Synopses & Reviews
From the known to the unknown . . .
With its spectacular temples, tombs, monuments, and mummies, as well as esoteric metaphysics, legendary historical characters, and connections to the Bible, ancient Egypt has enticed the human imagination for centuries. This search for understanding and drive to uncover a lost civilization has also been the life work of archaeologist Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D. In Beneath the Sands of Egypt, he offers an intriguing personal account of a career spent researching the remains of Egypt's pastincluding his headline-making rediscovery of a lost tomb in the Valley of the Kings containing the mummy of the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut.
Since his early childhood, Ryan dreamed of exploration and adventure. Inspired by his plastic dinosaurs, his booksincluding Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tikiand his father's National Geographic collection, Ryan was determined to become an archaeologist. It is a quest that has taken him from harsh desert digs to the modern comforts of Europe's finest museums to treacherous Alpine peaksand into the lives of his archaeological predecessors, gathering insight from obscure documents and, literally, digging in their wake.
Beneath the Sands of Egypt interweaves Ryan's captivating tales from the field with reflections into the arcane world of Egyptology, from the writings of Herodotus to the tools of the trade, the intricacies of obtaining a digging permit to the thrall of popular myths. In addition, Ryan introduces a diverse cast of eccentric colleagues, helpful locals, wily entrepreneurs, and enlightened benefactors who have touched his life, including the legendary Thor Heyerdahl, Ryan's childhood hero who eventually became his friend, mentor, and boss. Throughout, Ryan adds his unique touch, reminding us how an artifact as seemingly insignificant as a piece of rope can unlock invaluable insights and offer its own wonderful tale.
Infused with the irrepressible curiosity that has fueled Ryan's journey, Beneath the Sands of Egypt is the extraordinary story of a man who has spent a lifetime embracing adventure wheneverand whereverhe finds it.
“Don Ryan is a rare bird a field archaeologist who can write with verve and immediacy. I heartily recommend his book to all Egyptology buffs.” Barbara Mertz ( a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters), author of < i=""> Temples Tombs, and Hieroglyphs <> and < i=""> Red Land, Black Land <>
“This wonderful adventure story should be must reading for anyone aspiring to become an archaeologist, but even those of us who harbor no such dreams will be aching to get a little dirt under our fingernails.” Booklist (starred review)
“Ryans observations are intimate, frank, and perceptive, and his spirited adventures in underappreciated avenues of exploration are a boon for armchair and budding archaeologists.” Publishers Weekly
“An entertaining, illuminating adventure story by a modern-day explorer.” Kirkus Reviews
“Any writer who can make you interested in old rope is worth reading.” St. Paul Pioneer Press
“An enthusiastically written book for readers from YA to armchair adventure lovers who dream of being archaeologists or Egyptologists.” Library Journal
Ancient Egypt, with its spectacular temples and tombs, its history, gods, and legends, has enticed the human imagination for centuries. This fascination—and the irresistible drive to unearth the buried secrets of a lost civilization—have been the life work of archaeologist Donald P. Ryan. Beneath the Sands of Egypt
is the gripping first-person account of a real-life “Indiana Jones” as he recalls a career spent delving into the remains of Egypts past—including his headline-making rediscovery of a lost tomb in the Valley of the Kings containing the mummy of the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut.
Infused with the irrepressible curiosity and the incomparable wonder of discovery that have fueled Ryans lifelong journey, Beneath the Sands of Egypt is the extraordinary story of a man who has always embraced adventure whenever—and wherever—he finds it.
“Donald Ryan is a rare bird—a field archaeologist who can write with verve and immediacy. I heartily recommend his book to all Egyptology buffs.”
—Barbara Mertz ( a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters), author of Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs
A real-life “Indiana Jones,” Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D., offers a breathtaking personal account of his adventures in archaeology in Beneath the Sands of Egypt. Fans of The Lost City of Z will thrill to the exploits of this “unconventional archaeologist” as he retrieves the remains of Egypts past—including his breakthrough discovery in the Valley of the Kings of Egypts famous female pharaoh, Hatshepsut.
About the Author
Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D., is an American archaeologist, Egyptologist, and writer. He is a member of the Division of Humanities at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, Polynesian archaeology, and ancient languages and scripts. He is best known for his research in Egypt, including excavations in the Valley of the Kings, where he has discovered lost tombs and controversial mummies.
He is a veteran of many expeditions and is the author of numerous scientific and popular articles on archaeological subjects as well as several books. He is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society, a mountaineering instructor, a long-distance runner, and a pianist. Ryan worked closely with world-renowned Norwegian explorer, archaeologist, and writer Thor Heyerdahl. Among their many projects, they excavated the mysterious PirÁmides de GÜÍmar on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, and Ryan is finishing Heyerdahl's last book about the ancient colonization of the islands of the South Pacific.