teenage king Tutankhamen." --Booklist* (starred review)
"A fascinating blend of ancient history, forensic medicine, and ratiocinative detective work."--Kirkus Reviews

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Review:

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.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In his eccentric but entertaining Egyptian Mummies (1994), Brier (Philosophy/C.W. Post Coll.) announced his intention to conduct a mummification of a human cadaver in the ancient manner. Here, after discussing the results of this grisly experiment, Brier uses his knowledge of ancient Egyptian mummification techniques and entombment practices to argue that the young King Tutankhamen (reigned 133323 b.c.) was murdered by his chief vizier, Aye. First Brier puts Tutankhamen's life in historical perspective by reconstructing the turbulent times in which he lived: A scion of the 18th Dynasty, Tutankhamen was the son of the great king Akhenaten, the monotheist who sought to destroy Egypt's traditional polytheistic religion. Succeeding to the throne as a child, Tutankhamen allowed the regent, Aye, to make the practical decisions of governance until he achieved adulthood. The traditional religion was restored, Akhenaten's memory was disgraced, and his religious innovation was branded a heresy. Brier constructs an interesting circumstantial case, through a detailed analysis of autopsies and X-rays of Tutankhamen's mummy, that the young king died as a result of a severe blow to the back of the head. Based on this, he argues that the 19-year-old king was murdered, probably by Aye (Brier excludes the other major suspect, Horemheb, a military hero who later became pharaoh). He also cites some extant correspondence shortly after Tutankhamen's death from Ankhesenamen, Tutankhamen's widow, virtually inviting the Hittites, Egypt's traditional enemy, to take over Egypt to save her from a disastrous marriage. Brier speculates that the prospective husband would have been Aye. In the end, both Ankhesenamen and a Hittite prince who responded to her call died, possibly murdered as Brier speculates, and Aye succeeded as pharaoh. A fascinating blend of ancient history, forensic medicine, and ratiocinative detective work, with a necessarily speculative conclusion. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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