Tutankhamun and Carter (Paperback)
Assessing the Impact of a Major Archaeological Find
One hundred years after its discovery, this book revisits Tutankhamun’s tomb with a view to reassess the circumstances in which it was excavated by Carter and to estimate how it has impacted both scientific and popular representations of Egypt at large. In short, this book examines the find of Tutankhamun as a multidimension cultural phenomenon involving aspects concerning the historical circumstances of the find, how it was studied over the years, how it impacted our knowledge on Tutankhamun’s reign and our own perception of Egyptian civilization. The studies are presented along four sections, addressing different, yet complementary aspects of Tutankhamun’s 'phenomenon'.The first section addresses the historical circumstances of the find with updated research resulting from the critical examination of different types of archival sources. These studies contradict long standing biased views on this process and systematize the archaeological and conservation paradigms involved in the discovery. Section 2 revolves around categories of objects that have been almost completely overlooked by Egyptological studies, providing a fresh input and new insights not only on the material culture of Ancient Egypt, but also on the circumstances of the find itself. Section 3 examines the impact of Tutankhamun’s tomb on media, literature, and design and how it shaped contemporary representations of Egypt, as well as the phenomenon of 'Tut-mania' in popular culture.The fourth section addresses the reign of Tutankhamun itself. Different types of documentary sources univocally suggest the importance of this reign in shaping the cultural landscape of Egypt throughout the Ramesside period which clearly challenges the longstanding view of this reign as a minor and insignificant episode of Egyptian history. These studies show the many lacunae that still prevent us from understanding the historical processes involved before and after Tutankhamun’s reign.