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The Search for Nefertiti
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Broadway_Babe
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:36 pm    Post subject: The Search for Nefertiti Reply with quote

Hey, just picked up The Search For Nefertiti by Dr. Joann Fletcher. Haven't read it yet, but almost 100 pgs are index and bibilography! No kidding! From what I can gather, she actually wrote it, which surprises me, usually experts have ghost writers write books for them...anyway, from what I hear she is in quite a bit of trouble with the SCA currently. Here is the official title if anyone is interested:

The Search for Nefertiti : The True Story of an Amazing Discovery
By: Dr. Joann Fletcher


There is one thing I REALLY don't like about the book already. In the inside cover, on the book jacket, there is a summary of sorts and it says
Quote:
The search for Nefertiti had ended. She had been found. But the questions were just beginning.


From what I have heard, it is still speculation that Lady X in tomb KV35 is Nefertiti. Because I am currently involved in a project concerning her, I keep as up to date as I can with internet research. How can she make a claim like this? Really ticked me off!
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Kevin
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:43 am    Post subject: Re: The Search for Nefertiti Reply with quote

Broadway_Babe wrote:
How can she make a claim like this?
I think that is why the jury is still out about her credibility Rolling Eyes
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have another book by her-about Egyptian religion. I thought it was quite good, and it wasn't controversial in the slightest. I've seen her on a lot of documentaries before this Nefertiti story, and I thought she was ok. I know a claim like this is pretty controversial, but it doesn't mean she's a bad egyptologist, does it?
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Broadway_Babe
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:52 pm    Post subject: book Reply with quote

Well, it depends on how you define a good/bad Egyptologist. I don't know much about her work, but from what I have read, she basically stole the Nefertiti/Lady X idea and went to Discovery claiming it was her's. The fact that she published her findings BEFORE she informed the SCA is not good, in fact, it could be career suicide. I am just afraid she is gonna be banned from diggin in Egypt, then no one will work on this project for a while...it worries me.

Here are a few sites I have read that talk about it:

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/653/eg8.htm

(this one says the mummy is of a male 16-19)
http://www.cronaca.com/archives/001380.html

(this one is the best I have read because it includes the book, I suggest reading this one. Looks long, but is a very quick read.)
http://www.archaeology.org/online/reviews/nefertiti/
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's been on many legitimate Egypt documentaries before the incident...if you've seen an Egypt documentary featuring an English woman with wild red hair, chances are it's her.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been debating whether to buy this book myself. The special on the Discovery Channel made it seem quite compelling, but much too presumptuous.

Broadway_Babe, your quote from the book's jacket ("The search for Nefertiti had ended. She had been found. But the questions were just beginning.") is exactly the kind of thing that makes me nervous. It's not very professional. This book is starting to look more like a way for her to forward her career and theories more than a way to forward our understanding of ancient Egypt.

For this reason, I'll respond to isisinacrisis, who wrote, "but it doesn't mean she's a bad egyptologist, does it?" In my opinion--and in the opinion of some her fellow Egyptologists--it may in fact present her as a "bad" Egyptologist. Self-promotion is always expected to a degree in the academic world, but when you cross a certain line, it can damage your career.

Finally, back to you, Broadway_Babe. As far as Zahi Hawass is concerned, Fletcher is indeed finished in Egypt. Here's a link for an article on this subject on Hawass's web site:

www.guardians.net/hawass/articles/no_discrimination.htm

It wasn't just the Nefertiti controversary but a number of other matters Fletcher apparently handled quite poorly, including alegations of SCA discrimination against the British. It's nonsense, of course. There is no discrimination. In case the above link doesn't work, here is the relevant quote from the article:

"...Dr Fletcher has broken the rules and therefore, at least until we have reviewed the situation with her university, she must be banned from working in Egypt."

It's too bad. Fletcher is clearly an intelligent and enthusiastic Egyptologist. But when you step too far and anger the wrong people, you hurt yourself. Like him or not, Hawass is in charge of all archaeological operations in Egypt, and his word there is law.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard some bad things about ZH...don't even get me started on the conspiracy theories Laughing not that I believe them, of course, but apparently he's got a bit of a temper and thinks too much of himself (that's what i read somewhere else) and I've noticed that he's been on EVERY single Egyptian documentay I've seen! Now who's promoting himself?
Sorry if that seems controversial and offensive, becuase i'm sure that ZH is doing some good stuff, but I've also heard that he was accusing international museums of stealing Egyptian antiquities-including the Rosetta Stone...and now he's asking for the stone to be given back!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings, isisinacrisis

Zahi is a very controversial figure. I've met and talked with numerous Egyptologists and other people intimately familiar with Egypt, and have studied hieroglyphs under a particular Egyptologist with a lengthy professional history of excavating Egyptian sites and working with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and nearly every one of these people with whom I've talked agree on one thing in this matter: Zahi is an arrogant showboat. He is not popular with many Western Egyptologists, period.

I'll reserve such judgement until the day I might (if I'm lucky) meet the man. You're right that he's in most documentaries about ancient Egypt these days, but I see this more as the nature of his job. He is Egypt's spokesman. There are many other professionals who have nothing but praise for the man, and there can be no doubt that he has done great things for the preservation of the heritage of his country.

Zahi and others among the SCA have indeed accused numerous institutions of "stealing" valuable antiquities, and in many instances they are correct. You mentioned the Rosetta Stone, which they most certainly would like to return to Egyptian possession. Another artifact is the famous bust of Nefertiti, now in a Berlin museum. There are many other artifacts but these particular two are the most hotly contested, and both were removed from Egypt without any legitimate consent from the Egyptian government of the time. Under Hawass the SCA has succeeded in reclaiming a number of valuable artifacts, but I for one highly doubt they will ever get the Rosetta Stone or the Nefertiti bust.

Zahi has numerous times toured the museum with which I am affiliated (before my time), and our collection is secure, I'm happy to say. There may be items in our Egyptian exhibit he wants back, but all of our collection was legally procured, mostly in the late 1800s.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering if your profession was related to egyptology. Very Happy
Fields Museum in Chicago? They do have a very nice Egyptian collection. I saw it about 2 years ago.

I had not heard ZH referred to as a "showboat". LOL somehow fits.

He does seem to hog the limelight a bit doesn't he?
As an academic I do think he does a good job for of keeping Egyptology in the news. He regularly has books out (some nice coffeetable books). There are plenty National Geopgraphic specials that are quite interesting.
At times they are a bit overly dramatized. I don't like the hype of opening tombs life on tv (Al Capone's vault anyone?)
He may want to share the limemight a bit though.

I'm not sure I would want to be in his shoes though. There's a lot going on, and he must get some pressure from Egypt to address the issue of antiquities taken out of the country illegaly.
I understand the argument that we cannot condone antiquity smuggling, even (or especially) when perpetrated by egyptologists.
At some point I do think it may be better to leave some of the great finds spread over the world though. Only so many people can go to Egypt, and even then it is already hard to see all the objects they already have.

Part of the purpose of having the collections in other countries is to educate people, but there is also the aspect of raising money. Having the objects out around the world makes people wish to study the subject, it results in programs at major universities, which in turn leads to money being funneled into Egypt.
I don't think Egypt could fund all the excavations by themselves. There is a lot of money and resources that comes from the US, the Netherlands, France, Japan, and many more countries.

It seems to me that the head of antiquities in Egypt has often been mired in controversy. I think Maspero had an even worse rep than ZH.
I guess it must be a difficult job to do.
A bit more humility on his part would make him a bit more likable though.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To anyone who has read the Search For Nefertiti, what did you think of the book? I just checked it out of my local library and I am about to start reading it tonight.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To anyone who has read the Search For Nefertiti, what did you think of the book? I just checked it out of my local library and I am about to start reading it tonight.


LOL I'm curious to know myself. I bought the book over a year ago but have yet to read it. I was hoping to get more of Fletcher's view on the whole nasty debate that developed between her and the SCA. A recent edition of KMT published a rather unkind review of her book and pointed out numerous errors Fletcher made that even many of us laypeople would likely catch. And in the end it seems this book has little to do with the Nefertiti "find."

What am I to do? Should I read it anyway, or should I donate it to the local library for someone else to read? Shocked
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ImageOfAten
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I am going to read it and find out for myself, if it is not that good I can always return it to the library early! Very Happy
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Claire
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile I have read the book, re-read it again and again, don't get me wrong it is an interesting read, I agree with broadway babe as joanne fletcher has basically stole another egyptologists idea ( and may i stress the word idea or theory as it hasnt been conclusively proved,) made it her own and got alot of money and publicity out of it. By the way i have nothing against her and i believe she is very good at what she does, in fact in a way she has inspired me even mor to be an egyptologist as like me she knew what she wanted to do from a very early age and followed her dream, and she's from yorkshire which isnt that far away from me!!!!
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ImageOfAten
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am about eighty pages into the book (chapter 2) and I do find it interesting. When I was reading the first chapter I started to think that the whole book was going to be more about her career than anything else. Then in chapter two it starts to give an interesting chronological history of excavations, findings, and archaeological theories of the city of Amarna. I have decided to read it all the way through.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do be careful. In reviews it was noted that there were deveral glaring mistakes and oversights in the book.
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