For more than four thousand years the pyramids of Giza have stood like giant question marks that have intrigued and endlessly fascinated people: who exactly built them, when and why, and how did they create these colossal structures? But the pyramids are not a complete mystery—the stones, the hieroglyphs, the landscape, and even the layers of sand and debris hold stories for us to read. Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass, with over four decades of involvement with Giza, here provide their unique and personal insight into the site, bringing together all the information and evidence, making this a record unparalleled in its detail and scope.
The celebrated Great Pyramid of Khufu is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing, but there is much more to Giza and it is important to see the whole picture. We may think of the pyramids as rising from the desert, isolated and enigmatic, yet they were surrounded by temples, tombs, vast cemeteries, and even teeming towns of the living. All are described in detail here and brought back to life, with hundreds of illustrations including detailed photographs of the monuments, excavations, and objects, as well as plans, reconstructions, and the latest images from remote-controlled cameras and laser scans.
Through the ages, and up to the present day, Giza and the pyramids have inspired the most extraordinary speculations and wild theories, but here, finally, in this prestigious publication, is the full story as told by the evidence on the ground, by the leading authorities on the site.
Self-presentation is the oldest and most common component of ancient Egyptian high culture. It arose in the context of private tomb records, where the character and role of an individual—invariably a well-to-do non-royal elite official or administrator—were presented purposefully: published by inscription and image, to a contemporary audience and to posterity. Living Forever: Self-Presentation in Ancient Egypt looks at how and why non-royal elites in ancient Egypt represented themselves, through language and art, on monuments, tombs, stelae, and statues, and in literary texts, from the Early Dynastic Period to the Thirtieth Dynasty. Bringing together essays by international Egyptologists and archaeologists from a range of backgrounds, the chapters in this volume offer fresh insight into the form, content, and purpose of ancient Egyptian presentations of the self. Applying different approaches and disciplines, they explore how these self-representations, which encapsulated a discourse with gods and men alike, yield rich historical and sociological information, provide examples of ancient rhetorical devices and repertoire, and shed light on notions of the self and collective memory in ancient Egypt.
Jewelry was worn by ancient Egyptians at every level of society and, like their modern descendants, they prized it for its aesthetic value, as a way to adorn and beautify the body. It was also a conspicuous signifier of wealth, status, and power. But jewelry in ancient Egypt served another fundamental purpose: its wearers saw it as a means to absorb positive magical and divine powers—to protect the living, and the dead, from the malignant forces of the unseen. The types of metals or stones used by craftsmen were magically important, as were the colors of the materials, and the exact positioning of all the elements in a design. Ancient Egyptian Jewelry: 50 Masterpieces of Art and Design draws on the exquisite collections in the archaeological museums of Cairo to tell the story of three thousand years of jewelry-making, from simple amulets to complex ritual jewelry to the spells that protected the king in life and assisted his journey to the Otherworld in death. Gold, silver, carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli were just some of the precious materials used in many of the pieces, and this stunningly illustrated book beautifully showcases the colors and exceptional artistry and accomplishment that make ancient Egyptian jewelry so dazzling to this day.
This book explores the long-term trends in the development of what was the first complex civilization in history, the Old Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2650–2200 BC), the period that saw the construction of eternal monuments such as Djoser’s Step Pyramid complex in Saqqara, the pyramids of the great Fourth Dynasty kings in Giza, and spectacular tombs of high officials throughout Egypt. The present study aims to show that the historical trajectory of the period was marked by specific processes that characterize most of the world’s civilizations: the role of the ruling elite, the growth of bureaucracy, the proliferation of interest groups, and adaptation to climate change, to name but a few―and the way that these processes held the germ of ultimate collapse. The case is made that the rise and fall of the Old Kingdom state is of relevance to the study of the anatomy of development of any complex civilization.
Rameses III—often dubbed the “last great pharaoh”—lived and ruled during the first half of the twelfth century bc, a tumultuous time that saw the almost complete overthrow of established order in the eastern Mediterranean, and among Rameses’s achievements was the preservation of Egypt as a nation-state in the face of external assault. However, his reign also saw economic challenges, and increasing dissatisfaction, which culminated in the king’s own assassination.
This richly illustrated book is the latest in a series that aims to provide accounts of key figures in ancient Egyptian history that covers not only their life-stories but also their rediscovery and reception in modern times. Accordingly, it follows the king from his birth to his resurrection through modern research, describing the key events of the reign, his major monuments, and the people and events that led to these becoming once again known to the world.
In 1798, young French general Napoleon Bonaparte entered Egypt with a veteran army and a specialist group of savants—scientists, engineers, and artists—his aim being not just conquest, but the rediscovery of the lost Nile kingdom. A year later, in the ruins of an old fort in the small port of Rosetta, the savants made a startling discovery: a large, flat stone, inscribed in Greek, demotic Egyptian, and ancient hieroglyphics. This was the Rosetta Stone, key to the two-thousand-year mystery of hieroglyphs, and to Egypt itself. Two years later, French forces retreated before the English and Ottoman armies, but would not give up the stone. Caught between the opposing generals at the siege of Alexandria, British special agents went in to find the Rosetta Stone, rescue the French savants, and secure a fragile peace treaty.
Discovery at Rosetta uses French, Egyptian, and English eyewitness accounts to tell the complete story of the discovery, decipherment, and capture of the Rosetta Stone, investigating the rivalries and politics of the time, and the fate of the stone today.
From the dawn of history to the death of Cleopatra, ancient Egypt was home to larger-than-life personalities. Across the lives of one hundred men and women, Toby Wilkinson explores the true character and diversity of human experience in the ancient world’s greatest civilization. Some of those profiled are famous: pharaohs and queens such as Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Ramesses II and Tiye. Others are lesser known but equally engaging: Imhotep, architect of the first pyramid; Perniankhu, the court dwarf; and the royal sculptor Bak. Equally illuminating are the lives of commoners, so rarely given their own voice: ordinary men and women who include a doctor, a dentist, a housewife, a musician—and a serial criminal. Lavishly illustrated with spectacular works of art and scenes of daily life, Lives of the Ancient Egyptians offers unique and remarkable insights into the history and culture of the Nile Valley, treating the reader to very personal glimpses of a vanished world, and a fresh perspective on a bewitching civilization.
This joint publication project of Cairo University and the University of Tübingen scholars uses modern technologies, including electronic drawing boards, photo merging, and 3-D modeling, to catalogue the late anthropoid sarcophagi housed in Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum. Most of this collection was previously known only from the entries in M.-L. Buhl’s The Late Egyptian Anthropoid Stone Sarcophagi (Copenhagen, 1959). This catalogue draws on the efforts of eight team members, each chapter prepared by a joint Egyptian–German team, with the drawings made by the Egyptians and the translations provided by the Germans. The Egyptian Museum photographer Ahmed Amin provided the teams with hundreds of photographs, which were later merged together with the help of Adobe Photoshop. The hieroglyphic texts were composed by JSesh. This, the first catalogue of the Grand Egyptian Museum, was made possible through financial support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In the ancient world the magicians of Egypt were considered the best. But was magic harmless fun, heartfelt hope, or something darker? Whether you needed a love charm, a conversation with your dead wife, or the ability to fly like a bird, an Egyptian magician had just the thing. Christina Riggs explores how the Egyptians thought about magic, who performed it and why, and also helps readers understand why we’ve come to think of ancient Egypt in such a mystical, magical way in the first place.
This book takes Egyptian magic seriously, using ancient texts and images to tackle the blurry distinctions between magic, religion and medicine. Along the way, readers will learn how to cure scorpion bites, why you might want to break the legs off your stuffed hippopotamus toy, and whether mummies really can come back to life. Readers will also (if so inclined) be able to save a fortune on pregnancy tests by simply urinating on barley seeds, and learn how to use the next street parade to predict the future .
A boy and his stuffed bunny gaze at a star-lit New York cityscape. The great Sphinx of Egypt sleeps. A child swings joyously across a river. This book offers a tantalizing glimpse of the adventures of Arthur and his imaginary friend, Bun-Bun. Together they travel through the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum to another time and place and befriend the lonely boy king, Tutankhamun.
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