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 School Library Journal
YA-Was Tutankhamen murdered? Brier presents his hypothesis in an engrossing tale that moves along at the pace of a well-crafted whodunit. In lucid prose, he gives the lay person an informative overview of Egyptian history prior to Tutankhamen's reign with special emphasis on his father, Amenhotep IV, who instituted the cult of Aten. As little is known about Tutankhamen's life, Brier reconstructs from wall paintings and hieroglyphic tablets and columns a perfectly plausible and fascinating picture of the boy-pharaoh's friendship with, then marriage to his half-sister Ankhesenamen and their daily life. Before reaching his 20th birthday, Tutankhamen died. His Grand Vizier, Aye, was named pharaoh, Ankhesenamen petitioned her sworn enemies, the Hittites, for a prince to become her consort, and this prince was killed en route to Egypt. A logical case is presented for murder: X rays of Tutankhamen's skull reveal what might be interpreted as a blow to his head; the Grand Vizier who succeeds the childless pharaoh wanted power; Ankhesenamen strangely disappeared after an arranged marriage to his successor. Brier obviously knows his subject and is impassioned by it. Readers who enjoy history or true-crime stories will be intrigued by this work. A detailed bibliography invites further reading.Helena Ferret, Chantilly Regional Library, VA
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