• A World Beneath the Sands

  • The Golden Age of Egyptology
  • By: Toby Wilkinson
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling history of the West’s scramble for the riches of ancient Egypt by the foremost Egyptologist of our time.

From the decipherment of hieroglyphics in 1822 to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon a hundred years later, the uncovering of Egypt’s ancient past took place in an atmosphere of grand adventure and international rivalry.

In A World Beneath the Sands, acclaimed Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson chronicles the ruthless race between the British, French, Germans, and Americans to lay claim to its mysteries and treasures. He tells riveting stories of the men and women whose obsession with Egypt’s ancient civilization helped to enrich and transform our understanding of the Nile Valley and its people and left a lasting impression on Egypt, too. Travelers and treasure-hunters, ethnographers and archaeologists: whatever their motives, whatever their methods, a century of adventure and scholarship revealed a lost world, buried for centuries beneath the sands.

©2020 Toby Wilkinson (P)2020 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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If You Cannot Go To Egypt This Year

There is magic to recapitulation of the history of archaeology; a history which is about the drive, weirdness and peculiarities of those who forged the field. These were men driven by the force of non-convention and the out-of-the-box thinking that catapulted the discipline and their esteem. Wilkinson is best where there are sources as letters, diaries and remembrances. Champollion's story is one of discovery, attention to the details of language and fortuitous finds. Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon are right out of Tom Stoppard - angles and time sequences flush up against the expanse of The Valley of The Kings. The book would be great for children who need catalysts, challenges. There is a flow to the story which never bogs down.

3 people found this helpful

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An entrancing listen, fascinating History

From the review in the NYTimes, I knew this would be a fascinating listen and saved it until I got an exercise cycle - nothing liking a fascinating history, well read to speed along the post-holiday exercise and weight loss. Kept marking places and looking at images on line - so helpful.

2 people found this helpful

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Western-centric content. Narration is dull.

My biggest issue with this book was the Western-centric way of looking at this history. The author made some effort to note how unfair the field and Western powers have been to Egyptians, but the content really leans on what all these French and British scholars said about themselves, and glosses over the blatant exploitation of Egypt, the marginalization of its people in this colonial period, and how Egyptians were largely shut out of meaningful participation in Egyptology for decades. The contributions Egyptians did make were unacknowledged by the excavators and therefore by the author of this book as a result.

As an audiobook, the narration was a bit dull, so I couldn't listen for long stretches of time.