(2008) Royal Mummies (French)
A spectacular new look at what lay behind the mummification of Egypt’s monarchs
Embalming, the art that people had learned from the god Anubis, was the practical intervention that checked the ineluctable decomposition of the pharaoh’s body—a battle that had to be won, since the cosmic order itself depended on its successful outcome. This lavishly illustrated book acquaints the readers with both the physical procedures and the religious rites involved in preparing a royal corpse for eternity, allowing the regenerated body—transfigured and wrapped in linen bandages—to proceed along the paths fraught with danger that led to the Field of Reeds, the ancient Egyptian paradise. The modern discovery of the royal mummies is described, and the latest research on the mummies themselves is presented, including X-rays and CT scans, which help us to understand not only how particular pharaohs died out but also what ailments they may have suffered in life, and in some cases what the living person actually looked like.