Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kent Weeks

It's Wednesday, which means my favorite show Chasing Mummies will be on! Tonight is the season finale, and I can't look forward to seeing any reruns because I didn't miss a single episode. I enjoyed seeing Dr. Hawass's Achilles' heel 2 weeks ago: "I am afraid of bats," he revealed, as he ran screaming out of a tomb! Last week, I was surprised to learn that American Egyptologist Kent Weeks (1st image) is still at the forefront of the field. I was fascinated by his classic 1973 book X-Raying the Pharaohs,* which I picked up in a used bookstore some 25 years ago, and assumed he was retired by now. As it turns out, he was only in his 20s when he and coauthor James Harris, a geneticist and physical anthropologist, x-rayed the mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He still heads up the Theban Mapping Project, which he launched in 1978 to fill a need for a dependable and comprehensive atlas of the tombs and monuments in the region. The project now benefits from current technology, and offers not only "then and now" photographs (2nd and 3rd images) in an extensive image database, but interactive atlases and multimedia tours (4th image). If you would like to visit the tombs themselves with Dr. Weeks, book now - the tour leaves on November 1st!

*Note the penny price tag - you can pick up a copy of this classic for the cost of shipping and handling!

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