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The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut's Mummy Hardcover – June 4, 2013
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Smithsonian Magazine, June 2013
New Jersey syndicated First Read” column, 5/26/13
Sacramento Bee, 6/30/13
It's been a wild ride for King Tutankhamun's mummy Marchant separates the facts from the fiction that has surrounded the controversial relic and explains what science can and can't tell us' about King Tut.”
American Way Magazine, 7/1/13
"An unusual, gripping spin on the familiar."
The Book Bag
"A must-read for anyone who is fascinated in the history of Egypt."
About the Author
Top customer reviews
This is a well written book and definitely worth the time for those of us who can't get enough on Ancient Egypt.
Most King Tut groupies know the tale of the accidental finding of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings, in Upper Egypt, by the English archeologist, Howard Carter, just when his financial backer, Lord Carnarvon, was about to withdraw his support. The mysterious death of the latter, a few months later; initially rumored to be caused by the curse of the Pharaoh but later on found to be septicemia (infection in the blood) in a frail old man, caused by a mosquito bite that festered.
Since that time, books, pamphlets and news reports flooded the culture about Ancient Egypt and mummies. Mummy lore became popular.
Then Hollywood began its series of Mummy films with Boris Karloff , Lon Chaney Jr. in the pre-WW ll era, on to Hammer studios in England with Christopher Lee et al in 1959, culminating in the recent trilogy starring Brendan Frasier. On film, mummies were resurrected, reanimated, walked, mumbled (even spoke!) and pursued their victims. SNL had the unforgettable funny skit by Steve Martin "King Tut".
Most recently, in 1972-81, the King Tut exhibits travelled around the world, including several major cities in the USA, to huge audiences and box office revenues.
In the past decades a wave of "scientific" investigation and studies were conducted on the hapless Tut mummy, including DNA, X-rays, CT scans, MRI, chemical and tissue analysis; done mostly at the behest and financing of TV and documentary producers. The shows are populated by media savvy scholars, advancing their particular theories as to Tut's lineage, maladies and cause of death; in 2002 it was murder, in 2005 TB? Malaria? or head wound, and in 2010 a crushed chest "from a Hippopotamus stepping on him"!
Jo Marchant systematically and methodically clears out the smoke of contradicting theories and conjectures, posing as facts. She does that in a clear concise prose and crisp scientific syntax without academic sophistry. The Shadow King is mainly two parts; the first section is about the so-called common knowledge about the subject but the second part is where Marchant challenges all the facts based on (dubious) scientific conclusions.
The book reads like a "who-done it" thriller and captures the attention of the reader.
Amateur Egyptologists, historians and King Tut groupies will thoroughly enjoy "The Shadow King". It is even better than Jo Marchant's previous book "Decoding the Heavens"(about the Antikythera Mechanism), that was a tour de force of scientific popular writing.
world's concerns, that idea has been honored.