Book Review: Egypt: How A Lost Civilisation Was Rediscovered

“Two hundred years ago mummies were valued only for the jewellery hidden beneath their bandages. The bodies themselves were worthless; they could tell the archaeologists nothing.” 


In ‘Egypt: How A Lost Civilization was Rediscovered’, highly respected author and archaeologist Joyce Tyldesley follows in the footsteps of the intrepid Egyptologists who have helped to unlock the extraordinary secrets of ancient Egypt. We discover how spectacular treasures that had lain undisturbed for 2000 years were brought to life by real – life Indiana Joneses, such as the flamboyant circus strongman the Great Belzoni.  

From the nail-biting race to crack the hieroglyphic code to Howard Carters dramatic discovery of the golden treasures in Tutankhamen’s tomb – surely the most heart-stopping moment in the history of archaeology – we experience the excitement, emotion and intrigue of this gripping adventure story.” 

My Review:

I bought this book a few months ago from a charity shop in Devon. Growing up I was fascinated by the ancient Egyptians and I`m always keen to learn more about them.  

Non-Fiction books always take me a bit longer to read, so I was surprised when it only took me around a week to finish the book. It was nicely paced and took a different lane than I expected. From reading the blurb in the store I (daftly) presumed that this would be more about actual Egyptian history. However, it was a chronological telling of methods and motivations of treasure hunters and glory seekers from Napoleons 18th century campaign, to modern-day archaeologists. I enjoyed the chronology of the book as it clearly showed how most early Egyptologists were interested in the treasure and fame, whereas their modern-day contemporaries place a higher value on what can be learned about the past.  

Something I re-learned (I’m a human sieve) was what a Cartouche is. It’s an oval with a horizontal line that indicates that the hieroglyphs inside represent a royal name. 

The book would only really be of any interest to individuals with more than a light interest in Egyptology due to the subject matter not being the usual glitz and glam that we’ve come to expect from this history genre.  That said the actual writing and facts are a good entry point to learn more about Egyptology (take a sip of tea every time I said egyptology).

To Conclude:

Overall whilst I found this book interesting and fairly easy to read, I don’t rate it as highly as some other books within the same non-fiction genre. You would probably enjoy if you do have an interest in either archaeology or Egyptology. I’ll be keeping this book in my collection for now as a reference but I’ll probably pass it on in the future. Happy Reading!

My Rating: 3/5

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Egypt: How A Lost Civilisation Was Rediscovered

  1. I never really had a huge interest of Egypt, but the history behind the treasure hunters and later archaeologists sounds interesting! Disappointing that it wasn’t a fav for you, though. Oh well, they can’t all be, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I get that. There’s some non-fiction books I read about that…I definitely wouldn’t want to read, simply because of outdated terminology, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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