“From the moment the beds and boxes and burial trappings in his tomb reversed their journey up those stairs, Tutankhamun began to shape the politics of the Middle East—and the global popularity of ancient Egypt, like no other archeological find before or since.”
—From Treasured: How Tutankhamun Shaped a Century
Despite a century spent marveling at the 3,300-year-old tomb of Tutankhamun, the public’s knowledge of the late 18th Dynasty-reigning boy king’s modern history has often been obscured—until now. In this compelling chronicle, Riggs, Tutankhamun excavation expert and visual culture professor at Durham University, unearths complex truths behind
. With skill, she examines what little we know about the tomb occupant archeologist Howard Carter discovered in November 1922, the way scholarship has excluded Egyptians from Egyptology’s own history and how Egypt has deployed Tut as a cultural ambassador over the years. Along the way Riggs recounts how encounters with the long-dead pharaoh have shaped lives, including her own (Tutankhamun inspired Ohio-born Riggs’ Egyptology studies at Brown University and Oxford and her academic career). All of this results in a sensitive exploration of how culture, politics and other forces have influenced our understanding of both Tutankhamun and the world.