The best books that will make you rethink ancient Egypt

Harry Whitewolf Author Of The Road to Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash
By Harry Whitewolf

Who am I?

I’ve been interested in ancient Egypt ever since I read Asterix and Cleopatra when I was a boy. The hilarious moment of Obelix accidentally knocking off the Sphinx’s nose has always stayed with me in particular. By my early twenties, I was reading authors like Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, and Colin Wilson, who showed me that what we think we know about ancient Egypt is not wholly correct. For instance, there’s little evidence that the Great Pyramid’s purpose was to be a tomb and the Sphinx seems to be much older than Egyptologists believe. In 2010, at thirty-four years old, I finally got to visit the wonders of Egypt myself.


I wrote...

The Road to Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

By Harry Whitewolf,

Book cover of The Road to Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

What is my book about?

When stress-headed Mad Harry spontaneously books a flight for Egypt after a rather nasty break-up, he doesn’t know he’s about to embark on a mad pot-smoking pilgrimage of adventure. 

Guided by signs in numbers, names, and otherworldly encounters, Mad Harry’s trip often seems to be a magical manifestation of his fragile mind. This good-humoured true travel tale is told in a frank, rhythmic, and playful voice. Set in 2010, shortly before Egypt's revolution, The Road To Purification is a backpacking odyssey through tremendous temples, towering pyramids, chaotic cities, small villages, dirty beaches, and deceitful strangers... with a backdrop of ancient spiritual gnosis. A holiday this is not.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is readers supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Obelisk and The Cross: An Alternative History of God, Myth and Meaning in the Western World

By Tony Sunderland,

Book cover of The Obelisk and The Cross: An Alternative History of God, Myth and Meaning in the Western World

Why this book?

As one of earth’s oldest civilisations, ancient Egypt can tell us a lot about early religion and how it affected later spiritual practices and faiths. In this book, Tony Sunderland begins with the question: why is there an Egyptian obelisk standing in the centre of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City? The question becomes even more pertinent when you learn that the obelisk celebrates an ancient sun god! I loved this fascinating book that traces religion from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia through to early Christianity and beyond. Whatever your level of historical religious and spiritual understanding is, The Obelisk and the Cross comes highly recommended.


The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids

By Robert Bauval, Adrian Gilbert,

Book cover of The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids

Why this book?

It’s now pretty well known that the position of the three Giza pyramids exactly corresponds to the three stars of Orion’s Belt. The Nile even mirrors the Milky Way. As above, so below, don’t you know. But the incredible discovery was only published in the 1990s, by the one and only Robert Bauval. His discovery, and other new insights from him and Adrian Gilbert, are documented in The Orion Mystery. If there’s one man who will make you question everything you thought you knew about the land of the pharaohs, it’s Robert Bauval. You need to start reading his books. All of them.


The Tutankhamun Prophecies: The Sacred Secret of the Maya, Egyptians, and Freemasons

By Maurice Cotterell,

Book cover of The Tutankhamun Prophecies: The Sacred Secret of the Maya, Egyptians, and Freemasons

Why this book?

What has ancient Egypt got to do with Freemasonry? Quite a lot as it turns out. The author of The Tutankhamun Prophecies, scientist and mathematician Maurice Cotterell, weaves together the esoteric knowledge of modern secret societies with Egyptian religion and the ancient Mayan people. I’m chuffed to have a signed hardback copy of this book, which I seem to recall I found in a charity shop. Actually, now I come to think of it, the bloke that sold it to me gave me a rather funny handshake… Hm…


From Atlantis to the Sphinx

By Colin Wilson,

Book cover of From Atlantis to the Sphinx

Why this book?

Conventional Egyptologists still insist the mighty Sphinx in Egypt dates to around 4,500 BC. Well, those so-called experts really should start listening to the likes of Colin Wilson. In From Atlantis to the Sphinx, you’ll read how Boston University’s Robert Schoch has proven the Sphinx was damaged by floodwater, meaning it must be much older than it’s generally thought to be. Many believe the Sphinx actually dates from 10,500 BC! Read this book and you’ll probably agree.


Heaven's Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization

By Graham Hancock, Santha Faiia,

Book cover of Heaven's Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization

Why this book?

Much of the key stuff that’s mentioned in the books above are contained in Heaven’s Mirror by the great Graham Hancock and his wife Santha Faiia. So, the book’s a great place to start if you’re new to all this rethinking ancient Egypt malarkey. Heaven’s Mirror also covers other civilizations like the Mayans and Incas. For me, this book is so special because it contains some absolutely glorious and spellbinding photos of key ancient sites in Egypt, such as Karnak, Dendera, Abydos, and the pyramids of Giza, Dashur, and Saqqara, which I was lucky enough to visit myself and which I wrote about in The Road To Purification.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in ancient Egypt, Egypt, and Tutankhamun?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about ancient Egypt, Egypt, and Tutankhamun.

Ancient Egypt Explore 60 books about ancient Egypt
Egypt Explore 98 books about Egypt
Tutankhamun Explore 4 books about Tutankhamun

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure (King Tut), Ancient Egypt: The Great Discoveries, and The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen if you like this list.