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The Lost Tomb Hardcover – October 2, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (October 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068815087X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688150877
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Working for the American university in Cairo in 1988, Kent Weeks embarked on an archeological dig into KV5, the sparsely explored fifth tomb in the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of Egypt's major Pharaohs. In 1995, he discovered the T-shaped burial complex of Ramses II's 50 sons--arguably the most significant discovery since Howard Carter unearthed King Tut's tomb in 1922. Weeks's account of this historic event is filled with a sense of awe and wonder. "[I]n my imagination," he writes, recalling a vision of the statue of Osiris, god of the afterlife, "I could see the ancient funerals that took place three thousand years ago. I could hear ancient priests chanting prayers and shaking tambourines ... I could smell incense and feel priestly robes brush my arm as the funeral procession moved slowly past. For an instant I felt transported back in time: it was 1275 BCE and this was ancient Thebes."

Weeks also points out what his discovery may tell us about the powerful, redhaired pharoah who ruled ancient Egypt for 67 years (1279-1212 BC), including the possibility that he was the pharaoh of Exodus. He elaborates upon his profession's risks, from excavations in narrow, debris-filled and claustraphobic surroundings to working under the gunfire of terrorist attacks. And he reminds us that his discovery by no means brings Egyptology to a conclusion: "Every generation of Egyptologists asks different questions of its data and data are a finite resource. We will leave parts of KV5 undug so that archeologists of the future, armed with new questions and new excavation techniques, can seek new answers to old questions and to others we haven't even dreamed of." --Eugene Holley Jr.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1995, Weeks, a noted Egyptologist and professor at the American University in Cairo, and his archeological team discovered a tomb in Luxor's Valley of the Kings. Labeled KV5, it was hailed as the lost burial chamber of the sons of Ramesses II. Weeks's Egyptological leanings were a long time in coming. He starts by chronicling his childhood dreams and their eventual fulfillment some 10 years ago. By 1989, Weeks, his wife, Susan, and his team had been working in the Valley of the Kings for 10 years. Intrigued by so-called missing tombs of the Valley that had been only cursorily explored, Weeks decided to look for one in particular, KV5, which, if early maps were correct, was in the path of projected highway building. Using the journals and maps of two earlier explorers?James Burton, who first came to Luxor in 1825, and Howard Carter, noted for many discoveries, including that of King Tut's tomb (1922)?Weeks and his team began digging. Their search resulted in the discovery of the largest mausoleum in the area, which Weeks makes a convincing case for identifying as the burial site of Ramesses's sons. In the final chapters, Weeks provides readers with an introduction to the world of Ramesses II and the 18th and 19th dynasties, indicating the possibility of further finds in KV5 that would clarify aspects of ancient and biblical history. But most of all, by drawing on his diaries, Weeks gives a sense of immediacy in the reconstruction of a fascinating story that fully conveys the thrill of discovery after years of painstaking work. Color and b&w photos not seen by PW. 7-city author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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I look forward to reading your next book.
actl@pacbell.net
Nevertheless, the story is embellished by rich details, a sense of humour and some human touches, making it an enjoyable read from beginning to end.
Vincent Lau
One of the oldest country with a lot of historic places,if you love the great middle Eastern history ,you have to read this book.
Cyrus B. Soltani

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard S. Sullivan on February 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is your book if:
-You have had a casual interest in things ancient and Egyptian for over 50 years.
-You have had fantasies of being an archeologist yourself at one time.
-You are not going to lose any sleep over a mislabeled mummy in an illustration.
-You are not totally focused on the KV5 tomb - there's more here.
-You would like an inside peek at archeology in the works.
-You have no interest in playing a role in the inside politics of contemporary Egyptology.
-You bust a gut laughing over the idea that Martians built the pyramids.
-And you have some time to spend; because once you start, you won't want to put it down.
A terrific tour de force. I loved the side trips and comments about working in a tourist Mecca much like monkeys in a zoo, I didn't find it disjointed or fragmented either.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Upon receiving this book as a Christmas gift, I was elated beyond description. Granted, it took me a while to finish the book (I'll admit, the jumps from one topic to another are prevalent) but upon it's completion, I was ever the more so inclined to work my butt off to earn my education money to study the shared passion of Dr. Weeks and myself - Egyptology. This book is a must read for anyone even remotely interested in the anthropological field. Dr. Weeks does not write under the false pretense that his book is meant to be a source of technological procedures used in archaeological digs. He comes right out and says that if you want to read HOW to dig, this book isn't going to teach you. For a book taken from journals/diaries and personal experiences, it is simply amazing. The historical information provided is wonderfully unpatronizing. Dr. Weeks does not assume the reader knows nothing of anthropology, and yet it is understandable, not overly pretentious of his achievements in his chosen field. I highly reccommend this book to anyone going into anthro/archaeology, as well as to those who just have a general interest in the topic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Lau on February 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an fascinating account of the discovery, or, to be precise, re-discovery, of the sprawling KV5 tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Dr. Kent Weeks, who heads the excavation project, provides us with a lucid narrative of the events in which the inquisitive mind and perseverence of archeologists and others who're involved in the venture finally led to the unveiling of one of the most amazing tombs in dynastic Egypt. The author has adopted a matter of fact approach and thankfully does not sensationalise matters or make wild predictions that are unsupported by facts. Nevertheless, the story is embellished by rich details, a sense of humour and some human touches, making it an enjoyable read from beginning to end. Furthermore, the reader can also know something about the not-too-glamorous side of archeology (which often involves tedious work in highly uncomfortable and even claustrophobic environment) and this, by itself, can be quite eye-opening to the uninitiated. On the other hand, the sense of awe and amazement on the part of those who first entered the "lost tomb", as well as the sense of disappointment at some other stages in the excavation, is palpable. With its friendly writing style and interesting subject matter, I believe that this book would not only appeal to those who're already steeped in Egyptology or archeology in general, it should also be easily appreciated by the general reader.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Atheen M. Wilson on March 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the book but felt it was more of a personal diary than a truely descriptive work, and was therefore somewhat lacking in continuity and organization. It tends to bounce from biographical information on the author to accounts of workers and their lives to actual discussions of the excavation of KV5, sometimes within the same chapter. Some of the descriptions of the excavation were painfully detailed--to the centimeter of debris removed--and might not necessarily be of interest to the average nonprofessional for whom the book is probably intended. The final chapters were mostly a compendium of data and professional opinions (with heavy emphasis on the latter) regarding late 18th and early 19th dynasty kings and queens and what they might share in common. Most interesting to me was the information regarding some of Ramesses' sons, though very little is known of most of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ignore the nit-picking criticisms of some of the other attached reviews by would-be egyptologists; Weeks' discovery and subsequent investigation of a significant unexplored section of a tomb dismissed by the "professional" community has provoked much jealous, petty sniping. The facts are that his credentials are well established, as any read of the book will show, and his team's persistence uncovered what may yet turn out to be one of the most extensive sites in the Valley. Furthermore, he deserves additional praise for potentially saving an incredible location that was actively endangered by encroaching twentieth century activity, as anyone who actually has the interests of the science at heart would attest. If you are at all interested in the subject, his account is engaging and readable; the excitement of the discovery is well captured and conveyed to the reader. Furthermore, his commentary on the people and culture of modern Egypt is well worth reading, illustrating how politics and archaeology are unfortunately sometimes inseparable and how a true professional in the field must understand both to be effective. Do not let wanna-be armchair quarterbacks dissuade you from enjoying this book; I for one look forward to additional documentation of the other areas of the complex, as they are opened, and trust that Weeks will be working and contributing to the field for years to come.
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