Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers

Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers

by Thomas Schneider
     
 

How well do we really know ancient Egypt? The world of the Egyptians seems strangely familiar to us: exhibitions of ancient art and archaeological discoveries in the desert sands continue to generate interest and amazement, while Egyptian motifs appear in architecture, literature, artworks, advertising, and film. Yet, this modern reception can sometimes

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Overview

How well do we really know ancient Egypt? The world of the Egyptians seems strangely familiar to us: exhibitions of ancient art and archaeological discoveries in the desert sands continue to generate interest and amazement, while Egyptian motifs appear in architecture, literature, artworks, advertising, and film. Yet, this modern reception can sometimes preserve the myths and inaccuracies about ancient Egypt that derive from classical antiquity and the Renaissance. It is only in the past two hundred years that we have been able to read for ourselves ancient Egyptian texts and to reveal the true nature of its civilization through excavation. This modern discovery of ancient Egypt is now astonishing us with a culture of incomparable richness and remarkable diversity.

In this book, the internationally acclaimed Egyptologist Thomas Schneider asks, "What are the 101 most important questions about ancient Egypt?" The questions he has chosen—and the answers he provides—challenge almost everything we thought we knew about the ancient civilization in the Nile valley. They range from the surprising ("Why did upper-class Egyptians never wear a beard?") to the profound (“Was ancient Egypt a culture of death?”) and the provocative (“What do we not know about ancient Egypt?”). Schneider's answers will surprise, inspire, and challenge a wide range of readers. Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers provides a completely fresh way of looking at all aspects of ancient Egypt—from history, art, and everyday life to religion and ancient attitudes to death and the afterlife.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ancient Egypt, with its pharaohs, pyramids, and mummies, never ceases to fascinate. Employing a question-and-answer format, this handy volume provides a wealth of information about ancient Egyptian history, society, religion, and more. For example, did ancient Egyptian women have equal rights? How was the Great Pyramid built? The answers, ranging in length from one to three pages, are engagingly and accessibly written and invite further research. . . . It is highly recommended for the circulating shelves of most academic and public libraries."—Booklist (18 September 2013)

"Schneider provides an illuminating introduction to Egyptology for the nonspecialist."—Library Journal (1 September 2013)

Library Journal
09/01/2013
Here translated from the original German edition by American Egyptologist Lorton, this volume by Schneider (Egyptology & Near Eastern studies, Univ. of British Columbia) explores the civilization of ancient Egypt for the general reader in a question-and-answer format. The questions are divided among eight categories: "Ancient Egypt and the Modern World," "The Egyptian World and the Egyptian World View," "Egyptian History," "Egyptian Religion," "Egyptian Art, Archaeology, and Architecture," "Egyptian Language and Literature," "Egyptian Society," and "Egyptologists." Among the more unusual and intriguing questions are "What role did Egyptology play in the Third Reich?" "Are Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep the first attested gay couple?" and "Could Queens Hetepheres, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra have had a chat?" In keeping with the theme, the author includes 101 bibliographical citations. The information is fully current and authoritative, but the book lacks an index which would give enhanced access. VERDICT Even without an index, Schneider's title provides an illuminating introduction to Egyptology for the nonspecialist, for whom it is appropriate and recommended. For those looking for a comprehensive popular overview in conventional format (i.e., not a Q&A), Charlotte Booth's The Ancient Egyptians for Dummies is a good option.—Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801452543
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,025,690
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Schneider is Professor of Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Egyptian History and Near Eastern Archaeology.

David Lorton, an Egyptologist, is the translator of many books, including Erik Hornung's books The Secret Lore of Egypt and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, both from Cornell.

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