Synopses & Reviews
The scandalous rape of Ancient Egypt is a historical vignette of greed, vanity, and dedicated archaeological research. It is a tale vividly told by renowned archaeology author, Brian Fagan, with characters that include the ancient historian Herodotus; Theban tomb robbers; obelisk-stealing Romans; Coptic Christians determined to erase the heretical past; mummy traders; leisured antiquarians; major European museums; Giovanni Belzoni, a circus strongman who removed more antiquities than Napoleon's armies; shrewd consuls and ruthless pashas; and archaeologists such Sir Flinders Petrie who changed the course of Egyptology.This is the first thoroughly revised edition of The Rape of the Nile - Fagan's classic account of the cavalcade of archaeologists, thieves, and sightseers who have flocked to the Nile Valley since ancient times. Featured in this edition are new accounts of stunning recent discoveries, including the Royal Tombs of Tanis, the Valley of Golden Mummies at Bahariya, the Tomb of the Sons of Ramses, and the sunken city of Alexandria (whose lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). Fagan concludes with a clear-eyed assessment of the impact of modern mass tourism on archaeological sites and artifacts.
"The rich culture that flourished on the banks of the River Nile has always excited the awe and the greed of men. The destruction of this area was started by the Egyptians themselves and under Roman occupation tourists continued in the tradition of the tomb robbers. Brian Fagan's book is an eminently readable and interesting account of the plunderers of this civilization and of the archaeologists and tourists whose interest in treasure hunting was somewhat less destructive. This work provides an invaluable contribution to the literature on Egyptology in addressing itself not merely to historical narration but in exploring the many attempts made to preserve these antiquities. The book ends on a note of poignant regret as the author reflects that there may soon be little of Ancient Egypt left for us to study or enjoy." Reviewed by Gerard Alexander, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
A narrative history of the cavalcade of archaeologists, charlatans, thieves, self-promoters, and sightseers who have flocked to the Nile Valley since early times to study - or steal - the wonders of ancient Egypt
About the Author
Born in England and educated at Cambridge University, Brian Fagan is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is internationally known for his popular books on archaeology. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.