The Boy King’s Journey through the Underworld
Tutankhamun’s royal voyage into paradise, as told by ancient Egyptian treasures
Buried in the 14th century BCE but unearthed by Howard Carter in 1922, the objects entombed with Tutankhamun are an invaluable window into a long-extinct belief system. Seen today, they create an intricate picture of how people of the time viewed the perilous journey to paradise, a utopian Egypt that could only be entered following the final judgment.
When acclaimed photographer Sandro Vannini started his work in Egypt in the late ’90s, a technological revolution was about to unfold. Emerging technologies enabled him to document murals, tombs, and artifacts in unprecedented detail. Using the time-consuming and strenuous multi-shot technique, Vannini produced complete photographic reproductions that revealed colors in their original tones with vivid intensity. Through these extraordinary images, we discover the objects’ quintessential features alongside the sophisticated and cleverly hidden details.
In collaboration with a series of international exhibitions beginning in Los Angeles in 2018, this comprehensive guide marks the centenary of Carter’s first excavations in the Valley of the Kings. Many of these invaluable works were damaged during the 2011 Egyptian uprising, some destroyed altogether―but fortunately endure in their full, timeless glory through Vannini's photographs.
From offerings and rituals to Osiris and eternal life, Vannini’s portfolio covers all facets of ancient Egyptian culture ― but it is Tuthankhamun’s unique legacy that dominates these images. With texts by the photographer and chapter introductions from scholars in the field, Tutankhamun. The Journey through the Underworld puts much-debated mysteries to rest. The learned yet accessible forewords come from distinguished Egyptologists including Professor Salima Ikram and David P. Silverman, a researcher of over 40 years standing. Insightful narratives, resplendent images, and a contemporary standpoint make this title a fitting tribute to the boy king’s odyssey, illuminating an epoch that spanned an unimaginable 6,000 years.