The Egyptian World

The Egyptian World

The Egyptian World

The Egyptian World

Synopsis

Authoritative and up-to-date, this key single-volume work is a thematic exploration of ancient Egyptian civilization and culture as it was expressed down the centuries.

Including topics rarely covered elsewhere as well as new perspectives, this work comprises thirty-two original chapters written by international experts. Each chapter gives an overview of its topic, and also covers the latest research in the area. Chapters are divided thematically into seven sections, to enable a broader understanding of all the complexities of ancient Egyptian society without the constriction of chronological divisions, and illustrated with previously unpublished photographs and drawings.

Providing fresh perspectives on this ancient culture, a digest of current research trends in Egyptology as well as a unique examination of the Egyptian world, this fascinating title enables students to gain a clear understanding of ancient Egyptian society.

Excerpt

This volume is intended to fill a gap in the extensive literature on ancient Egypt, by presenting an authoritative, up-to-date, single-volume work on pharaonic civilization, organized along thematic lines. By eschewing the usual chronological approach, the book has been able to concentrate instead on exploring each individual topic from a variety of angles. In this way, it is hoped that readers will gain a broader understanding of ancient Egyptian society in all its complexity, liberated from the rather artificial chronological divisions that we impose on pharaonic history.

The book comprises 32 original contributions written by leading specialists from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Germany and Egypt. Each chapter aims to give a broad overview of the subject under discussion, while also reflecting its author’s particular research interests. The volume as a whole, therefore, presents a digest of current research trends in Egyptology as well as a unique examination of the Egyptian world. Throughout, the contributors have drawn on the latest fieldwork and analysis to provide fresh perspectives on an ancient culture. The chapters are arranged in seven thematic sections.

Part I, Environments, looks at the physical parameters within which ancient Egyptian civilization developed and operated. Egypt is often taken to be synonymous with the Nile Valley, and this most important geographical feature is, indeed, the subject of the opening chapter. However, the ancient Egyptians had to come to terms with, and learn to exploit, a range of distinctive environments. Each of these is examined in turn, from the broad, green expanses of the delta – with all the constraints its environment imposed on settlement and communication – to the harsher, arid conditions of the eastern and western deserts. New archaeological work is transforming our understanding of both regions, and the chapters take full account of recent discoveries. The oases of the Western Desert have, likewise, emerged from relative obscurity to a much more central place in our picture of the ancient Egyptian world. Finally, in this part, a chapter explores the urban environment; towns and cities formed the backdrop for the lives of large numbers of Egyptians, but this facet of their experience is often neglected because of its relative invisibility in the artistic record of temples and tombs.

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