Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology

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This is a study of the procurement and processing of raw materials employed by the ancient Egyptians over the five millennia of the Predynastic and Pharaonic periods (c. 5500-332 B.C.). During this time, not only were there variations in the preferred materials for particular types of artefacts, but also gradual processes of technological change. Among the topics covered are stone quarrying, the building of temples and pyramids, techniques for preserving meat, fish, and poultry, the production of glass and faience, the baking of bread, the brewing of beers, the preparation of oils and perfumes, and the mummification of humans and animals. Each chapter has been written by one or more specialists, drawing not only on conventional Egyptological skills but also on expertise in the natural sciences as applied to archaeological data.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is a much needed, well-illustrated, and engrossing update on the status of research on materials and technology, and with the added attraction of multidisciplinary colaboraton on key topics." International Journal of African Historical Studies

"...a splendid companion." Ancient History Bulletin

"The editors have enlisted the specialist knowledge of thirty-four scholars and the resulting volume is very impressive...drawings and pictures illustrate most chapters, good use being made of the rich visual documentation found in scenes of daily life in Egyptian tombs." Times Literary Supplement

"...Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology is very likely to be the standard reference tool on these subjects for the next several decades. It will be difficult to create a volume as comprehensive, clearly written, well documented and highly illustrated as Professors Nicholson and Shaw have prepared." Charles Kolb, The Reviewer

"This monumental encyclopedic volume sets new standards of excellence....An essential resource for reference collections and material culture specialists." Choice

"[a] new, long awaited book...Nicholson and Shaw have produced a very useful reference tool for those involved in research in the field of Egyptian materials and presents a very useful summary of known facts and many of the scientific techniques that can be is readable and covers a wide enough area to be a useful reference." SAS Bulletin

"...this volume offers a new standard reference for scholars, students, and museum professionals alike." Religious Studies Review

"A much-needed, well illustrated, and engrossing update on the status of research on materials and technology, and with the added attraction of multidisciplinary collaboration on key approaches."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521120982
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 728
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I Inorganic materials
2 Stone 5
3 Soil (including mud-brick architecture) 78
4 Painting materials 104
5 Pottery 121
6 Metals 148
7 Egyptian faience 177
8 Paul T. Nicholson 195
Pt. II Organic materials
9 Papyrus 227
10 Basketry 254
11 Textiles 268
12 Leatherwork and skin products 299
13 Ivory and related materials 320
14 Ostrich eggshells 332
15 Wood 334
16 Mummification 372
17 Oil, fat and wax 390
18 Resins, amber and bitumen 430
19 Adhesives and binders 475
20 Hair 495
Pt. III Food technology
21 Cereal production and processing 505
22 Brewing and baking 537
23 Viticulture and wine production 577
24 Fruits, vegetables, pulses and condiments 609
25 Meat processing 656
Index 673
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