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Tutankhamun: The Untold Story [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Hoving
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The discovery of Tutankhamun's treasure-filled tomb is one of the greatest events in modern archeology. It is also a story so filled with intrigues, accusations, international imbroglios, and lasting scandals that it forever altered the way archaeological expeditions were organized and conducted. Hoving's Tutankhamun focuses on Howard Carter, the archaeologist who persisted for six years in his search in the Valley of the Kings for Tutankhamun's tomb. Other major figures in the discovery include: Carter's patron Lord Carnarvon, who died shortly after entering the tomb, thus kindling rumors of a curse; Carter's rival Pierre Lacau, a French Jesuit who headed the Antiquities Service in Cairo and did everything he could to ruin Carter and deny his claim; the Egyptian authorities determined to keep the artifacts of their national heritage in their country; and Arthur Weigall and other Egyptologists who felt slighted by Carter's refusal to admit experts anywhere near his discovery.

Editorial Reviews


In this book, which may mark a new literary genre, art adventure, Mr. Hoving makes some startling disclosures that tarnish the image not only of the tomb's heroes [Carter and Carnarvon]… but of his very own museum. The book reads like a thriller, exuding like incense the heady atmosphere of the Valley of the Kings and thick with art, historical, and psychological insight. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Thomas Hoving's Tutankhamun: The Untold Story is another excellent account of the excavation. (David Mattin Times London)

About the Author

Thomas Hoving is the author of Making the Mummies Dance and Art for Dummies. He is the former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1948 KB
  • Print Length: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press (July 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009W5YHS0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A FIND!!!!!! September 3, 1999
I came across this book in a used book store a decided to read it. I had some interest in the story behind the discovery of King Tut and this book was full of information. It traces the beginnings of Howard Carter's search, the discovery,and the events that followed. I had no idea of the problems that Carter was faced with after the discovery. Perhaps there is some truth to the legend of "Tut's Curse" after all. I suggest that the book be read if you have any interest at all in the history surrounding one of the biggest archeological finds ever.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the company of the pharoah November 27, 2005
The tomb was discovered in 1922 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. Tutankhamun was a shadowy pharoah, a boy-king. He died around 1350 B.C. The discoverers were Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. They became celebrities. It was a phenomenal discovery. They had been very persistent. The treasures found have fascinated the public.

Starting in 1975 the author, Thomas Hoving, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, immersed himself in the story of the Tutankhamun's tomb's discovery. Hoving became suspicious of Carter's account of the noble discovery. Thutmose I had the brilliant idea to set his burial place in the Valley of the Kings since other tombs, pyramids, had been plundered. The pattern was set and it became the burial place for five hundred years.

Carter kept careful track of archeological discoveries. Jacob Rogers, heading a locomotive factory in Paterson, New Jersey, funded archeology projects for the Metropolitan Museum because he made a donation for acquisitions. Herbert Winlock, a friend of Carter, worked for the Museum. Carter was precise, calculating, gifted. He examined circumstantial evidence of an undiscovered tomb. Mountains of rubbish encumbered the search. Carter wanted to go right down to bedrock in a triangular plot of land containing the tombs of Ramesses II, Merenptah, and Ramasses VI. Carter devised a grid system. By 1921 Lord Carnarvon was beginning to lose interest. Most people believed the valley was exhausted as a place to make finds.

In the sixth season, 1922, supposedly Lord Carnarvon's last, the step to the walkway of a tomb was found. At the end of twelve steps there were hieroglyphs and seals. Carter telegraphed Lord Carnarvon of the finding. An antechamber glimpsed 11/26/22 contained magnificent objects.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exceptional December 25, 2005
This remains one of the best adventure stories written in the last twenty five years. Hoving skillfully recounts Carter and Carnarvon's epic quest for Tutankhamun in a vivid tale of mystery, suspense, discovery, and treasure. True history can indeed be better than fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Make no mistake, Thomas Hoving is an accomplished and skillful writer. This detailed account of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb almost reads like a thriller. Hoving accurately portrays the characters involved, (principally Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon), the political and climatic conditions in the remote valley where the discovery was made, and paces the story so well, I almost felt I was living in Egypt and working alongside Carter at the time the tomb was discovered.

Not surprisingly, of particular interest was the chapters describing Carter's discovery of the tomb itself. Mindful of Lord Carnarvon's patronage, Howard Carter writes to his benefactor in Britain, and waits patiently for him to arrive from overseas to be the first to enter the newly discovered tomb. Hoving manages to portray the very Britishness of this honorable sense of duty, and one almost feels Carter's growing impatience as he waits several weeks for the arrival of his financier from overseas.

Hoving continues with the politics that eventually sullied the agreements between governments that should have ensured an equitable distribution of the findings.

Hoving concludes by putting Carter's discovery in perspective, and describes thge sad state of some treasures that languished in a progressively deteriorating condition in un-air-conditioned spaces in Egypt. Some historical photographs embellish this fine story. A must-read for anyone interested in this fascinating discovery.
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