John Darnell and Colleen DarnellNov 11, 2022
Egypt's Golden Couple
When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth
St. Martin's Press 2022
Two celebrated Egyptologists bring to vivid life the intriguing and controversial reign of King Tut's parents. Akhenaten has been the subject of radically different, even contradictory, biographies. The king has achieved fame as the world's first individual and the first monotheist, but others have seen him as an incestuous tyrant who nearly ruined the kingdom he ruled. The gold funerary mask of his son Tutankhamun and the painted bust of his wife Nefertiti are the most recognizable artifacts from all of ancient Egypt. But who are Akhenaten and Nefertiti? And what can we actually say about rulers who lived more than three thousand years ago? November 2022 marks the centennial of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and although "King Tut" is a household name, his nine-year rule pales in comparison to the revolutionary reign of his parents. Akhenaten and Nefertiti became gods on earth by transforming Egyptian solar worship, innovating in art and urban design, and merging religion and politics in ways never attempted before. Combining fascinating scholarship, detective suspense, and adventurous thrills, Egypt's Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth (St. Martin's Press, 2022) is a journey through excavations, museums, hieroglyphic texts, and stunning artifacts. From clue to clue, renowned Egyptologists John and Colleen Darnell reconstruct an otherwise untold story of the magnificent reign of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
John and Colleen Darnell are a husband-and-wife Egyptologist team. They have presented on the Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic, the Science Channel, and Smithsonian, as well as appeared in National Geographic's "Lost Treasures of Egypt."
John is Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University. His archaeological expeditions in Egypt have been covered by the New York Times. In 2017, his Eastern Desert expedition discovered the earliest monumental hieroglyphic inscription and was named one of the top ten discoveries of the year by Archaeology.
Colleen teaches art history at the University of Hartford and Naugatuck Valley Community College; she has curated a major museum exhibit on Egyptian revival art and design at the Yale Peabody Museum.
Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin).