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Egypt's False Prophet

Dr Nicholas Reeves


Nicholas Reeves’s revolutionary interpretation of a revolutionary king, now available in B-format paperback


One of the most compelling and controversial figures in history, Akhenaten has captured the imagination like no other Egyptian pharaoh. Known today as a heretic, Akhenaten sought to impose upon Egypt and its people the worship of a single god – the sun – and in so doing changed the country in every way.

In this immensely readable re-evaluation, Nicholas Reeves takes issue with the existing view of Akhenaten, presenting a new perspective on the turbulent events of his seventeen-year reign. Reeves argues that, far from being the idealistic founder of a new faith, Akhenaten cynically used religion for purely political ends in a calculated attempt to reassert the authority of the king. Backed up by abundant archaeological and documentary evidence, Reeves’s closely written narrative also provides many insights into questions that have baffled scholars for generations – the puzzle of the body in Tomb 55 in the Valley of the Kings; the fate of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s beautiful wife, and the identity of the mysterious successor, Smenkhkare; and the theory that Tutankhamun, Akhenaten’s son and true heir, was murdered.

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'Presents ingenious archaeology as a racy, irresistible detective story full of hidden clues (and bodies), magic geometry and ruthlessness masked as mysticism'
New York Times Book Review

' Reeves leads the reader adeptly through archaeological finds and the latest research on the Amarna period … an entertaining and informative volume'
Times Higher Education

'A tremendous read … brings factional division in ancient Egypt vividly to life'
Birmingham Post

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: New Format

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 80

Publication date: 24 January 2019

ISBN: 9780500294697

Contents List

Prologue • 1. Discovery • 2. Priestly Ambitions • 3. Solar Kings • 4. Revolution • 5. The Move to El-Amarna • 6. Utopia • 7. Religion, Art – Terror • 8. Royal Women • 9. Restoration and Oblivion • Epilogue

About the Author

A renowned Egyptologist and one of the world's leading experts on the period, Nicholas Reeves was for several years a Curator in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum.