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The Search for Nefertiti: The True Story of an Amazing Discovery

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  318 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Her power was rivaled only by her beauty. Her face has become one of the most recognizable images in the world. She was an independent woman and thinker centuries before her time. But who was Egypt's Queen Nefertiti?

After years of intense research, Dr. Joann Fletcher has answered the questions countless researchers before her could not. While studying Egyptian royal wigs,
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published September 21st 2004 by William Morrow
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Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Academics, scholars, undergraduates, amateur historians
Recommended to Iset by: No one
As an Egyptologist and historian, I approached this book with great excitement - to me the discovery of Nefertiti would be an event of monumentally exciting proportions - and I couldn't wait to see the evidence that Fletcher had to prove her contentious theory. I perhaps should not have approached the book with such high expectations, as the book didn't match them.

There are both good and bad points to recommend and detract from the quality of this book. The topic, of course, is fascinating, the
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
I am not having good luck with books today. The Search for Nefertiti opens with an autobiography of Joann Fletcher, which I found rather over-written and just ridiculous. What Egyptologist could just "take or leave" the pyramids (or at least, admit that they don't care for them)? Who comments, with surprise, that Egypt is "hot!"? I pulled away from the book and trawled through some reviews, and have to conclude this isn't worth the time: I've read a lot of theories about Nefertiti before, publis ...more
Rick Davis
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think that Fletcher makes a very strong case that the young female in KV35 is Nefertiti, and in the years since she published her hypothesis several of the objections have been ruled out. On the other hand, I'm not sure her case that Nefertiti ruled as pharaoh in the years following her husband's death is as convincing. It's certainly a possibility, but I don't know that I would necessarily rewrite the history books just yet.

Overall this book contained wonderfully detailed description of arti
Mike Porter
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I met the author, researcher and Egyptologist, Joann Fletcher on a Med. cruise ship in 2011, heard her speak about her work that resulted in her conclusion that she'd found and identified the mummy that was Nefertiti, one of the few female Egyptian Pharaohs. Joann was an entertaining and compelling speaker and her book lives up to her reputation with me. Her detective work was assisted by her husband, a forensic chemist, but the investigative work and the writing is all the author's.

She writes
Nov 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I've always been an ardent admirer of strong women, women who know what they want and will fight to protect their interests, and Nefertiti, wife of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten, was one such. Semiramis of Ninevah was another. This book is pretty thick and has a fair helping of archaeology in it, but it reads like a detective story, bringing the distant past to life and putting flesh and character onto the bones and mummy wrappings. After she and her husband died the Egyptians reverted to form, ...more
Victoria Johnston
Bit of a strange one. I thought this was going to be a book about Nefertiti and the search for her mummy. What it ended up as was a biography of the author, with a little bit of history re Nefertiti thrown in, no real conclusion and a "others believe this but it is clearly wrong" mentality. Not quite what I expected.
I did not particurlary agree with the writer's conclusion re Nefertiti's mummy but the writer seemed to take it as fact because she wanted it to be true rather than provide any real
Fletcher is an archaeologist specialising in Ancient Egypt and this book centres around her discovery and investigation into an unidentified mummy in one of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. I know very little about Ancient Egypt and those that peopled it so I can't say how correct any of this. ALl I know is that reading the book I felt myself swept up by Fletcher's total love and excitement for her work. Plus it's always nice to see a fellow Yorkshire native doing well in their chosen field ...more
Rene Averett
While the subject was fascinating and I enjoyed reading the first part of the book, by the middle point on, it was becoming repetitious and a not as well-paced. It reached a point where it no longer held my attention. If you enjoy scholarly works and Egyptian history, then this book would probably be compelling reading for you. As a more casual reader of this genre, it just bogged down for me and I actually abandoned it before the end.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
I first read The Search for Nefertiti in 2009, after picking up my copy earlier in the immediate aftermath of Joann Fletcher's explosive claims she had identified the mummy of Nefertiti. I have a taste for controversy and I think the storm around Nefertiti and the mummy known as KV35YL has yet to be matched by anything in Egyptology's recent history. In recent years I came to the realisation that I may have been too influenced by the reaction to Fletcher to give The Search for Nefertiti a fair r ...more
Dirk Pratt
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was skeptical after reading the first few pages of Fletcher's 'The Search For Nefertiti" for I don't really like the background/autobiographical portion of the book. However forcing myself through it, I really enjoyed the entire book. Fletcher isn't some pompous and arrogant professor but rather after a few pages, you get a sense that she was just star-struck about Egypt.
Now to put it into perspective, Fletcher in a sense, had to incorporate her story into the book, whether readers like the p
Catherine Shereshewsky
Too much for a layman too little for an expert

I enjoyed this book but feel too much le to be taking notes for a midterm exam. Perhaps it's the subject, but keeping which dynasty with is appropriate BC date was hard enough. But wth the name repetition and variations I felt I needed pictures which in this Kindle edition were omitted. (WHY?). But a good story nonetheless with an almost surprise at the end.
Cynthia T Cannon
Really liked this book about the search for the queen

Amazing story of this search for the powerful Queen Nefertiti. Subsequent research recently has shown this person to have been Akhenatens sister and King Tutankamen's mother. This historic change in Egypt's culture is very interesting.
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting account of the author's experiences as an Egyptologist, a sort of historical detective memoir. Even though this was published in 2004 and her hopeful identification of the Younger Lady mummy as Nefertiti has since been pretty much disproven, we learn a lot from her studies, especially from her in-depth knowledge of hair styles on mummies and wall paintings. Also Fletcher produces convincing evidence that there were other female pharaohs than the one acknowledged by the male leader ...more
Pat Beard
Jun 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Well if you like books with lots of tedious details you will love this one. I finally ended by skimming - reading topic sentences and going on with the paragraphs only the 1% of time I found something of interest. I also found it very frustrating that she didn't share the reconstructed face taken from the X-rays.
Jennifer Pierce
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rather lengthy book that I found interesting about the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and the author's lifetime of research. It's kind of like a "everything you ever wanted to know about..." book. However, the end is based on theories as nothing can be determined 100% as yet. But very interesting into the processes used and what has been discovered in the tombs.
Beverly Hollandbeck
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an enthusiastic recount by an Egyptologist about her discovery of the mummy of ancient pharaoh Nefertiti. But she gives us non-historians no charts, no maps, no illustrations, no genealogy charts-nothing to help us keep track of the legion of name-changing kings and queens of Egypt. I like these kinds of nonfiction, but this one just left me confused.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
My only regret is that I read this book after visiting the Valley of Kings tombs and Karnak Temple. I could have looked at these amazing places with a little more insight (and for a little more detail) than I did if I have read it before the trip.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I agree with the author's conclusions, but her prose is elegant, straightforward, entertaining, personal, and full of entrancing details.
Lindsey Strachan
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was desperate for this book to come out so that it could read it, and I have to say it has disappointed me a little. With all the talk of had Nefertiti's mummy been found or not, I really expected Joann Fletcher to make more of an argument in this book. In fact, the only real examination of her finds and theories are in the last two, shortest chapters of the book. Rather than providing a thorough examination of her reasons for believing the mummy is Nefertiti, the chapters covering this are to ...more
Lisa Llamrei
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Joann Fletcher, Egyptologist, believes she has found the mummy of Nefertiti, and makes her case in this book.

The book starts very slowly, with an autobiography of the author, then moves on to the history of Egyptology, specifically the archaeology of the Amarna period (during which Nefertiti lived and reigned).

Once I got through all the (rather lengthy) warm-up, I flat-out loved the book. I disagree with the author's identification of the younger woman with Nefertiti, as do most Egyptologists. T
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
FINALLY! I FINALLY finished this long, darn book. Basically this was like watching one of those long; dry historical documentaries which start with a huge and impressive question: "OMG! Did we find Nefertiti?!? Read this to find out!" and still ends with "we'll probably never know but *I* think we found her". Ugh. To boot; there were numerous occaisions where the author had an opportunity to tell the more interesting stories with lead-in lines like "Oh and THAT'S when the funniest thing to ever ...more
Beverly Rosendahl
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it

This was a very interesting and informative book. I enjoyed reading it and learned even more about Ancient Egypt, especially the Amarna period, which not much is known. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history, particularly Ancient Egyptian history. The author Joann Fletcher basically tells the readers about her education, her fascination with ancient Egypt, and how she decided to study hair in the ancient world. It baffles me not much has been done in terms of studies on the anc
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Search for Nefertiti' is more a history of Ancient Egypt's royal lines and of a general archaeological overview than it is of the search itself, which as someone with limited knowledge of this I found very interesting but felt a lot of the detail of the mummy in question was lost.

I found Joann Fletcher's style of writing endearing but not entirely well structured which made the book feel repetitive in places and lacking in pace.

When it came towards the end, the actual information about the
Anthony Nelson
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was more like it! Unlike Michelle Moran's historical novel on the same theme, this held me riveted from the start. Joanne Fletcher is an archaeologist, so she can do no wrong in my books anyway, but her breathless enthusiasm for her subject is infectious, and there is a genuine romantic fascination with Nefertiti. I found myself trying to visualize the great palaces at Amarna so long ago and far away. Fletcher uncovers new truths about the great queen, and despite being an academic herself, ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
While I found this book to be a little long it was interesting and I learned quite a bit more about both archaeology and Egyptology as well as about the ancient Egyptian royalty they study. Including stuff about several female pharaohs I'd never heard of before.

I read the e-book version which did not have any pictures though there were references in the text that lead me to believe I missed out on some really interesting images.

I am both glad to have read this book and glad that I have finishe
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I had previously heard of Dr. Fletcher's search for the remains of Nefertiti. Naturally, given the state of academia, any new research, information and informed opinion is always voraciously argued over within whatever discipline the new information is a part of.

Dr. Fletcher was pains-taking in her research. Whether her conclusions are correct or not, she has at least shed light upon the life, times and death of the remarkable queen and perhaps pharaoh that was Nefertiti.
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: egyptology
With the release of the DNA tests done on mummies of the 18th Dynasty, including Tutankhamen, I wanted to go back and read this book. Turns out that the mummy that Dr. Fletcher claims is Nefertiti truly is the mother of King Tut; BUT, there is no conclusive evidence that this mummy is Nefertiti. It's quite a mess, but Dr. Fletcher gives a good overview of the whole Armana period and she is adamant that the mummy is Nefertiti.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what you would think

While I hourly enjoyed reading this book, it certainly was not about the search for Nefertiti's mummy. In fact, that is a relatively small part of this book. Instead the book mainly focuses on the Amarna period of ancient Egypt as well as the author's education and interests in the hairstyles of the ancient Egyptians.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A fascination and factual account of the search for Nefertiti. It comes complete with a decent history of both Egyptian archeology as well as part of the history of ancient Egypt itself. Parts of the book were a little dry, but the overwhelming amount of information available made up for it as I would pause to take time to digest everything. Well worn the read.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a book more about the the author's history in archeology/ Egyptology and the archeologists that came before her rather than Nefertiti herself, which I found disappointing and that is reflected in my rating. I have read other works by this author and enjoyed them. I may have just simply chosen the wrong title for my intended interest.
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Dr. Joann Fletcher is Honorary Research Fellow at York University and consultant Egyptology at Harrogate Museums and Arts. She specializes in the history of mummification and has studied mummies on site in Egypt, Yemen and South America as well as in museum collections around the world. Recently she led groundbreaking work in Egypt's Valley of the Kings to re-examine three royal mummies, one of wh ...more
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