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Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt

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The Nile Valley civilization, which spanned a period from c. 5000 B.C. to the early centuries A.D., was one of the earliest created by humankind. This handy reference provides a comprehensive overview of more than five millennia of Egyptian history and archeology, from predynastic times to the Old and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Accessible, authoritative, and clearly organized, the Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt offers an engaging look at a culture whose art and architecture, religion, and...

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Overview

The Nile Valley civilization, which spanned a period from c. 5000 B.C. to the early centuries A.D., was one of the earliest created by humankind. This handy reference provides a comprehensive overview of more than five millennia of Egyptian history and archeology, from predynastic times to the Old and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Accessible, authoritative, and clearly organized, the Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt offers an engaging look at a culture whose art and architecture, religion, and medicine would come to form the basis of Western Civilization.

The thematically arranged chapters allow readers easy access to particular topics, including historical background, geography, government, religion, funerary customs, architecture, literature, the military, the economy, and everyday life. Drawing on written sources dating from c. 3100 B.C. and historical evidence including monuments, artifacts, inscriptions, and preserved human remains, Rosalie David covers everything from the Sun Cult and the pyramids to the arrival and spread of Christianity. The Handbook contains 112 maps, photographs, and original line drawings, a chronological table, an appendix listing museums with Egyptian collections, and extensive bibliographies included with each chapter.

Combining both archeological and historical sources, the Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt provides all the essential information required by anyone interested in Egyptian history, archaeology, religions, or culture.

In this new edition, the author discusses the latest findings in areas that are currently at the forefront of Egyptological research. A new chapter on Egyptology describes the history of the field, the results of the latest excavations, and the techniques involved in new scientific studies, such as DNA analysis and the tracing of disease patterns. This newly revised edition takes into account the discoveries of the last few years that have led Egyptologists to change their perspective on some aspects of life in ancient Egypt, including a reevaluation of the purpose and functions of the Egyptian temples, the role of the Great Royal Wife, and the possible date and nature of the Biblical Exodus.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
The author is Keeper of Egyptology at the Manchester Museum and Reader in Egyptology at the University of Manchester. The book is meant to be a handy reference work on all aspects of ancient Egypt, organized in 11 chapters: 1. Historical Background; 2. Geography of Ancient Egypt; 3. Society and Government; 4. Religion of the Living; 5. Funerary Beliefs and Customs; 6. Architecture and Building; 7. Written Evidence; 8. The Army and Navy; 9. Foreign Trade and Transport; 10. Economy and Industry; and 11. Everyday Life. Each chapter is organized into numerous subtopics, e.g., Chapter 8 has the following: The Military: Historical Background; Early Expeditions, The Professional Army; Military Personalities; The Police Force; Frontiers; Defensive and Military Architecture; Battle Strategy and Tactics; Weapons and Equipment; Campaigns; The Navy; and Reading. This last subtopic concludes each chapter, and consists of a brief bibliography. Each subtopic consists of a brief, authoritative essay. The book also contains a chronological table, and a list of museums with Egyptian collections, as well as various maps and illustrations. The value of this handbook for any student researching ancient Egypt is apparent at a glance. For one thing, there are many subtopics that one often finds little about, e.g., the "Anatomy of a Work Gang," on pp. 167-168, where we learn what kinds of people (the different categories of workmen, who supervised them, the royal scribes who kept track of their work, and so forth) could be found on a typical work gang. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Oxford Univ. Press, 382p, illus, maps,bibliogs, index, 24m, 99-10264, $17.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: John Rosser; Professor, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816033126
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Series: Handbook to Life Series
  • Pages: 382
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.66 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosalie David is Keeper of Egyptology at the Manchester Museum and Reader in Egyptology at the University of Manchester. She is the author of twenty books on Egypt-related subjects, including Discovering Ancient Egypt.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword to the Revised Edition
Introduction
List of Maps
List of Illustrations
1 Egyptology, Archaeology, and Scientific Mummy Studies in Egypt 1
2 Historical Background 57
3 Geography of Ancient Egypt 111
4 Society and Government 135
5 Religion of the Living 149
6 Funerary Beliefs and Customs 185
7 Architecture and Building 209
8 Written Evidence 235
9 The Army and Navy 267
10 Foreign Trade and Transport 299
11 Economy and Industry 317
12 Everyday Life 357
Chronological Table 379
List of Museums with Egyptian Collections 381
Bibliography 385
Index 397
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