BIBLIOGRAPHY. Publications on Egyptology and Ancient History

Posted July 23rd, 2014 by Dylan


Whilst not exhaustive, this list attempts to list the majority of my published works in the area of Ancient History.

Refugees for Eternity.

The Royal Mummies of Thebes: Their Journeys and Resting Places.

Part One. Finding the Pharaohs. In Progress.

The discovery of royal tombs and mummies prior to the Royal Caches.

Part Two. The Royal Caches. A thorough examination of the evidence for the creation of the caches in antiquity, and their discovery in the modern era. In Progress.

Part Three. The Last Royal Finds. In Progress

The discovery of royal tombs and mummies after the caches.

Part Four. Identifying the Pharaohs. Canopus Press, 2009. Available.

A thorough evaluation of the methods used, how good they are, and what level of confidence we may have in the names we give to each of the royal mummies. 

An Ancient Egyptian Case Book:

Intriguing Evidence that Undermined Incredible Headlines.

Canopus Press, 2014 (reprinted with minor revisions 2016).

Fourteen chapters – some of them developed and expanded from articles in Kmt etc. –  address questions related to the Discovery of Royal Tombs; the Identification of Royal Mummies; Historical Texts; and a more recent mystery, as follows:

Section One examines the questions surrounding four discoveries of the Amarna and Post-Amarna period: Was the mummy of Akhenaten found at the royal tomb in Amarna? Who was buried in tomb KV58? Why did Howard Carter conceal Tutankhamun’s ‘Lotus Head’ in a store tomb? What clues can be found in the enigmatic Embalming Caches?

Section Two looks at six topics concerning the identification of royal mummies: Can the Niagara Falls mummy really be Ramesses I? How accurate are estimates of Age at Death? How did the mummy of a deified queen putrefy and recover? What have the recent DNA tests actually told us about Tutankhamun’s family? What might we learn from the royal mummies of the Old Kingdom? Who was the mummy, ‘Unknown Man ‘E’? (some new ideas explored).

Section Three examines the ancient texts to bring fresh insights to three cases: The Harem Conspiracy Against Ramesses III. The political manoeuvrings behind the tomb robbery trials under Ramesses IX. How the lover of the Emperor Hadrian drowned in the Nile – at exactly the right place and time to become a god.

Section Four comprises just one story – that of the ill-fated 1909 play, staged in the Valley of the Queens, that was to have rehabilitated Akhenaten.

Reviewed in:

Kmt 26.1 (Spring 2015), 76-77.

Ancient Egypt 15.5/89 (April/May 2015), 57.

Eds. Erhart Graefe and Galina Belova, The Royal Cache TT320: A Re Examination, SCA (Cairo 2010).

This is the official publication following the re-clearance of the Royal Cache tomb in which were found the mummies of such famous figures as Ahmose I, Amenhotep I, Ahmose Nefertari, Thutmose III, Seti I, Ramesses II, and Ramesses III. I spent time at the site with Professor Graefe during the 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons.

My contribution here is Chapter 1, History of the Discovery of the Cache (p 13-36) – covering both the original discovery by the Abd er Rassul brothers, and the clearance following the surrender of the tomb to Emile Brugsch on behalf of the Antiquities Service in 1881.

Graefe, Erhart / Bickerstaffe, Dylan: ‘Die sogenannte königliche Cachette TT320 war keinesfalls das Grab der Ahmose-Nofretere!’ Gottinger Miszellen, Heft 239 (Gottingen 2013), 115-119. The title of the article translates as: ‘The so-called Royal Cache TT320 was not the tomb of Ahmose Nefertari’, and draws on points made by both of us, to refute the theory put forward by David Aston in GM 236 (2013), based on his re-dating of much of the pottery from the tomb.

Dylan Bickerstaffe, ‘Some Brief Reflections on Qurnawis and the Abd er Rassul Brothers,‘ in Pérégrinations avec Erhart Graefe. Festschrift zu seinem 75. Gebertstag. edited by Anke Ilona Blöbaum, Marianne Eaton-Krauss and Annik Wüthrich. Pub. Zaphon April 2018. A review of the evidence for the character and activities of the inhabitants of Qurna village, with particular emphasis on tomb-robbery, and the Abd er Rassul brothers.

Kmt: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt.

This American publication has appeared quarterly since Spring 1990 and has featured contributions from many eminent Egyptologists. Articles are fully referenced.

As of 2015 I have been appointed to the Kmt editorial advisory board.


Note that articles appearing in updated and expanded form in An Ancient Egyptian Case Book are indicated with CB:

‘Hidden in Plain Sight: The Facts Surrounding the Burial of Unknown Man E’, Kmt 10.1 (Spring 1999), 68-76. Prior to the release of Identifying the Royal Mummies (see above) this was the most comprehensive coverage of the reports on the strange, ‘Screaming’ mummy called Unknown Man ‘E’.                                                                                                     CB

‘The Discovery of Hatshepsut’s ‘Throne’’, Kmt 13.1 (Spring 2002), 71-77.

Discussing the possible provenance of the enigmatic artefact (actually a funerary bed) and the objects associated with it.

‘The Mummy in the Nile’, Kmt 13.2 (Summer 2002), 74-79.

Amelia Edwards said that her travelling companions, the ‘MBs’ threw the mummy they had purchased into the Nile. Was it a pharaoh from the royal cache? If not, then who was it?

‘Examining the Mystery of the Niagara Falls Mummy. Was he from the Royal Mummies Cache? And is he Ramesses I?’, Kmt 17.4 (Winter 2006-07), 26-34.

The mummy returned to Egypt as Ramesses I cannot have come from the royal cache and cannot be that pharaoh; but who is he, and why are his arms crossed like a king?               CB

‘Embalming Caches in the Valley of the Kings,’ Kmt 18.2 (Summer 2007), 46-53.

The recently discovered ‘tomb’ in the Valley of the Kings is in fact an embalming cache. The role of these caches is discussed as are the clues they may offer to the location of associated tombs.                                                                                                                                          CB

‘Death in the Nile. The Birth of Egypt’s Last God’, Kmt 19.2 (Summer 2008), 74-82.

The visit to Egypt of the Roman emperor Hadrian was clouded with tragedy when his favourite, Antinous, drowned in the Nile. Hadrian is said to have been devastated by the loss, but the death was widely regarded as suspicious. Antinous died at just the right place and time to become a god.                                                                                                             CB

‘The Fury of Amen. The Cursed Play in the Valley of the Queens’, Kmt 19.3 (Fall 2008), 76-83.

In 1909 a play was to be staged in the Valley of the Queens in which the heretic pharaoh, Akhenaten, would receive the pardon of the gods. However, the participants were beset with a series of disasters and ailments. Was it the curse of the god Amen?                                         CB

‘The King is Dead. How Long Lived the King?’ Kmt 21.2 (Summer 2010), 38-44.

We have some idea of the likely lifespan of the pharaohs from historical records, but when anatomists examined X-rays of their mummies in the 1970s, they found them to have died much younger than expected. What was wrong? Were the ancient records unreliable? Did the pharaohs really all die young?                                                                                         CB

‘The Enigma of Kings Valley Tomb 58’, Kmt 21.3 (Fall 2010), 35-44.

How did Kings Valley tomb 58 come to contain gold foil naming Tutankhamun, and Ay as both a private individual and as king? Who is represented by the beautiful calcite shabti figure found on the tomb floor? This tomb has much to tell us about events in the Post Amarna period.                                                                                                                                            CB

‘The Death of Two kings on the Battlefield. Seqenenre Tao & Richard III’, Kmt 25.2 (Summer 2014), 58-72.

The head wounds on the mummy of Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao are compared to those on the recently discovered skeleton of the medieval English king, Richard III, as evidence supporting his death on the battlefield.

‘Emile Brugsch and the Royal Mummies at Bulaq’ Kmt 26.1 (Spring 2015), 18-25.

An engraving from an art book of 1894 depicts Emile Brugsch photographing coffins and other items clearly identifiable as deriving from the TT320 Royal Cache tomb, discovered 1881.

‘Adoption, Inheritance, and Freedom in 20th Dynasty Egypt’ Kmt 27.2 (Summer 2016), 65-67.

When examined closely the so-called Adoption Papyrus reveals an astonishing view of family life at the end of the New Kingdom, in the reign of Ramesses XI. The document is the will of a man, leaving his goods to his wife, followed by her bequest to her children – or rather his children by a slave girl…which is just the start of the complexities.

‘Why Sinuhe Ran Away: Coups and Conspiracies at the Middle Kingdom Court’ Kmt 27.4 (Winter 2016), 46-59.

The story of Sinuhe is the great classic of Ancient Egyptian literature. When the old king dies, Sinuhe, an Egyptian courtier, flees abroad into the territories of the despised ‘Asiatics’ He makes a successful life there but is joyful when the new Egyptian king tells him to return. What was the situation in Egypt before he fled? Who was Sinuhe? And why did he run away? A lot of clues are to be found in this and other texts.

‘The Changing Face of KV34 [The Tomb of Thutmose III]’, Kmt 28.3 (Fall 2017), 66-73.

The Quest of Julian Day, a 1938 novel by Dennis Wheatley, provides insights into the visitor experience of those traversing the steep slopes which lead to the burial chamber of King Thutmose III in the Valley of the Kings. The situation encountered by Victor Loret at the time of discovery in 1898 is contrasted with the relative ease that a range of modifications have provided for the modern visitor. 

‘Loret’s Last Triumph: KV38, The Tomb of Akheperkare Thutmose I’, Kmt 28.4 (Winter 2017-18), 36-42.

Here Loret’s original notes on the discovery and excavation of this tomb are used to provide a clear account (in English) of the progress of work. Made through compacted flood deposits this not only produced a plan and revealed artefacts that proved ownership, but also showed that – as with the tomb made by Ineni – KV38 had been plastered.

‘Tutankhamen & the Burial of Mrs. King’, Kmt 30.4 (Winter 2019-20), 67-69.

This first appeared on as a wry retort to those egyptophiles determined that (in spite of the negative findings from radar scans) Nefertiti’s mummy would be found buried behind the north wall of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The text here has been adapted by the editor.

‘She for whom the sun shines. Nefertari Meryenmut: Favorite of Ramesses II’s wives’, Kmt 31.1 (Spring 2020), 17pp

This article examines what little we know of the life of Nefertari in relation to Ramesses II and their children; in an attempt to find an explanation for her appearance on so may monuments, especially in comparison with Ramesses’ other Great Royal Wife, Isitnofret.


A number of letters were punlished in Kmt over the years.

ANCIENT EGYPT: The History, People and Culture of the Nile Valley.

This UK publication first appeared mid 2000 and appears bi-monthly. Initially rather light-weight in content, it underwent a transformation under new editorship in mid 2004 and now carries articles of more scholarly import, though lacking footnotes.

‘Perilous descent: The Hall of the Mountain Kings’, Ancient Egypt 4.1/19 (July/August 2003), 30-35.

An account of a descent of the Agatha Christie path and my first entry into the TT320 royal cache tomb in 2003.

‘Look on my words, and despair!’ Ancient Egypt 5.1/25 (August/September 2005), 16-19.

Considering Shelley’s Ozymandias poem, one less well known by Horace Smith, and how the message may be applied to the current destruction of Egyptian monuments by rising groundwater.

‘So you want to know about… The Royal Mummies and the Valley of the Kings’, Ancient Egypt 5.4/28 (February/March 2005), 17-19.

Helps to identify the most useful and available books and web-sites.

‘The Thrice (or more) – Buried Queen’, Ancient Egypt 5.6/30 (June/July 2005), 13-15.

Concerning the mummy of queen Ahmose Nefertari which apparently ‘fell into putrefaction’…and then recovered!

‘The (Royal) Mummy Returns…but is he Ramesses I?’, Ancient Egypt 6.2/32 (Oct/Nov 2005), 42-48.

Showing that the mummy from the Niagara Falls Museum, returned by the Michael C. Carlos Museum to Egypt, cannot have come from the royal cache, and cannot be Ramesses I. CB

‘Strong Man – Wrong Tomb: the problem of Belzoni’s Sarcophagi’, Ancient Egypt 6.6/36 (June/July 2006), 22-30.

Clearing up the confusion over which sarcophagi Belzoni removed when. In particular, the sarcophagus lid ‘given’ to him by Drovetti was not that of Ramesses III, and the base of the Ramesses III sarcophagus was not removed until later, by Athanasi.

‘Hadrian, Pharaoh of Egypt and the Birth of Egypt’s Last God, Antinous’, Ancient Egypt 9.4/52 (Feb/March 2009), 34-40.

The suspicious circumstances under which Antinous, favourite of the emperor Hadrian, drowned in the Nile and became a god.                                                                              CB

‘The Curious Case of Howard Carter and the Lotus Head’, Ancient Egypt 15.5/89 (April/May 2015), 51-55.

Examining some of the discrepancies in the standard account of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, and in particular, the clues given by the suspicious discovery of the ‘Lotus Head’ in the store-tomb KV4.                                                                                                            CB

‘Egypt and Rome – Empires in Parallel?’, Ancient Egypt 16.1/91 (August/September 2015), 20-26.

Showing how the Egyptian and Roman empires, though widely separated in time, followed remarkably similar courses not only politically, but also in terms of military development and religious trends.

‘A Middle Kingdom Expedition To God’s Land & Punt’, Ancient Egypt 17.6; Issue 102, June/July 2017, 12-18.

The extensive graffito left by the high official Henu during the reign of Sankhkare Mentuhotep is examined for the insights it provides into the logistics of expeditions, and the routes they took through the Eastern Desert to launch fleets on the Red Sea, and return with sacred stone for monuments.

“I’m Not Pentewere!” Screams ‘Unknown Man E’, Ancient Egypt 18.6; Issue 108 June/July 2018, 26-30.

In April 2018 the so-called ‘screaming mummy’, ‘Unknown Man E’, was placed on display at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Articles in the press excitedly reported that this mummy was the murderer of Ramesses III. However, the case against Man E is dubious at best, and the evidence rather suggests that he had originally been buried abroad. An edited version of the article posted on including the points re the DNA.                                                CB


I have also contributed letters and reviews to Ancient Egypt magazine.


A short-lived publication produced in English by the Egyptian guide and scholar, Amgad Refai.

‘The Burial of Hatshepsut’, The Heritage of Egypt Issue 1 (Jan. 2008), 3-12.

As many a six tombs are in some way associated with the burial of Hatshepsut. Two were her own – made when she was first queen/regent, and later when king – and others are places where it is thought she may have been transferred at some time following the clearance of her burial place.

‘Pharaoh Faseekh’, The Heritage of Egypt 1.3, Issue 3 (Sept 2008), 12-14.

The idea that royal mummies were passed through customs as ‘dried fish’ has some basis in truth, but story is, if anything, stranger that the one usually told.                                               CB

‘Mystery Amarna Couple Identified?’, The Heritage of Egypt 2.3, Issue 6 (Sept. 2009), 15-17.

Who are the enigmatic Amarna-era royal couple depicted on Berlin stela 15000? The king is young and leans on a crutch, whilst the queen looks somewhat older…

‘The Tomb of Akhenaten and the Golden Ring of Nefertiti’, The Heritage of Egypt 3.1, Issue 7 (Jan. 2010), 11-31.

Who was buried in the royal tomb at Amarna, and was anyone buried in the other tombs nearby? Was the desecrated mummy of Akhenaten found outside the royal tomb? What is the significance of jewellery, including a golden ring of Nefertiti, found nearby?               CB

The Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum

This was the publication of ISIS, an organisation devoted to the reconstruction of ancient chronologies. Owing to my knowledge of the TT320 Royal Cache tomb I was persuaded by David Rohl to write an overview of the discovery of the tomb and update such conclusions as could be drawn from the published data in the light of the recent re-clearance. This was the final issue of JACF as ISIS folded in 2006. My photographs here remain amongst the most useful published to date.

‘The Royal Cache Revisited’, Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum 10 (2005), 9-25.

ACADEMIA On-line Publications:

‘Iconic Queen Hidden By Golden Pharaoh’/’Did Tutankhamun Bury Nefertiti in KV62?.                                                                                                                May 2015

A critical examination of the theory advanced by Nicholas Reeves – that Queen Nefertiti lies buried in chambers hidden behind the West and/or North walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber – finds some awkward facts and inconsistencies.

‘Tutankhamun and the Burial of Mrs King’                                                          Late 2017 A rather wry two-part piece: suggesting firstly a context in which Tutankhamun may indeed have wished to bury King Nefertiti; and secondly giving an account of the discovery as it was made…

‘Adoption, Inheritance, and Freedom’.                                                                  Late 2014

When examined closely the so-called Adoption Papyrus reveals an astonishing view of family life at the end of the New Kingdom, in the reign of Ramesses XI. The document is the will of a man, leaving his goods to his wife, followed by her bequest to her children – or rather his children by a slave girl…which is just the start of the complexities.

‘“I’m Not Pentewere,” Screams Unknown Man E’.                                              April 2018

The mummy of Unknown Man E is now on display in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo; and press releases have provoked the lay press into life with the story that the gruesome appearance of this mummy is due to his eternal punishment for assassinating his father, King Ramesses III. DNA tests are said to prove the relationship. This piece has been posted to draw attention to just how incredible this identification is; and why there is little untoward in the mummy. A second version of the paper adds to the discussion of the DNA evidence.

‘Pharaoh Salt-Meat. Mummy Myths and the Old Kingdom Kings’.                  Oct 2018

One of the most persistent myths associated with the Royal Mummies of Ancient Egypt is that when Emile Brugsch cleared the Royal Cache tomb in 1881 the mummies passed customs as Salted Meat. The error is explicable, however, because in that year the name of Brugsch was associated with a similar incident with a royal mummy of the Old Kingdom.

‘Updates to Debates Regarding the Identification of Mummies as Ancient Egyptian Royalty’: with also Corrections to Scanning the Pharaohs by Hawass & Saleem, 2016.

                                                                                                                        March 2019

This summarises the cases previously discussed in 2018, with additions in the light of later works, particularly, Scanning the Pharaohs. There are a number of errors in this book (including misapplied picture captions) that have the potential to mislead researchers, and so corrections and/or commentary is provided on these to prevent the perpetration of inaccuracies.                                                                                                      

I have also contributed to the journals of  UK local societies, such as: the AMES/AEMES Journal; The SCRIBE (of the Notts/Derbys SSAE); The PADES PAPYRUS (Plymouth); and others.

A number of my letters have been published in the UK magazine Current Archaeology, and others.