Monday, June 18, 2012

Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt

This book is a summation of what is known about the life of one of the very few women to ever rule Ancient Egypt as a King. 

Tausret was the wife of Seti II, then regent for the child king Siptah and finally the last Pharaoh of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty. After her death a man named Sethnakht becomes Pharaoh and initiates the Twentieth Dynasty.

This book contains the results of recent excavations of Tausret’s mortuary temple at Thebes and gives a detailed analysis of the recent re-examination of her tomb in the Valley of the Kings. A number of interesting facts are mentioned in the book, including:
  • Tausret may be the Egyptian King mentioned in the Illiad
  • Chancellor Bay, long thought to have been a supporter of Siptah and Tausret, may have been their political opponent
  • A recently studied ostracon tells us that Bay was actually executed by the King (but it does not tell us which king)

The book is properly researched and well written; laymen and scholars alike will find it readable and interesting. The authors are all recognized experts in the field and the research is as up-to-date as possible. My only complaints are that the list price of $35 is a bit steep for a book that is only 145 pages long and that some of the color photos should have been Photshopped before being included as some of the colors are more than a little “off”. The material is quite interesting however and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Egyptian history.

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