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
An Ancient Egyptian Herbal
The ancient Egyptians were skilled in the use of herbs and spices for medicines, cooking, cosmetics, perfumes, and many other purposes. Drawing on texts written by the Egyptians and their neighbors, Lise Manniche has reconstructed a herbal of 94 species of plants and trees used before, during, and after the pharaonic period in Egypt. Each plant, from acacia to zizyphus, is named in Latin and English and (where known) in ancient Egyptian, Coptic, Greek, and modern Arabic. The author explains the special properties of each plant, and quotes authentic recipes for cosmetics and remedies. She also dis-cusses the Egyptians’ uses of herbs and flowers for both decorative and practical purposes, and the importance of plants for funerary and festive occasions. A section on perfume draws on the latest research into the ingredients and uses of Egyptian scents....read more
23 b/w photographs, 96 line drawings
Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Egypte
Supreme Council of Antiquities
Vol. 82Supreme Council of Antiquities
For centuries, Egyptian civilization and its antiquities have inspired passionate interest. Archaeologists, engineers, astronomers, poets, painters, people of different cultures, and travelers have been riveted by Egypt’s ancient monuments. How much do we really know about these awe-inspiring wonders of the ancient world? This publication provides an up-to-date account of archaeology in the land of the pharaohs, including new discoveries and recent studies. This authoritative volume remains the definitive source for the findings of the various archaeological excavations undertaken in Egypt. For more than a hundred years, the Annales du Service has been studied by Egyptologists, students, and laypersons alike. 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. This volume of the Supreme Council of Antiquities’s scholarly journal documents the latest excavations and projects at various sites throughout Egypt, including the Ammoneion project at Siwa Oasis, the Amenmesse project at Luxor, and the conservation of the monuments of Sneferu at Dahshur....read more
15 October 2010
The British Museum Concise Introduction
The British Museum Concise IntroductionT.G.H. James
The British Museum Concise Introduction to Ancient Egypt provides a lively and accessible introduction to ancient Egyptian life and culture set in the specific geography of the land and its river, the Nile, within the historical framework of the dynastic sequence. The nearly independent chapters provide a comprehensive and entertaining survey of ancient Egypt and its rich and well-documented culture. The principal topics incorporate significant older as well as more recent scholarship, spiced with ideas based on the author’s long experience in the study of ancient Egypt, making stimulating and thought-provoking reading. In addition to individual chapter bibliographies there is a general bibliography, an annotated list of important museum collections, a king list with a selected set of illustrated royal cartouches, and a general index. Highlights include: • Lively overviews distilled from the latest discoveries and research • Maps, plans, reconstruction drawings, chronologies, site lists and recommendations for further reading • Hundreds of color and black-and-white illustrations...read more
90 color, 35 b/w 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