The best Tutankhamun books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about Tutankhamun and why they recommend each book.

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The Tutankhamun Prophecies

By Maurice Cotterell,

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

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…

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 Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

By A.C. Mace, Howard Carter,

Book cover of The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

Who has not heard of King Tut? Written by the discoverer of the tomb, the book is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an accomplished archeologist and a window to the fabulous riches of Egypt. Reading firsthand about what they saw and how things were placed gives us an insight into how things may have been in the last few hours of sealing the tomb. I often use such content to fuel my imagination of what might have happened.

Who am I?

The genre I specialize in is Ancient Historical Fiction. I have always been fascinated by history, and my vacations often involve visiting ancient ruins. I’m an avid reader on various periods of our past, especially Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, and India, and I enjoy writing about them. On the topic of Egypt and Cleopatra — Egypt is one of my favorite civilizations, and Cleopatra is one of the more interesting figures. I wanted to give her a treatment I felt she deserved—as a capable administrator, brilliant, ruthless, and fighting the circumstances of her times.

I wrote...

The Last Pharaoh - Book I: Regent: Rise of Cleopatra

By Jay Penner,

Book cover of The Last Pharaoh - Book I: Regent: Rise of Cleopatra

What is my book about?

51 B.C., Alexandria, Egypt. With her father sick and her sister dead by his hands, sixteen-year-old Cleopatra is poised to assume the heavy mantle of power and exercise the divine authority vested in her by the gods of Egypt. But the gilded arches and marble columns hide a grim reality and the gathering of storm clouds. A surly Rome is banging on her doors for debt repayments, the kingdom is on the verge of a civil war, and the dying king's powerful advisors seek to discard her like a rag and control the kingdom through her brother. Now, the young regent must confront her adversaries and walk the tightrope over an abyss of treachery and conflict, because one wrong move means ending three thousand years of Pharaonic rule and turning up as a corpse in the Alexandrian marshes.

The Complete Tutankhamun

By Nicholas Reeves,

Book cover of The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure (King Tut)

The discovery of King Tut’s tomb is still one of the most extraordinary events in the entire history of archaeology. It was an almost intact royal burial from a time when Egypt was at one of its peaks of power, wealth, and influence.

The find was big news in 1922, and the eye-popping artifacts it contained would influence modern art, architecture, and fashion for years as archaeologist Howard Carter catalogued Tut’s personal effects and carefully removed them from the stone-cut funerary chambers.

Nicholas Reeves details the search for the tomb, the men who were engaged in it, and the triumphant moment of discovery. He also describes some of the 5,000 things meant for Tut’s use in the afterlife, from furniture and food to clean sets of linen underwear.

Who am I?

I’m an archaeologist by training and a journalist by profession. During my long career as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, and now as a freelance Nat Geo book editor and author, I have often written about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. I was very lucky to be sent to Egypt on a number of occasions to write stories about sites and discoveries, and I have now come to specialize in Egyptology. I recently took an online course that taught me how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. I’m still in glyph kindergarten, but every new sign I learn is allowing me to better understand—and interpret—the culture of the pharaohs.

I wrote...

Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

By Ann R. Williams (editor),

Book cover of Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

What is my book about?

Archaeology is the key that unlocks our deepest history. Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs reveals the stories behind the most intriguing and impactful of those finds and showcases the people who first presented them to the world.

Blending high adventure with history, this book chronicles 100 astonishing archaeological discoveries dating from 50,000 million years ago until modern times. Each account in this book relies on firsthand reports from explorers, antiquarians, and scientists as they crack secret codes, evade looters and political suppression, fall in love, commit a litany of blunders, and uncover ancient curses. Spanning six continents, this enlightening narrative tells the story of human civilization.

Ancient Egypt

By Nicholas Reeves, C.N. Reeves,

Book cover of Ancient Egypt: The Great Discoveries

This book covers the great Egyptological discoveries made up to the end of the C.20th. Perfectly combining Nick Reeves’ authoritative text with lavish illustrations, it manages to create a real sense of adventure while showing how Egyptology developed as a subject, explaining why we know what we know about ancient Egypt – and what we don’t!

Who am I?

Having studied ancient Egypt her entire life, Professor Joann Fletcher is based in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. As a founding member of the university’s Mummy Research Group, she is also Lead Ambassador for the Egypt Exploration Society and an advisor to museums around the UK. Her numerous publications include The Search for Nefertiti, Cleopatra the Great, and The Story of Egypt, academic papers, and regular contributions to the BBC's History magazine. She also makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Although it’s incredibly difficult to pick just 5 books that best encapsulate ‘Ancient Egypt’ in its broadest sense, it’s important to start with those which are as informative and accurate as possible when many can be quite the opposite! 

I wrote...

The Story of Egypt

By Joann Fletcher,

Book cover of The Story of Egypt

What is my book about?

The book covers Egypt’s ancient history, from its major events and key sites to the people themselves. By looking at both the pharaohs and their subjects, it reveals how these men and women created this spectacular culture which still influences our modern world. It also features new discoveries, some of which I’ve been involved with over the last thirty years or more, including the true beginnings of mummification, Tutankhamen’s clothing, and the women who ruled as pharaohs (as also highlighted in two of my previous books The Search for Nefertiti and Cleopatra the Great).

Ultimately The Story of Egypt is based on my life-long passion for the subject, and my genuine desire to bring the ancient Egyptians ‘back to life’ as it were.

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