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The Lost Tombs of Thebes

Life in Paradise

Zahi Hawass

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The ultimate book on Egypt's New Kingdom's tombs, which places their elegant reliefs and glorious paintings in their context by looking at the eventful times the tomb owners lived through


In southern Egypt, not far from the Valley of the Kings, lie hundreds of unique and wonderfully decorated tombs from the New Kingdom belonging to the people who served the pharaohs. Many of these tombs had been lost to the eyes of the world – closed and visited only by scholars. Others had been hidden under modern villages, only to emerge in the past few years, when a number of hitherto unrecorded tombs have been discovered and rescued from oblivion.

The Lost Tombs of Thebes gives privileged access to a selection of these extraordinary monuments. The scenes and texts that adorn their walls include some of the most exquisite examples of Egyptian art to be found anywhere in the land of the Nile. The glorious paintings and elegant reliefs depict in fascinating detail life both on earth and in paradise for the ancient Egyptians. As well as exploring tomb construction and the often lavish burial equipment that accompanied the dead, the book also looks at the eventful times the tomb owners lived through and the great rulers they served, such as Thutmose III and Ramesses the Great. Final chapters discuss the fate of the tombs and the vital ongoing work of restoration and conservation.

Combining scholarship with superb photography, including numerous foldouts, this magnificent volume will bring these lost tombs back into the light and illuminate the mysterious world of ancient Thebes and the nobles who lived and died there in Egypt’s Golden Age.

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'Splendid … only a few of the tombs featured in this book will be accessible to visitors, so it provides readers with a unique opportunity to see within them … exquisite photographs'
Current World Archaeology

'If you were able to travel in Egypt, you could never have a better view of the art in these private tombs. It is really breathtaking. Some of the mural paintings are as fresh and vivid as if created yesterday'

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 34.0 x 25.5 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Illustrations: 208

Publication date: 9 November 2009

ISBN: 9780500051597

Contents List

The Eternal House of the Soul • 1. The Nobles of the New Kingdom 2. The Architecture of the New Kingdom Tombs • 3. Scenes of Earthly Life • 4. Journey to the Afterlife • 5. Burial Equipment • 6. Saving the Valley of the Nobles

About the Author

Dr Zahi Hawass has made many major discoveries, including the tombs of the pyramid builders at Giza, the Valley of the Golden Mummies at Bahariya and the identification of the mummy of Hatshepsut. He is Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt, and the author of many popular books, including King Tutankhamun: The Treasures of the Tomb, The Royal Tombs of Egypt and his memoirs Secrets from the Sand, all published by Thames & Hudson.

Sandro Vannini is an accclaimed photographer who has worked closely with Zahi Hawass over many years.

List of Contributors

Sandro Vannini