THE LOST TOMB by Kent R. Weeks


His Incredible Story of KV5 and Its Excavation
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Archaeological high drama abounds as Weeks recounts his life and work as an Egyptologist. Within the West Bank area of Egypt lies the Valley of the Kings. Here the ancient pharaohs created elaborate tombs for themselves, their wives, and their children. It is, in short, an archaeological gold mine. By now most of the area is well known and exhaustively studied, yet in 1995 Weeks and his colleagues discovered a tomb of unrivaled magnificence and importance: “KV5,” the burial site of the sons of Ramses II. The size of KV5 is unprecedented. While most tombs in the valley have only 6 or 8 chambers, and none more than 30, at KV5, so far, 108 chambers have been unearthed. Constructed in the time of the ancient Jewish exodus, the size and antiquity of KV5 give it the potential, the author suggests, to fundamentally alter our knowledge of ancient and biblical history. Weeks tells the story of this discovery well. Some of it is very much out of Indiana Jones, crawling through airless, lightless tunnels as great blocks of stone threaten to dislodge and fall upon the disturbers of these tombs. Mostly, though, the author describes the monotonous, decidedly unromantic tasks of modern archaeology. This work is less about discovering mummies and fabulous treasures than about sifting the sand in a site to uncover the evidence that microscopic bits of seed or grain may offer up. It is Weeks’s dogged attention to such detail, however, that draws the reader in. He is less effective “above ground.— Modern Egypt seems to serve only as a disconnected background for the discovery of Egypt’s past. A highly readable story of one person’s passion for the past. (color and b&w photos, not seen; line drawings) (First serial to National Geographic; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-15087-X
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1998


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