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Joyce Tyldesley's books include acclaimed biographies of king Ramesses the Great, the female pharaoh Hatchepsut and queen Nefertiti. Her biography Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt , was a Radio 4 Book of the Week; Egypt: How a Lost Civilization was Rediscovered, accompanied a major BBC series. She is a senior lecturer in Egyptology at Manchester University, where she teaches the online Certificate Course in Egyptology.
This is the true history and mythology of Tutankhamen. Ninety years ago, Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamen's mummy lying, surrounded by grave goods, in a virtually intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Egyptology would never be the same again. Tutankhamen's Curse approaches the story of the lost king, and his development into a cultural icon, with fresh eyes. Stripping away the layers of modern myths that threaten to obscure the king, it uses the evidence from his tomb to reconstruct a family and a history for Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen's Curse is designed to appeal to the widest of readerships, from general reader and lovers of history to students of Egyptology and archaeology.
More than three thousand years ago a sculptor working in the royal city of Amarna carved a limestone bust of an Egyptian queen. The queen was Nefertiti, consort of the 'heretic pharaoh' Akhenaten. Plastered and painted, Nefertiti's bust depicted an extraordinarily beautiful woman. However, Akhenaten's reign was drawing to an end, and the royal family was soon to be written out of Egypt's official history. Not long after its creation the stone Nefertiti was locked in a storeroom and forgotten. In 1912 the bust was re-discovered and transported to Germany. Initially hidden from the public view, the beautiful queen was eventually displayed in Berlin Museum. Instantly, she became an ancient world celebrity. Egypt has yielded more than its fair share of artistic masterpieces, but no other sculpture has so successfully bridged the gap between the ancient and modern worlds. The timeless beauty of the Nefertiti bust both attracts us and sparks our imagination, but in so doing it obscures our view of the past, shifting attention not only from the other members of the Amarna court, but also from other, equally valid, representations of Nefertiti herself. In this book Joyce Tyldesley explores the creation of a cultural icon, from its ancient origins to its modern context: its discovery, its display, and its dual role as a political pawn and artistic inspiration.
The discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 was perhaps the world's most important archaeological find. The only near-intact royal tomb to be preserved in the Valley of the Kings, it has supplied an astonishing wealth of artifacts, spurred a global fascination with ancient Egypt, and inspired folklore that continues to evolve today. Despite the tomb's prominence, however, precious little has been revealed about Tutankhamen himself. In Tutankhamen, acclaimed Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley unshrouds the enigmatic king. She explores his life and legacy as never before, and offers a compelling new window onto the world in which he lived.Tutankhamen ascended to the throne at approximately eight years of age and ruled for only ten years. Although his reign was brief and many of his accomplishments are now lost to us, it is clear that he was an important and influential king ruling in challenging times. His greatest achievement was to reverse a slew of radical and unpopular theological reforms instituted by his father and return Egypt to the traditional pantheon of gods. A meticulous examination of the evidence preserved both within his tomb and outside it allows Tyldesley to investigate Tutankhamen's family history and to explore the origins of the pervasive legends surrounding Tutankhamen's tomb. These legends include Tutankhamen's ';curse'an enduring myth that reaffirms the appeal of ancient magic in our modern worldA remarkably vivid portrait of this fascinating and often misunderstood ruler, Tutankhamen sheds new light on the young king and the astonishing archeological discovery that earned him an eternal place in popular imagination.
'This readable anthology is a good introduction to a civilization that fascinates like few others ... in this book there are animals who talk, princesses who are locked up at the top of towers, wicked stepmothers and many other themes ... An enjoyable book by a skilled author' Financial Times The civilization we know as Ancient Egypt stretched over three thousand years. What was life like for ancient Egyptians? What were their beliefs - and how different were they from ours? Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt uses Egypt's vivid narratives to create a panorama of its history, from the earliest settlers to the time of Cleopatra. Gathered from pyramid texts, archaeological finds and contemporary documents, these stories cover everything from why the Nile flooded annually to Egyptian beliefs about childbirth and what happened after death. They show us what life was really like for rich and poor, man and woman, farmer and pharaoh. Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt brings a long-dead culture back to life.
The Romans regarded her as fatale monstruma fatal omen. Pascal said the shape of her nose changed the history of the world. Shakespeare portrayed her as an icon of tragic love. But who was Cleopatra, really?We almost feel that we know Cleopatra, but our distorted image of a self-destructive beauty does no justice to Cleopatras true genius. In Cleopatra, Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley offers an unexpectedly vivid portrait of a skillful Egyptian ruler. Stripping away our preconceptions, many of them as old as Egypts Roman conquerors, Cleopatra is a magnificent biography of a most extraordinary queen.
For over a decade Nefertiti, wife of the heretic king Akhenaten, was the most influential woman in the Bronze Age world; a beautiful queen blessed by the sun-god, adored by her family and worshipped by her people. Her image and her name were celebrated throughout Egypt and her future seemed golden. Suddenly Nefertiti disappeared from the royal family, vanishing so completely that it was as if she had never been. No record survives to detail her death, no monument serves to mourn her passing and to this day her end remains an enigma - her body has never been found. Joyce Tyldesley here provides a detailed discussion of the life and times of Nefertiti, Egypt's sun queen, set against the background of the ephemeral Amarna court.
Everyone has heard of Ramesses the Great - but what is the truth behind the legend? Joyce Tyldesley's lively book explores the life and times of Egypt's greatest king. Ramesses II was the archetypal Egyptian pharoah: a mighty warrior, an extravagant builder and the father of scores of children. His momuments and image were to be found in every corner of the Egyptian empire. This is his amazing story.
Queen - or, as she would prefer to be remembered King - Hatchepsut was an astonishing woman. Brilliantly defying tradition she became the female embodiment of a male role, dressing in men's clothes and even wearing a false beard. Forgotten until Egptologists deciphered hieroglyphics in the 1820's, she has since been subject to intense speculation about her actions and motivations. Combining archaeological and historical evidence from a wide range of sources, Joyce Tyldesley's dazzling piece of detection strips away the myths and misconceptions and finally restores the female pharaoh to her rightful place.
In ancient Egypt women enjoyed a legal, social and sexual independence unrivalled by their Greek or Roman sisters, or in fact by most women until the late nineteenth century. They could own and trade in property, work outside the home, marry foreigners and live alone without the protection of a male guardian. Some of them even rose to rule Egypt as 'female kings'. Joyce Tyldesley's vivid history of how women lived in ancient Egypt weaves a fascinating picture of daily life - marriage and the home, work and play, grooming and religion - viewed from a female perspective, in a work that is engaging, original and constantly surprising.