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.
The Rise and Fall of the Old Kingdom
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Egypt’s First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris
Egypt’s First Pharaohs and the Cult of OsirisDavid O’Connor
As both the burial place of the first pharaohs and a cult center for the god Osiris, Abydos was of immense importance to the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years and continues to yield spectacular discoveries. However, no full analysis of the site has been written in the last thirty years. Here David O’Connor provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive account of the site’s extraordinary history, as well as telling the story of his own excavations there. O’Connor himself has made some of the most remarkable finds of recent years, including a royal burial consisting of a fleet of fourteen boats, buried far out in the desert. This beautifully illustrated and authoritative book fills a significant gap in the literature on ancient Egypt and will be of interest both to students and to anyone who ever wondered about the origins of one of the greatest civilizations in world history....read more
114 illus. incl. 11 color
African Kingdoms on the Nile
Edited by Marjorie M. Fisher Peter Lacovara Salima Ikram Sue D’Auria Photographs by Chester Higgins Jr. Foreword by Zahi Hawass
African Kingdoms on the NileEdited by Marjorie M. Fisher
Photographs byChester Higgins Jr.
Foreword by Zahi Hawass
2012 American Publishers (PROSE) Awards winner for Best Archaeology & Anthropology Book
For most of the modern world, ancient Nubia seems an unknown and enigmatic land. Only a handful of archaeologists have studied its history or unearthed the Nubian cities, temples, and cemeteries that once dotted the landscape of southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Nubia’s remote setting in the midst of an inhospitable desert, with access by river blocked by impassable rapids, has lent it not only an air of mystery, but also isolated it from exploration. Over the past century, particularly during this last generation, scholars have begun to focus more attention on the fascinating cultures of ancient Nubia, ironically prompted by the construction of large dams that have flooded vast tracts of the ancient land. This book attempts to document some of what has recently been discovered about ancient Nubia, with its remarkable history, architecture, and culture, and thereby to give us a picture of this rich, but unfamiliar, African legacy....read more
6 September 2012
200 color illus.
Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Egypte
Supreme Council of Antiquities
Vol. 84Supreme Council of Antiquities
This authoritative publication remains the definitive source for the findings of the various archaeological excavations undertaken in Egypt. Published under the auspices of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, its contributors include some of the most well-known Egyptologists in the world, covering a broad range of archaeological disciplines and spectrums. Volume 84 includes reports from Egyptian, Spanish, Polish, British, German, Swiss, French, American, Belgian, and Japanese archaeological missions working in Egypt. Included in this volume are reports on a video exploration of the Queen’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid at Giza; an examination of an ostracon with notations about bread in Demotic script; excavations at North Saqqara, Siwa Oasis, Abydos, the Temple of Thutmosis III at Luxor, Elephantine, Syene and Queen Tausert’s temple in Western Thebes; the recording of rock inscriptions in Wadi Nag el-Birka on an important ancient road leading from Thebes; and documentation and fieldwork at a late Roman fort at Nag al-Hagar, near Kom Ombo....read more
15 September 2011
Egypt from Golden Age to Age of Heresy
Egypt from Golden Age to Age of HeresyAidan Dodson
The latter part of the fifteenth century bc saw Egypt’s political power reach its zenith, with an empire that stretched from beyond the Euphrates in the north to much of what is now Sudan in the south. The wealth that flowed into Egypt allowed its kings to commission some of the most stupendous temples of all time, some of the greatest dedicated to Amun-Re, King of the Gods. Yet a century later these temples lay derelict, the god’s images, names, and titles all erased in an orgy of iconoclasm by Akhenaten, the devotee of a single sun-god. This book traces the history of Egypt from the death of the great warrior-king Thutmose III to the high point of Akhenaten’s reign, when the known world brought gifts to his newly-built capital city of Amarna, in particular looking at the way in which the cult of the sun became increasingly important to even ‘orthodox’ kings, culminating in the transformation of Akhenaten’s father, Amenhotep III, into a solar deity in his own right....read more
15 November 2016
122 b/w illus., 6 maps