Egyptomania Goes to the Movies: From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy

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"Egyptomania," the West's obsession with the strange and magnificent world of Ancient Egypt, has for centuries been reflected in architecture, literature and the performing arts. But the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, by a sensation-hungry world newly united by mass media, created a wave of fascination unlike anything before. They called it "Tutmania" and its influence was felt everywhere from fashion to home decor to popular music–and notably in the new medium of film. This study traces the origins of 20th century cinema's obsession with Ancient Egypt through previous eras and relates its recurring themes and ideas to the historical reality of the land of the Pharaohs.