Cover image for Handbook to life in ancient Egypt
Title:
Handbook to life in ancient Egypt
Author:
David, A. Rosalie (Ann Rosalie)
Edition:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts On File, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xiv, 417 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780816050345
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
DT83 .D23 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Written by a noted Egyptologist, Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt, Revised Edition explores 5,000 years of this mysterious civilization. Containing the most up-to-date information and organized thematically, combining historical and archaeological information in a highly accessible format, this volume is the only book that explores all aspects of life in ancient Egypt, from predynastic times to the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras. 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.


Author Notes

Rosalie David is professor of Egyptology at the University of Manchester, England, where she is also keeper of Egyptology at The Manchester Museum.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This is an ambitious book--a summary of a civilization that lasted more than 5,000 years. For the most part it succeeds. In 11 chapters, David, a respected Egyptologist, surveys Egypt from predynastic times through the arrival of Islam, although the work concentrates on the period before the establishment of the Greek Ptolomies as the royal line. Arrangement is thematic. The first chapter surveys the history of Egypt, historiography, and the various dynasties. The second chapter covers geography, the Nile and its inundations, and agriculture. The third chapter covers society and government and describes the nature of kingship, local government, and the substantial bureaucracy that kept Egypt running. Religion and funerary beliefs and customs are covered in the fourth and fifth chapters. Egypt had a rich and complex religious life, both public and private, and the chapter on "Religion of the Living" samples it generously. The next chapter explores the changes in the cult of the dead over time and gives a graphic description of the mummification process and the status of those who did the work. The chapter on architecture describes how the pyramids were built, including a description of how the workforce was recruited, organized, and paid. There are also sections on the building of palaces and temples and town planning. The chapter on "Written Evidence" begins with a cursory description of how Egyptian writing was deciphered. The art and technique of writing, writing materials, and the education of the professional scribes are summarized. There is a brief glance at religious and secular literature, but none is quoted. Although Egypt was a peaceable and self-contained place, in time the kingdom grew to an empire. To do that, and to secure building materials and trade in what Egypt did not mine or grow itself, it needed an army and a navy. Chapter 8 describes the Egyptian military and includes a short section on the Medjay, nomads from the Nubian desert who were enrolled in the police force. "Foreign Trade and Transport" and "Economy and Industry" could probably have been one chapter, as they overlap extensively. Transport problems are discussed as are foreign sources of materials, and the various domestic industries including glassmaking, jewelry, and food production. "Everyday Life" looks at the Egyptians outside the royal family, what they ate, who they were, and what they did for amusement. Each chapter cites relevant sources from the bibliography. Many of the citations are to academic journals or books which may not be available in public libraries. Besides the bibliography, the volume concludes with a chronological table, a list of museums with Egyptian collections, and a detailed index, essential given the book's arrangement. Black-and-white photographs, drawings, and maps complement the text. Because of the attempt to survey 5,000 years of history in about 400 pages, chapters and sections tend to be cursory. The chapter on daily life will not be much help to a student with a homework assignment, but in conjunction with something like John Romer's Ancient Lives: Daily Life in Egypt of the Pharaohs (Holt, 1984) it can be useful. Some topics overlap chapters, including descriptions of the Medjay, construction practices, and the donkey. One curious omission is cats, which were first domesticated in Egypt and were pets and rat-catchers throughout Egyptian history. This volume is a companion to Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece [RBB Ag 97] and Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (Facts On File, 1994). Recommended for high-school and public libraries, especially those serving students who get that annual ancient Egypt assignment. Lower-division undergraduates should find it useful as well. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)


School Library Journal Review

YA-From the predynastic times to the Old and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, this concise overview is written in thematic chapters that result in a complete picture of the civilization. Topics include history, geography, society and government, religion, funerary beliefs and customs, architecture and building, hieroglyphs, the army and navy, foreign trade and transport, economy and industry, and everyday life. The book ends with a chronology and a list of museums with Egyptian collections. Not quite as easy to read or as simply organized as a general encyclopedia, the title does provide useful material not found in standard resources for reports and projects.-Linda A. Vretos, West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Praise for the previous edition: Recommended...--Booklist ...belongs on the shelves of the public and school library. The breadth and thoroughness of its coverage will serve the beginning student well, and there is nothing else known to this reviewer quite like it.--American Reference Books Annual Library media centers supporting upper level ancient history curriculum...will want to provide this source for their students.--The Book Report Written by a noted Egyptologist, Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt, Revised Edition explores 5,000 years of this mysterious and fascinating civilization. Containing the most up-to-date information and organized thematically, it combines historical and archaeological information in a highly accessible format. This volume is the only book that explores all aspects of life in ancient Egypt, from predynastic times to the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras. 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. Coverage includes: Egyptology, Archaeology, and Scientific Mummy Studies in Egypt Historical Background Geography of Ancient Egypt Society and Government Religion of the Living Funerary Beliefs and Customs Architecture and Building Written Evidence The Army and Navy Foreign Trade and Transport Economy and Industry Everyday Life. Excerpted from Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt by A. Rosalie David All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Foreword to the Revised Editionp. ix
Introductionp. xi
List of Mapsp. xiii
List of Illustrationsp. xiii
1 Egyptology, Archaeology, and Scientific Mummy Studies in Egyptp. 1
The Development of Egyptologyp. 2
Early Egyptologyp. 8
Excavation in Egyptp. 14
Excavation Developmentsp. 17
New Scientific Studies Using Mummiesp. 32
Some Notable Archaeologistsp. 48
Readingp. 52
2 Historical Backgroundp. 57
Source Materialp. 58
Table of Eventsp. 62
Predynastic Egyptp. 70
The Archaic Periodp. 75
The Old Kingdomp. 77
The First Intermediate Periodp. 81
The Middle Kingdomp. 84
The Second Intermediate Periodp. 86
The New Kingdomp. 89
The Third Intermediate Periodp. 93
The Late Periodp. 95
The Ptolemaic Periodp. 98
The Roman Periodp. 100
Prominent Kings and Queensp. 103
Other Prominent Peoplep. 108
Readingp. 109
3 Geography of Ancient Egyptp. 111
Land and Climate: Impact on Civilizationp. 112
Source Materialp. 115
Inundation of the Nilep. 115
Agriculturep. 117
Natural Resourcesp. 122
Neighboring Landsp. 124
A Gazetteer of Place-Namesp. 129
Readingp. 132
4 Society and Governmentp. 135
The Keys to Stabilityp. 136
Divine Kingshipp. 137
Social Structurep. 140
Government and Bureaucracyp. 142
Readingp. 147
5 Religion of the Livingp. 149
State Religionp. 150
The Gods and Goddessesp. 151
Temples and Temple Artp. 154
Priestsp. 158
Religious Ritualsp. 160
Religious Artifactsp. 162
Creation Mythsp. 164
Household Gods and Domestic Worshipp. 166
Magicp. 169
Personal Piety, Ethics, and Moralsp. 172
Monotheism and the Cult of the Atenp. 173
Links with Other Religionsp. 175
Religion under the Greeks and Romansp. 179
Christianity in Egyptp. 181
Readingp. 183
6 Funerary Beliefs and Customsp. 185
Importance of the Tombp. 186
Concepts of the Afterlifep. 187
The Sun Cult and the Pyramidsp. 190
Tombs and Tomb Artp. 191
Tomb Goodsp. 194
Osiris and Gods of the Deadp. 203
Mummificationp. 206
Readingp. 207
7 Architecture and Buildingp. 209
Architectural Developmentsp. 210
Architects and Artisansp. 211
The Royal Workforcep. 212
Building Materials and Techniquesp. 214
Tombs and Pyramidsp. 217
Templesp. 220
Townsp. 224
Palacesp. 227
Housesp. 228
Decoration: Religious and Secularp. 230
Readingp. 232
8 Written Evidencep. 235
Contributions to Egyptologyp. 236
Egyptian Language and Writingp. 237
Decipherment of Hieroglyphsp. 241
The Art of Writingp. 243
Writing Materialsp. 244
Librariesp. 247
Scribesp. 248
Educationp. 250
Ancient Egyptian Literature: Religiousp. 253
Ancient Egyptian Literature: Secularp. 256
Classical and Later Authorsp. 258
The Exact Sciencesp. 260
The Royal Titularyp. 262
Readingp. 263
9 The Army and Navyp. 267
The Military: Historical Backgroundp. 268
Early Expeditionsp. 269
The Professional Armyp. 271
Military Personalitiesp. 273
The Police Forcep. 274
Frontiersp. 275
Defensive and Military Architecturep. 277
Battle Strategy and Tacticsp. 278
Weapons and Equipmentp. 281
Campaignsp. 283
The Navyp. 289
Readingp. 296
10 Foreign Trade and Transportp. 299
Foreign Contacts: Historical and Literary Evidencep. 300
Land Transportp. 302
Water Transportp. 306
Mapsp. 308
Trade of Goodsp. 308
Trading Expeditionsp. 311
Trade in the Greco-Roman Periodp. 313
Readingp. 315
11 Economy and Industryp. 317
The Economic Systemp. 318
Industryp. 322
Readingp. 355
12 Everyday Lifep. 357
Habitation and Populationp. 358
The Familyp. 359
The Homep. 361
Food and Drinkp. 364
Personal Appearancep. 366
Entertainmentp. 369
Medicinep. 373
Readingp. 377
Chronological Tablep. 379
List of Museums with Egyptian Collectionsp. 381
Bibliographyp. 385
Indexp. 397