The dramatic story behind the 3,200-year-old colossal Grand Egyptian Museum Ramesses statue
King Ramesses II ruled Egypt for an extraordinary sixty-six years (1279–1213 BC) during the Nineteenth Dynasty. A great warrior and lavish builder, he fathered dozens of children and is widely regarded as the most celebrated and powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom.
This wonderfully clear, engaging book recounts the dramatic history of the famed red granite colossal statue of Ramesses II now residing in Egypt’s Grand Egyptian Museum. One of the biggest statues ever made and part of the urban landscape of modern Cairo, the statue lent its name to Ramses Square and the city’s mainline train station, and was so much a symbol of Cairo that it featured in countless Egyptian films. Susanna Thomas recounts the full history of the statue’s creation and installation in the Great Temple of Ptah at Memphis during the reign of Ramesses II, its reuse by Ramesses IV, and the later history of the statue during the Greco-Roman and Islamic Periods.
The book also provides an overview of how statues were made in ancient Egypt and includes a brief discussion of the statue cults of Ramesses II, kingship, temples, and the expansion of the New Kingdom capital city of Memphis and its temples. The final section covers the history of the statue since its rediscovery and subsequent rescue in the mid-nineteenth century until its installation in the entrance hall of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Written by a New Kingdom specialist and curatorial expert and illustrated with over 130 images, Ramesses, Beloved by Ptah tells the fascinating story of this magnificent statue within the wider context of statue cults and the reign of Ramesses II, and its subsequent rescue and restoration in modern times.
An innovative account of the life of Tutankhamun, the rediscovery of his existence, and the enduring impact of the finding of his tomb, by leading Egyptologist Aidan Dodson
The spectacular discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 has given him an afterlife that has all but eclipsed the young king’s real career. This authoritative yet accessible book tells the story of Tutankhamun, from his own lifetime in the fourteenth century BC, down to modern times. It explores the various theories as to his parentage, his role in the ‘counter-reformation’ that followed the religious revolution of Akhenaten, and his premature death. It also looks at the monuments built during the king’s reign, his key officials, and the arrangements made for his funeral.
Moving forward in time, Tutankhamun, King of Egypt considers the way in which Tutankhamun was written out of official history. The story is then picked up again in the early nineteenth century AD when, with the first decipherment of hieroglyphs, Tutankhamun’s name could once again be read, and the problem of his place in history considered by Egyptologists. Aidan Dodson traces possible solutions through the decades as more and more data came to light, culminating in the discovery of the king’s tomb. Yet, dazzling as that discovery was, many matters regarding Tutankhamun remain obscure today, even with the aid of genetic data. Dodson also looks at how the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb brought about the first of many outbreaks of “Tut-mania,” and explores some of its manifestations.
Richly illustrated in full color throughout, this fascinating book by a leading Egyptologist will be essential reading for anyone interested in the life and enduring legacy of ancient Egypt’s most famous king.