The Curse of the Pharaohs: My Adventures with Mummies

Overview

This spine-tingling legend, also known as the mummy's curse, warns that anyone who disturbs the resting place of the ancient Egyptians will be haunted by their spirits. Bizarre accidents, mysterious illness, even death have all been blamed on the dreaded curse. But is there any truth to it? That's the question tackled by world-famous Egyptian archaeologist and spellbinding storyteller Dr. Zahi Hawass in this captivating book. Like a real-life Indiana Jones, Dr. Hawass has lived through countless hair-raising ...
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Overview

This spine-tingling legend, also known as the mummy's curse, warns that anyone who disturbs the resting place of the ancient Egyptians will be haunted by their spirits. Bizarre accidents, mysterious illness, even death have all been blamed on the dreaded curse. But is there any truth to it? That's the question tackled by world-famous Egyptian archaeologist and spellbinding storyteller Dr. Zahi Hawass in this captivating book. Like a real-life Indiana Jones, Dr. Hawass has lived through countless hair-raising adventures while exploring the tombs of ancient Egypt. Here he shares some of his most exciting exploits and discoveries and recounts his own harrowing brushes with what he calls the "magic of ancient Egypt" -- experiences that range from earthquakes to recurring nightmares to near-death incidents! He also delves into the intriguing background of the curse, which became famous all over the world after the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922. Lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs and filled with fascinating facts about ancient Egypt, Curse of the Pharaohs brings to life the very real thrills and dangers associated with the field of archaeology. Join Dr. Hawass as he ventures into deep, dark tunnels and tombs. You'll not only discover the truth about the mysterious curse, you'll learn a lot about the extraordinary civilization built by the ancient Egyptians.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Written by a lifelong Egyptologist, Curse of the Pharaohs: My Adventures with Mummies by Zahi Hawass delineates and attempts to debunk the alleged curses attached to the entering of the pharaohs' tombs. Hawass has had mysterious experiences of his own, in connection with their excavation-the deaths of three of his relatives each coincided with his transporting artifacts from tombs to a museum. Still, he claims, "The dearest wish of the ancient Egyptian was to have his or her name live forever. Tutankhamun... would likely be grateful rather than angry that his tomb was discovered." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
As the Director of Excavations at the Giza Pyramids, Zahi Hawass is perfectly positioned to tell the archaeological stories behind these wonders of the ancient world. He is not sure how rational people can really believe in a curse that sends death or illness to people who disturb the ancient tombs—but he finds himself taking precautions and justifying his own tomb investigations. Hawass' genuine enthusiasm for archaeological discovery is palpable. Almost every photo shows him with a brush or digging tool, often wearing his Indiana Jones hat or flashing a brilliant grin of discovery. The photographs are at their National Geographic best—fine detail even in a dark tomb, a sarcophagus glowing with red-yellow hematite powder, a double-spread mummy of Ramses II complete with an eerie story ("When it was removed from the tomb and placed on the ground, the hot sun caused the mummy's crossed arms to slowly separate and rise."). In addition to information about life and death in ancient Egypt, Hawass tells of his own adventures, close calls and great discoveries. He offers tips for becoming an archaeologist, a lengthy glossary and index and several outstanding web sites, including his own official web site. The book is elegant, thrilling and informative for young readers who want to browse, research or even ponder a career in archaeology. 2004, National Geographic Society, Ages 10 up.
—Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Some children will already be familiar with the work of this Egyptian archaeologist from TV documentaries about his excavations along the Nile. Hawass is passionate about this work and effectively relates his enthusiasm for it in this first-person account that has the same immediacy as the televised specials. The history of the mummy's curse becomes the frame of his narrative, but the author is at his best when describing his excavations, their inherent dangers (ancient germs, crumbling rock, snakes), and the excitement of discovery. His stories of grave robbers caught millennium ago, and documented in papyrus texts, are fascinating. He also discusses his recent excavations at Giza and his discovery of multichambered tombs at Bahariya Oasis that contain hundreds of mummies. After providing readers with some history of the many myths and legends surrounding the "curse," which he attributes to novelists and "silly" Hollywood movies, he adds a few of his own stories and experiences with the "magic" of the tombs. The full-color photos are superb; they include clear close-up shots of mummies, statues, artifacts, sites, and a number of the scientist at work. There are also a few helpful cutaway diagrams. Appendixes provide tips for kids thinking about a future in archaeology, information on mummification, and useful glossaries. While the exciting title and cover will draw young readers in, it's Hawass's passion, storytellling skills, and the terrific illustrations that will keep them reading.-Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A chatty tour through archaeological Egypt seeks to debunk legends of curses and refocus attention onto the culture and artifacts themselves. The head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, author Hawass draws generously from his own experience, and what an experience it has been. From being on the scene of exciting discoveries to thwarting robbers, his career has taken him all over Egypt, and in somewhat rambling fashion, he communicates his passion and deep respect for his subject and his disdain for specious curses. Magnificent photographs, some taking up entire double-page spreads, illustrate the text. The narrative's strength-its chattiness-is also its weakness, as Hawass moves seemingly at random across time and geography, hamstringing any real hope of coherent organization. Still, the subject is of such coolness, and the author's enthusiasm so infectious, that this offering will find a ready readership. Back matter includes tips on becoming an archaeologist, a timeline, how a mummy was made, a primer on the Egyptian pantheon, a glossary, bibliography, and an index. (Nonfiction. 9-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792269632
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.13 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 My Adventures 1
Introduction 3
Chapter 1 May Your Name Live Forever 9
Chapter 2 The Birth of the Curse 25
Chapter 3 Real Egyptian Curses 45
Chapter 4 My Real-Life Brushes with the Curse 71
Chapter 5 Dangers and Rewards 93
Chapter 6 The Truth About the Curse 111
Afterword 123
Part 2 More About Ancient Egypt 126
Appendix 1 Tips for Becoming an Archaeologist 129
Appendix 2 Tracing Egypt's Glorious Past 130
Appendix 3 How a Mummy Was Made 132
Appendix 4 Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt 134
Appendix 5 Glossary 136
Resources 140
Index 142
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