The best books on the Valley of the Kings

1 authors have picked their favorite books about the Valley of the Kings and why they recommend each book.

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The Treasures of the Valley of the Kings

By Kent R. Weeks (editor), Araldo de Luca (photographer),

Book cover of The Treasures of the Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Temples of the Theban West Bank in Luxor

Another outstanding book in the Treasures series, this time edited by Kent Weeks. Written by a team of world-acknowledged experts, Treasures of the Valley of the Kings covers the greatest royal tombs, mortuary temples, and private tombs from the New Kingdom in brilliant color accompanied by informative text. Originally published in hardback in 2001 and reprinted in flexibound in 2020, the same text can be found in one of the best guidebooks of the Theban necropolis, The Treasures of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, also published by White Star. I always pack this guidebook when I’m leading tours.


Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was ten. I started my first project in Luxor, Egypt, when I was 21, and for the last 35+ years, these projects have uncovered the stories of Theban tomb owners and the times in which they lived. For this reason, I’ve chosen some of the most accessible books on ancient Egyptian tombs and their decoration. I hope that these books will excite you about the humanity of those who lived thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.


I wrote...

The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

By Melinda Hartwig,

Book cover of The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

What is my book about?

This lavishly illustrated book offers an in-depth look at the tomb chapel of Menna, Theban Tomb 69, which is one of the most beautiful and complex painted tombs in ancient Egypt. Written by an international group of experts, the book offers a window into the life of the official Menna while discussing the artistic, cultural, and scientific significance of his tomb and its decoration.

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 Tomb in Ancient Egypt

By Aidan Dodson, Salima Ikram,

Book cover of The Tomb in Ancient Egypt

If you want to know more about the ancient Egyptians, look no further than their tombs. The ancient Egyptians built their stone sepulchers for eternity. Colored reliefs and paintings celebrated the king’s eternal cult, while elite, non-royal people recorded events of their everyday life and life in the hereafter. In this richly illustrated book, Dodson and Ikram offer a comprehensive view of ancient Egyptian mastabas, pyramids, and rock-cut tombs from Prehistory to the Greco-Roman Period and the meaning of their decoration. This book sits prominently on my bookshelf.


Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was ten. I started my first project in Luxor, Egypt, when I was 21, and for the last 35+ years, these projects have uncovered the stories of Theban tomb owners and the times in which they lived. For this reason, I’ve chosen some of the most accessible books on ancient Egyptian tombs and their decoration. I hope that these books will excite you about the humanity of those who lived thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.


I wrote...

The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

By Melinda Hartwig,

Book cover of The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

What is my book about?

This lavishly illustrated book offers an in-depth look at the tomb chapel of Menna, Theban Tomb 69, which is one of the most beautiful and complex painted tombs in ancient Egypt. Written by an international group of experts, the book offers a window into the life of the official Menna while discussing the artistic, cultural, and scientific significance of his tomb and its decoration.

Egypt

By Regine Schulz,

Book cover of Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs

This massive 540-page book offers the reader everything to know about ancient Egypt. A group of international experts wrote Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs, which covers funerary art, tomb architecture, sculpture, and painting in an easy-to-read, lavishly illustrated book. Additional chapters explore ancient Egyptian history, culture, and religion. Appendixes include lists of gods, sites, museum collections, and a chronology with names of rulers. Numerous printings in hardback and softcover cover the same territory at an incredibly low cost—an indispensable volume and a required book in my classes. 


Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was ten. I started my first project in Luxor, Egypt, when I was 21, and for the last 35+ years, these projects have uncovered the stories of Theban tomb owners and the times in which they lived. For this reason, I’ve chosen some of the most accessible books on ancient Egyptian tombs and their decoration. I hope that these books will excite you about the humanity of those who lived thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.


I wrote...

The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

By Melinda Hartwig,

Book cover of The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

What is my book about?

This lavishly illustrated book offers an in-depth look at the tomb chapel of Menna, Theban Tomb 69, which is one of the most beautiful and complex painted tombs in ancient Egypt. Written by an international group of experts, the book offers a window into the life of the official Menna while discussing the artistic, cultural, and scientific significance of his tomb and its decoration.

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