The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egypt—so familiar and yet so distant. In this new compendium in the popular Seventy series, an international team of Egyptologists and archaeologists probes the most compelling mysteries in the light of recent research and discoveries.First, there are the puzzles that set the ancient Egyptians apart from other cultures. Where did these people come from originally, and why did they believe their king was a god? Why did they mummify their loved ones in death—and then write letters to them? Some mysteries ...
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Overview

Ancient Egypt—so familiar and yet so distant. In this new compendium in the popular Seventy series, an international team of Egyptologists and archaeologists probes the most compelling mysteries in the light of recent research and discoveries.First, there are the puzzles that set the ancient Egyptians apart from other cultures. Where did these people come from originally, and why did they believe their king was a god? Why did they mummify their loved ones in death—and then write letters to them? Some mysteries revolve around Egypt's relations with other peoples such as the lost African kingdoms of Yam and Punt, the Israelites and their exodus to the Promised Land, or the Sea People warriors of the ancient Mediterranean. Even today, Egyptologists continue to unearth new mysteries: evidence that Tutankhamun was murdered, unexplained shafts inside the Great Pyramid that seem to align with the stars, and a massive mausoleum built for the sons of Rameses II. All the famous people and places of ancient Egypt are discussed—Rameses the Great, Cleopatra, Akhenaten, the Great Pyramid, the Valley of the Kings—as well as fascinating but shadowy figures such as Senenmut, Smendes, and Khababash. Hundreds of evocative photographs and specially commissioned diagrams, maps, plans, and reconstructions complement the intriguing texts. 420 illustrations, 354 in color.

Author Biography: Bill Manley has been a lecturer in Egyptology at the universities of London and of Liverpool. His publications include two best-selling books, The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt and, with Mark Collier, How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500051238
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 11/24/2003
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors 8
King-list and chronology 10
Ancient mysteries 12
Map 17
The Earliest Egyptians
1 Where did the Egyptians come from? 21
2 Did the Egyptians invent writing? 24
3 Who were the first kings of Egypt? 28
4 King Menes: myth or reality? 33
5 Human sacrifice in the royal tombs 35
6 The royal boat burials at Abydos 38
Pyramids & Tombs
7 Origins of the pyramids 45
8 What is a pyramid for? 50
9 Were the pyramids built by slaves? 54
10 The multiple pyramids of Snofru 57
11 The Great Pyramid 61
12 Riddles of the Great Sphinx 67
13 Are the pyramids aligned with the stars? 71
14 The anonymous Qurneh burial 74
15 Abydos: the last royal pyramid? 77
16 The lost tomb of Amenhotep I 80
17 Where is the body of Akhenaten? 84
18 The mausoleum of the sons of Ramesses II 88
19 Who robbed the Valley of the Kings? 92
20 The missing tombs of Tanis 95
21 Are there more royal tombs in Egypt? 98
Pharaohs & Queens
22 Did the pharaohs marry their sisters? 105
23 The assassination of kings 108
24 The first woman to rule Egypt 111
25 Senenmut: a partner for Hatshepsut? 114
26 What became of Hatshepsut? 118
27 The enigma of Akhenaten 122
28 Why did Nefertiti disappear? 127
29 The Tutankhamun conspiracy 132
30 The 'Elder Lady' 137
31 Smendes: the alternative king? 140
32 The Nubian 'Dark Age' 142
33 Khababash, the guerrilla king 146
34 The fatal attraction of Cleopatra 148
People & Places
35 Where was the kingdom of Yam? 155
36 Sinuhe: literary hero or real-life deserter? 158
37 Who were the Hyksos? 162
38 The Minoan paintings of Avaris 166
39 Was Alashiya Cyprus? 170
40 Punt and God's Land 173
41 The 'Sea Peoples': raiders or refugees? 176
42 The Report of Wenamun: fact or fable? 181
Ancient Wisdom & Belief
43 The mysterious gods of Egypt 187
44 Was the king really a god? 192
45 Mummification and the passion of Osiris 196
46 Why write letters to the dead? 201
47 The power of magic 204
48 Why use hieroglyphic writing? 208
49 The origins of Egyptian literature 211
50 Hidden symbols of sex in Egyptian art 214
Historical Mysteries
51 What did the Egyptians know of their history? 221
52 The end of the great pyramid age 224
53 The First Intermediate Period - a dark age? 228
54 The end of the second pyramid age 232
55 Did the Egyptians go to sea? 236
56 Did Egypt rule Palestine? 239
57 Who won the Battle of Qadesh? 243
58 What became of Egypt's Golden Empire? 247
59 The missing Apis bull burials 251
60 Did Necho send a fleet around Africa? 254
61 How did the Egyptians work granite? 256
62 Did the Egyptians invent glass? 259
63 Why was there no Egyptian Iron Age? 262
64 What did Herodotus see in Egypt? 264
Egypt & the Bible
65 Joseph: an Egyptian vizier? 271
66 Was Moses at the court of Akhenaten? 274
67 The Israelite Exodus: myth or reality? 277
68 Was Labayu King Saul? 282
69 Who was Solomon's father-in-law? 286
70 Who was 'King Shishak of Egypt'? 289
Further reading 293
Sources of illustrations 298
Index 299
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