The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt

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The temples of ancient Egypt include the largest and perhaps most splendidreligious monuments the world has ever known. This book traces their development from earliest times through their period of glory and ultimate decline to their rediscovery and study in modern times. All of Egypt's surviving temples--from the gargantuan temple of Amun at Karnak to minuscule shrines such as the oasis Oracle of Siwa, where Alexander went to hear himself proclaimed god--are discussed and illustrated with factfiles, photographs, plans, and specially commissioned perspective views.

* "Houses of Eternity" considers the historical origin and development of Egyptian temples, describing their role in ancient Egyptian society, their later Christian and Muslim use, and their modern rediscovery.

* "Buildings Fit for Gods" looks at how the temples were built, decorated, expanded--and sometimes destroyed.

* "Worlds Within Worlds" examines each part of the sacred structures in detail--from the massive pylon towers, colossal statues, and obelisks that fronted many temples to the darkened sanctuaries and mysterious crypts of their inner depths.

* "Between Heaven and Earth" discusses the temple's relationship to the pantheon of Egypt's gods, along with the roles and rituals of pharaohs and priests, and the sacred rites and festivals enacted there.

* "Temples of Gods and Kings" is the most extensive catalogue of Egyptian temples yet published in one volume and serves as a guide to the ancient sites.

The book's format follows the highly successful, visual style of the other volumes in Thames & Hudson's best-selling "Complete" series, creating both anauthoritative reference book and an entertaining guide for everyone fascinated by the eternal mysteries of ancient Egypt.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Following the format of other "Complete" books in Thames & Hudson's informal series, Wilkinson, director of the University of Arizona's Egyptian Expedition and coauthor of The Complete Valley of the Kings, pulls together a huge amount of data to give a clear and concise look at the development, rise, decline, and excavation of Egyptian temples. His coverage ranges from the earliest predynastic sites to Roman, Christian, and Islamic adaptations of the temples. When theories are in dispute (as they often are), Wilkinson says so and then explains his preference. The illustrations, elevations, plans, and reconstructions make even the most complicated temple plans clear. An indispensable work for a student of Egyptian life or architecture, this unique and excellent resource is essential for large high school and all public, academic, and specialized libraries.--Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Internet Book Watch
The Complete Temples Of Egypt is a superbly presented introduction to the architecture and religious rites of Egyptian temples from the early pharaonic times down to the Roman period. Richard Wilkinson does a truly masterful job in this fully illustrated survey of Egyptian temples which includes the monuments at Karnak, Luxor, Abydos, Edfu, Philae, and the temples along the Nile river. Careful attention is paid to temple construction and decoration, the function and meaning of each part of the temple, the roles of pharaohs and priests, as well as temple feasts and festivals. A very highly recommended addition to any personal, professional, academic, or public library Egyptology collection, The Complete Temples Of Egypt has a highly accessible text which is profusely enhanced with maps, plans, tables, and even includes a guide for visiting the major sites.
—Internet Book Watch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500051009
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,499,192
  • Product dimensions: 7.97 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Temple, Land and Cosmos 6
Map 10
Chronology of the Temple Builders 12
I Houses of Eternity: Development, Glory and Decline
Temple Origins 16
Old and Middle Kingdom Development 20
New Kingdom Temples 24
A Glorious Decline 26
Early Travellers and Modern Rediscovery 30
II Buildings Fit for Gods: Construction, Growth and Change
Selecting the Sacred Space 36
Rituals of Foundation 38
Building the 'God's House' 40
Decorating the Temple 44
Growth, Enhancement and Change 48
III Worlds Within Worlds: The Parts of the Temple and their Meaning
The Temple Entrance 54
The Outer Courts 62
The Inner Halls and Sanctuaries 65
Other Temple Structures 72
Temple Symbolism 76
IV Between Heaven and Earth The Religious Functions of the Temple:
The Egyptian Gods and their Gults 82
The Role of the King 86
Priests and Temple Personnel 90
Temple Feasts and Festivals 95
V Temples of Gods and Kings: A Journey up the Nile
From the Mediterranean to Memphis 102
From Memphis to Asyut 114
From Asyut to Thebes 142
Karnak and Luxor 154
Western Thebes 172
From Thebes to Aswan 200
From Aswan to Gebel Barkal 216
Oases and Outposts 234
Epilogue: Exploration and Conservation Today 240
Visiting the Temples 244
Further Reading 246
Illustration Credits 251
Acknowledgments 251
Index 252
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