|Author||Joyce A. Tyldesley|
|Publisher||Channel 4 Books|
|Publication Date||January 11, 2002|
Ancient Egypt, land of the pharaohs, bore witness to the rise and fall of the world's greatest civilization. A combination of evidence ranging from the pyramids and rock-cut tombs to papyri and human tissue, now offers modern investigators the chance to reconstruct the lost lives of those who once lived and died along the Nile. Egyptologists read the hieroglyphics, while archeologists recover the material remains of the past, now though, thanks to advances in scientific analytical techniques, it is possible to analyze the mummified bodies of the Egyptians themselves. This work traces three major scientific investigations as they reconsider some of the oldest and most puzzling questions in Egyptology: Who built the Great Pyramid of Giza?; How did they do it?, And why? Evidence from pyramid workers' village and associated cemetry helps to dispel some of the myths perpetuated in fiction and Hollywood movies. Why did the 18th Dynasty die out?; Who was Tutankhamen? DNA analysis and the re-examination of a nameless skeleton help to determine the sequence of events at the end of this turbulent era. Scientific techniques are also used to examine the remains of a female temple singer, and to find traces of a substance made from the blue lotus frequently depicted on tomb walls. These investigations allow egyptologists and others to draw conclusions concerning previously hidden aspects of life and health at the very end of the New kingdom.