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 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.
Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Egypte
Supreme Council of Antiquities
Vol. 83Supreme 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....read more
15 September 2010
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
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