One of the recurrent daydreams of those fascinated by the past is to be able to unlock the doors of history and gaze at the faces of men and women who lived two thousand years ago, to look into their eyes and catch their expressions, their personalities, their presence. It is just this extraordinary experience that the Fayum portraits provide. These remarkable paintings take their name from the oasis in which they were found, whose people in the first three centuries a.d. included Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Syrians, Libyans, Nubians, and Jews. In the old Egyptian tradition, they and their contemporaries in other parts of the Nile Valley embalmed the bodies of their dead; but they then placed over the mummy a painted portrait, to preserve the memory of each individual. The Fayum portraits are by far the largest body of ancient easel-painting to have survived. Over 1,000 portraits have so far been discovered—men, women, and children, young and old, plain and beautiful, painted in perfect realism or in vivid stylization. A few have become familiar, but most of the portraits have been neglected by art historians and are unknown to the general public. Illustrating almost 200 of the portraits, this book combines arresting beauty with up-to-date scholarship. Selecting the most interesting of the paintings, the author has, for the first time, grouped them according to the places where they were found, allowing us to recreate communities and relationships. Many new photographs were commissioned for this book, which reproduces some portraits in color for the first time, and shows others since cleaning. An explanatory text sets the people and paintings in their social, artistic, and geographical context, describes the painting techniques used, and shows how the Fayum portraits relate to Byzantine icon-painting.
The Mysterious Fayum Portraits
Faces from Ancient Egypt
Foreword byDorothy J. Thompson
150 b/w, 124 color illus.
For sale only in Egypt
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.
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
An IntroductionSalima Ikram
This book provides an introduction to one of the greatest civilizations of all time – ancient Egypt. Beginning with a geographical overview that explains the development of Egypt’s belief systems as well as Egypt’s subsequent political development, it examines methodology, the history of the discipline of Egyptology, religion, social organization, urban and rural life, and death. It also includes a section on how people of all ranks lived. Lavishly illustrated, with many unusual photographs of rarely seen sites that are seldom illustrated, this volume is suitable for use in introductory-level courses on ancient Egypt. It offers a variety of student-friendly features, including a glossary, a bibliography, and a list of sources for those who wish to further their interest in ancient Egypt....read more
102 b/w illus., 48 color illus.
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