Young Readers Book Review of The Royal Mummies: Remains From Ancient Egypt

by DerdriuMarriner

"The Royal Mummies: Remains From Ancient Egypt" covers, for young readers, the always interesting subject of Egypt's mummies, skilled embalmers, and treasure tombs.

The display and study of bodies discovered in and retrieved from ancient Egypt are the subjects of “The Royal Mummies.”

The book looks at bodies removed from the protection of elaborate tombs built within the dry sands of ancient Egypt.

It also presents the instruments which scientists use and the information which they thereby uncover regarding ancient royal Egyptians and ancient Egypt’s culture.

"The Royal Mummies" is one of four books in a mummy series published by Capstone High-Interest Books in 2003.

Two books in Capstone's Mummy Series were written by Eric Kudalis:
• Ice Mummies;
• The Royal Mummies.

Two were written by Charlotte Wilcox:
• Animal Mummies;
• Bog Mummies.

In Egypt, 70 million+ were mummified over the course of 3,000 years.

wall painting from tomb of Sennedjem: Anubis attending mummy of the deceased.
necropolis of Deir el-Medina, West Bank of Nile, Luxor, Upper (southern) Egypt
necropolis of Deir el-Medina, West Bank of Nile, Luxor, Upper (southern) Egypt


The Royal Mummies is a carefully written book which examines a delicate topic in non-graphic, non-threatening ways for young readers who are acquainted with the earthly cycle of living and dying.

Tissue begins to break down with the death of human beings. Decomposition benefits from the role of bacteria and fungi. But the work of decomposers can be obstructed by interventions from nature or people. Natural intervention includes desiccation in super-dry climates or freezing in super-cold weather. Human intervention refers to the work of embalmers.


The human factor dominates The Royal Mummies, written by Eric Kudalis and published by Capstone High-Interest Books in 2003. Eric Kudalis (born 1960) also has written Ice Mummies (2003) for Capstone. Capstone’s Mummies series additionally includes Animal Mummies (2003) and Bog Mummies by Charlotte Wilcox (2003).


The Royal Mummies acquaints young readers with facts and superstitions regarding ancient Egyptian royal mummies. For example, the book includes a chapter on ancient embalming methods. The procedure must have been deemed successful anciently since ancient Egyptians may have mummified 70+ million individuals over a 3,000-year span.

The book begins with a rich discovery in 1871 by locals in Deir el-Bahari on the Nile River’s west bank. Ahmed el Rassul climbed down a hill in search of a missing goat. He instead found a tomb door. He and brother Hussein sold so many tomb artifacts that they were ostentatiously wealthy by 1880. The police were able to get the youngest brother, Mohammed, to reveal the tomb’s location.

The tomb became public knowledge on July 6, 1881. It was found to be the final resting place of Pinudjem II (died 969 B.C.). Forty-some mummies were identified, and their number included earlier rulers such as Rameses II (1279-1212 B.C.) having been relocated because of older tombs being looted by raiders.

Scientists apply modern technology to understanding ancient peoples. Specifically, the cause of death, the state of health, and the type of diet can be determined through CT scans, endoscopes, and X-rays. Radiocarbon contributes to dating tomb artifacts. DNA sampling maps the mummy’s closest descendants and relatives.  


The Royal Mummies ends with a glossary and an index. It also lists additional resources and relevant sites to surf on the internet or visit in the world. Its delicate treatment of the cultural, historical and scientific information gleaned from exhibiting and studying ancient royal Egyptian mummies makes the book a compelling read for young readers with a prior understanding of the human cycle of life and death.


Deir el-Bahari complex discovered by Ahmed el Rassul in 1871 while searching for missing goat was final resting place for Pinudjem II as well as for 40+ mummies:

Book of the Dead papyrus of Pinudjem II, 21st dynasty, circa 990-969 BC, depicting Pinudjem II in role of High Priest making offering to god Osiris
British Museum: retrieved from Deir el-Bahri royal cache
British Museum: retrieved from Deir el-Bahri royal cache



My special thanks to:

  • Talented photographers and concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 05/08/2015, DerdriuMarriner
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