Customer Reviews: The Complete Valley of the Kings
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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on June 16, 2000
I was engrossed for days when I first got this book. The attention to detail is staggering, 'complete' in every sense of the word. With excellent maps and background information the authors prepare the way gently with analysis and discussion of general methods of tomb building and the belief system behind it. What I found particularly useful was a history of the tomb diggers and archaeologists who discovered (and plundered) the tombs, going all the way up to Theodore M Davies and of course Howard Carter. Their methods, desires and successes underscore the rest of the book: the tombs themselves and help to put a human face on the ancient world of the Pharaohs.
In many ways these men were amateur violators, thieves no-less, but our modern interest stem from them and their legacy.
Vastly illustrated throughout, colour balanced with black and white photography and the simple, but enormously effective line drawings in 3D of the tomb layouts and designs. Comparison of style, form and development is instantly possible.
"Who's who in KV35" typically illustrates the book's grasp of controversial issues, supporting the wide range of modern scholarly thought, while attempting to be neutral.
Detail is a very much a part of this survey. Inscriptions and archaeological evidence recorded faithfully alongside "fact files"of the discoveries, right down to where the reports were published etc. This adds a flavour of complete authenticity which supports the book. Good index, further reading and sources. One small criticism: occasionally little too detailed for light reading and not always enough background on the Pharaohs' themselves, but this could be easily solved with reference to another suitable book.
Excellent, recommended.
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on January 15, 1999
Unlike the Chronicle of the Pharaohs, this compiled information is not lacking except for in those finer details that are hardly mentioned, anyway. As a great fan of the Valley of the Kings, I found this book worthy of its subject. All the tombs and pit tombs are mentioned, ground-plans shown when available. Many artifacts rarely seen are published here in wonderful plates, and many more artifacts are mentioned in the list of contents bestowed upon each tomb. A small portion of the royal mummies are shown in the back as a sort of family album, many others being shown throughout the book. I found most interesting the picture of the mummy found with the nurse of the great Hatchepsut and thought to possibly be Hatchepsut, herself. This is a great book to have share a shelf with the works of John Romer and other intimates of the Valley of the Kings. For those--like myself--who plan to join the rank of those intimates, this book is a must
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on February 27, 2002
The Complete Valley of the Kings is a very well-researched, well-written, well-illustrated, and well-organized book. Everything from the topographic and the geologic maps of the valley through the religious and archeological history of the valley were interesting (and sometimes depressing, considering what some of those early adventurers and so-called scholars did to the place). The information on the dismantling of the Valley at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st Dynasty was especially interesting. Of course, the stars of the book were the tombs themselves. The architecture, decoration and history of each tomb is given as fully as possible. My only reservation in regards to this book lies in the authors having made up their minds on the identity of the controversial mummy in KV55 and airily dismissing as unimportant any evidence that contradicts their theory. Such inflexible partiality calls for a cautious approach to any other "definite" conclusions the authors draw. Otherwise, the book is inarguably informative and entertaining, except for the fact that the authors consistently and annoyingly use the Greek forms of the pharaoh's names (such as the Greek Sethos instead of Seti). Other than that, the book really is almost completely perfect.
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on December 13, 2000
This volume is filled with great information. I could not imagine touring the Valley of the Kings without having read a similar book. Full of facts and anecdotes, this is an indispensable reference for amateur Egpytologists. Many scholarly works have been written on the various tombs in the Valley, but those sorts of journals are not easily accessed by the general public. Reeve's book serves as a great index and introduction. Each location is thoroughly but briefly summarized. The illustrations, both photographic and drawn, are well produced. Many books on Ancient Egpyt are much more beautiful (and expensive!), but the information presented here is hard to beat.
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on August 18, 2000
This book gives readers a tour through the history and archaeology of the Valley of the Kings. The authors provide much detailed information about the tombs and treasures of Egypt's greatest pharaohs. Including many illustrations in color and black-and-white, the authors discuss the Egyptian belief in the afterlife, tomb robberies and the discovery of tombs. It also looks at the topography of the Valley's sites, their construction and history. A most excellent source of information for everyone.
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on August 10, 1998
This is a fascinating book. As I read, I felt like I was actually discovering and exploring the tombs myself. I especially liked the drawings of tombs' floor plans, and there were many nice photographs of tomb paintings, artifacts, and inscriptions. This book was so good that I found myself wishing it were longer!
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on October 19, 2001
This book tell us the information of each tombs in details. It includes pictures of the outside of the tombs, the inside, the drawing on walls, and sometimes even the bones on the floor when it just discovered. It also includes the map of the tombs, the one who discover it , when it had been discovered and also what's inside. The book explains all these to us in details. I really love this book because nearly all the pictures are printed with colours and the imformation is useful. It also show pictures of the pharaohs' mummies, and so I like this most. I highly recommend this to all those who love ancient egypt and those who are interested in Valley of The Kings.
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on March 9, 1997
Unfortunately, I bought and read the book AFTER visiting the valley and many tombs (in pleasant March!). While I had a rough idea of what certain tombs were about, one looked like the other (after 2 hours) and I lost interest (along with many hundreds of visitors).

The book by Reeves provides a well made introduction not only to the valley but also to ancient Egypt. Even after returning home I continued to read the book with its great photographs, maps and drawings that provide the right mix of facts, history and related stories that a non-archeology student can digest!

While in Egypt I searched extensively (in Luxor and Cairo) for one or two books that I could read to get a better understanding of ancient and modern Egypt (even if Reeves covers only the valley) and I am still happy I bought his book (although at a considerable premium at the AUC bookstore!).

If you go to Luxor BUY IT!
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on March 1, 2016
I have been to the Valley three times, the last time over 20 years ago. This book is an excellent refresher for what I have seen, and I learned a lot of facts that I never knew before. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the New Kingdom of Egypt.
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on October 16, 2014
The design is a bit busy and cramped, and the organization can be a bit confusing. (In order, the chapters cover the general process of decorating, cutting, and stocking the tomb and preparing the body for burial; the history of the exploration of the valley; a list of royal tombs in chronological order, with nonroyal tombs placed at the end; and the royal mummies, and how they were damaged and shuffled around by robbery and restoration). The sections that Reeves wrote editorialize and speculate too much—the allegations about impropriety between Tawosret and Bay, for instance, are apparently the product of his imagination. Nevertheless, this is a decent survey of the valley, including the religious practices, texts, and symbolism in the tombs.

I have difficulty fathoming the reviewer who said "I got nothing which conveyed the charm, history, or intrigue of the Valley." If anything, Reeves' problem is that he uses quotations and embellishment too much. Flawed though it may be, from this book I get a sense of the valley at every critical stage in its history, including the plunder and turmoil during the collapse of the New Kingdom, the series of European expeditions that raced through the valley and the circle of English expatriates who lounged in it during the early 19th century, and Theodore Davis's constant pressure for his hired archaeologists to unearth new tombs at the start of the 20th. At this size, the book can't give more than a taste of each period, but what it provides is very vivid.
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