Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art

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9780688146245: Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art
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Egyptian Mummies results from research done in preparation for the mummification of a human body, the first to be done in the Egyptian style in two thousand years. Through these studies, noted Egyptologist Bob Brier has unearthed the gripping stories of grave robberies and stolen mummies, the forgotten language of the pharaohs, and the tombs of the royal mummies. In an easily accesible and lively style, Brier uncovers the complete historical context of ancient Egyptian culture and offers a fascinating contemporary interpretation of it. Illuminating their mysteries, myths, sacred rituals, and heiroglyphic writing, Egyptian Mummies brings the ancients to life.

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About the Author:

Bob Brier is a world-famous Egyptologist who has conducted research on pyramids and tombs in fifteen countries. A senior research fellow at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, he is the author of seven books, including The Murder of Tutankhamen, and hosted the Great Egyptian series for the Learning Channel.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Everything you always wanted to know about the ancient Egyptian practice of mummifying corpses--and so much more. Brier (Ancient Egyptian Magic, 1980) sets the tone early: ``For 15 years,'' he states matter-of-factly, ``I had been working toward the goal of mummifying a human.'' Imagine his surprise and disappointment when the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University (where he is chairman of the philosophy department) declined the honor of being the site of this project, which among other things would have entailed keeping an unembalmed corpse on the campus for 70 days. The text treats the reader to a scattershot review of the wide variety of information Brier learned about mummies while doing research for the mummification. These range from clinical descriptions of the process (derived from Herodotus and other ancient writers as well as from archaeological evidence) through an account of the development of mummification in ancient Egypt to a fascinating look at medical information scientists have derived from mummies (for instance, that ancient Egyptians suffered from often fatal tooth decay and arterial diseases). Brier discusses French scientists' close, but disappointingly unfruitful, study of Ramses the Great's mummy, briefly takes note of the Egyptian religious and cultural practice of mummifying animals, and inventories famous royal mummies. He concludes rather far afield with a discussion of ``The Mummy in Fiction and Film.'' Mercifully, the book closes before he embarks on the macabre task of actually mummifying a medical cadaver in the ancient manner, which is scheduled to take place this summer. A great gift idea for the hard-core Egyptologist in your life. General readers with strong stomachs may also enjoy Brier's eccentric ramble through the ancient world. (125 b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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