Published to accompany a live-action TV series due for screening in Autumn 2003, this book vividly brings to life the stories of five people who lived in Egypt over 2000 years ago, as recorded on original papyrus documents or etched in stone.The individuals whose lives are so vividly recounted include the royal sculptor Thutmose, who even today is remembered as creator of one of the best known pieces of ancient Egyptian art - the plaster bust of Nefertiti, the heretic pharaoh Akhenaton's beautiful queen.
Then there is Inamun, the temple official who set out on an heroic adventure down the Nile in search of materials to build a sacred barge to the god Amun.
His life is graphically described in the autobiography inscribed on his tomb which outlines his thrilling voyage and the trading links and lands through which he travelled.The tale of the young weaver Nakhte tells of a short and tragic life.
By the time he died aged 15, Nakhte had suffered both hunger and hard labour.
He even had traces of a red powder deep in his lungs - granite - a sure sign of a cruel punishment meted out to him for some minor misdemeanor.
Yet there were those that loved him, for his remains show that he had been carefully washed, his face shaved and his nails trimmed before being placed in his final resting place, a wooden coffin that would have cost more than a month's wages.Other tales include those of Weni the pyramid builder, who ended up buried in the very pyramid he helped to build, and Pharaoh Nectanebo II, last of the Egyptian pharaohs, who sought to protect his realm through magical ritual.