A stunning photographic compilation of Egypt’s abandoned palaces and grand buildings
Between 1860 and 1940, Cairo and other large cities in Egypt witnessed a major construction boom that gave birth to extraordinary palaces and lavish buildings. These incorporated a mix of architectural styles, such as Beaux-Arts and Art Deco, with local design influences and materials. Today, many lie empty and neglected, rapidly succumbing to time, a real-estate frenzy, and an ongoing population crisis.
In 2006 Russian-born photographer Xenia Nikolskaya began the process of documenting these structures. She gained exceptional access to them, taking photographs at some thirty locations, including Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Minya, Esna, and Port Said. These photographs were documented in the first edition of Dust: Egypt’s Forgotten Architecture, which soon after its release in 2012 became a rare collector’s item.
This revised and expanded edition includes photographs from the first edition together with extra unseen images and new photographs taken by Nikolskaya between 2013 and 2021. It also includes previously unpublished essays by Heba Farid, co-owner of the Cairo-based photo gallery Tintera, and architect and urban planner Omar Nagati, co-founder of CLUSTER, an urban design and research platform also in Cairo.
Dust: Egypt’s Forgotten Architecture leads us seductively into some of the most breathtaking architectural spaces of Egypt’s recent past, filled with a sense of both the immense weight and impermanence of history.
From the invention of the camera, photographers, like painters, have sought to portray other people, and early studio photographs, with their highly stylized props, poses, and costumes, offer a beguiling window onto the prevailing fashions, tastes, and attitudes of their time. The portraits in this book, Egyptian studio photos from the mid-nineteenth century to the Second World War, tell such a story, their popularity and art then driven by the burgeoning presence of photo studios across the country. In their rich variety, they offer vivid evidence of the democratization of the image as access to the technology spread from members of Egypt’s royalty to an ever-wider circle of subjects. But, more than that, they freeze time, by capturing human subjects that are no longer there. These portraits, and the studios that created them, evoke haunting fragments of a vanished past and invite us to endless speculation and contemplation. In the age of the selfie, their power to speak to us from the mists of time cannot be overstated. Includes over 200 stunning images, from the work of 81 photographic studios.
This gritty tale of two men’s ill-conceived quest for a better life via the deserts of the Middle East and the cities of Europe is pure storytelling
Two Bedouin men from Egypt’s Western Desert seek to escape poverty through different routes. One—the intellectual, terminally self-doubting, and avowedly autobiographical Hamdi—gets no further than southern Libya’s fly-blown oasis of Sabha, while his cousin—the dashing, irrepressible Phantom Raider—makes it to the fleshpots of Milan.
The backdrop of this darkly comic and unsentimental story of illegal immigration is a brutal Europe and Muammar Gaddafi’s rickety, rhetoric-propped Great State of the Masses, where “the Leader” fantasizes of welding Libyan and Egyptian Bedouin into a new self-serving political force, the Saad-Shin.
Compelling and visceral, with a seductive, muscular irony, The Men Who Swallowed the Sun is an unforgettable novel of two men and their fellow migrants and the extreme marginalization that drives them.
A fascinating, richly illustrated study of the role and significance of ancient statues in Egyptian history and belief
Why do ancient Egyptian statues so often have their noses, hands, or genitals broken? Although the Late Antiquity period appears to have been one of the major moments of large-scale vandalism against pagan monuments, various contexts bear witness to several phases of reuse, modification, or mutilation of statues throughout and after the pharaonic period. Reasons for this range from a desire to erase the memory of specific rulers or individuals for ideological reasons to personal vengeance, war, tomb plundering, and the avoidance of a curse; or simply the reuse of material for construction or the need to ritually “deactivate” and bury old statues, without the added motive of explicit hostility toward the subject in question.
Drawing on the latest scholarship and over 100 carefully selected illustrations, Ancient Egyptian Statues proceeds from a general discussion of the production and meaning of sculptures, and the mechanisms of their destruction, to review the role of ancient statuary in Egyptian history and belief. It then moves on to explore the various means of damage and their significance, and the role of restoration and reuse.
Art historian Simon Connor offers an innovative and lucidly written reflection on beliefs and practices relating to statuary, and images more broadly, in ancient Egypt, showing how statues were regarded as the active manifestations of the entities they represented, and the ways in which they could endure many lives before being finally buried or forgotten.
A comprehensive study of the iron objects found in Tutankhamun’s tomb that include daggers, quivers, arrows, and an elaborately decorated bow case
A century after Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon’s sensational discovery in 1922 of the virtually intact tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, the boy-king and his treasures continue to fascinate people all over the world. Although nearly 5,400 objects accompanied the young pharaoh on his journey to the afterlife, many of them have not been investigated in detail.
Iron from Tutankhamun’s Tomb analyzes iron artifacts from the tomb in depth for the first time. This group consists of small iron chisels set into wooden handles, an Eye of Horus amulet, a miniature headrest, and the blade of a richly decorated golden dagger. The most important of these were placed in close proximity to the king’s mummy, emphasizing the high value attributed to this rare material in late Bronze Age Egypt―a time when iron smelting was not yet known in the land of the Nile.
Written by a research team of archaeologists, scientists, and conservators, this comprehensive study explores in fascinating detail the context and meaning of these artifacts, while establishing for the first time that Tutankhamun’s iron came from meteorites. They complete their examination with the results of chemical analyses, offering in the process a rich overall understanding of iron and its significance in ancient Egypt.
International Booker Prize finalist and “one of the Arab world’s most innovative novelists” (Roger Allen) delivers a brilliant retelling of the Muslim wars of conquest in North Africa
The year is 693 and a tense exchange, mediated by an interpreter, takes place between Berber warrior queen al-Kahina and an emissary from the Umayyad General Hassan ibn Nu’man. Her predecessor had been captured and killed by the Umayyad forces some years earlier, but she will go on to defeat them.
The Night Will Have Its Say is a retelling of the Muslim wars of conquest in North Africa during the seventh century CE, narrated from the perspective of the conquered peoples. Written in Ibrahim al-Koni’s unique and enchanting voice, his lyrical and deeply poetic prose speaks to themes that are intensely timely. Through the wars and conflicts of this distant, turbulent era, he addresses the futility of war, the privilege of an elite few at the expense of the many, the destruction of natural habitats and indigenous cultures, and questions about literal and fundamentalist interpretations of religious texts.
Al-Koni’s masterly account of conquest and resistance is both timeless and timely, infused with a sense of disaster and exile—from language, the desert, and homeland.
Cutting-edge research by twenty-four international scholars on female power, agency, health, and literacy in ancient Egypt
There has been considerable scholarship in the last fifty years on the role of ancient Egyptian women in society. With their ability to work outside the home, inherit and dispense of property, initiate divorce, testify in court, and serve in local government, Egyptian women exercised more legal rights and economic independence than their counterparts throughout antiquity. Yet, their agency and autonomy are often downplayed, undermined, or outright ignored. In Women in Ancient Egypt twenty-four international scholars offer a corrective to this view by presenting the latest cutting-edge research on women and gender in ancient Egypt.
Covering the entirety of Egyptian history, from earliest times to Late Antiquity, this volume commences with a thorough study of the earliest written evidence of Egyptian women, both royal and non-royal, before moving on to chapters that deal with various aspects of Egyptian queens, followed by studies on the legal status and economic roles of non-royal women and, finally, on women’s health and body adornment. Within this sweeping chronological range, each study is intensely focused on the evidence recovered from a particular site or a specific time-period. Rather than following a strictly chronological arrangement, the thematic organization of chapters enables readers to discern diachronic patterns of continuity and change within each group of women.
· Clémentine Audouit, Paul Valery University, Montpellier, France
· Anne Austin, University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
· Mariam F. Ayad, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
· Romane Betbeze, Université de Genève, Switzerland, and Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, PSL, France
· Anke Ilona Blöbaum, Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
· Eva-Maria Engel, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
· Renate Fellinger, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
· Kathrin Gabler, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
· Rahel Glanzmann, independent scholar, Basel, Switzerland.
· Izold Guegan, Swansea University, UK, and Sorbonne University, Paris, France
· Fayza Haikal, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
· Janet H. Johnson, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, Il, USA
· Katarzyna Kapiec, Institute of the Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
· Susan Anne Kelly, Macquarie University Sydney, Sydney, Australia
· AnneMarie Luijendijk, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
· Suzanne Onstine, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
· José Ramón Pérez-Accino Picatoste, Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
· Tara Sewell-Lasater, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
· Yasmin El Shazly, American Research Center in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt
· Reinert Skumsnes, Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
· Isabel Stünkel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, USA
· Inmaculada Vivas Sainz, National Distance Education University), Madrid, Spain
· Hana Vymazalová, Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czeck Republic
· Jacquelyn Williamson, George Mason University, Fairfax, Viriginia, USA
· Annik Wüthrich, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna, Austria
An introduction to the geology of Egypt and its influence on ancient Egyptian culture
While much is known about Egypt’s towering pyramids, mighty obelisks, and extraordinary works of art, less is known about the role played by Egypt’s geological history in the formation of pharaonic culture’s artistic and architectural legacy. The fertile soils that lined the Nile Valley meant that the people of Egypt were able to live well off the land. Yet what allowed ancient Egypt to stand apart from other early civilizations was its access to the vast range of natural resources that lay beyond the Nile floodplain.
In this engagingly written book, Colin Reader invites readers to explore the influence of geology and landscape on the development of the cultures of ancient Egypt. After describing today’s Egyptian landscape and introducing key elements of the ancient Egyptian worldview, he provides a basic geological toolkit to address issues such as geological time and major earth-forming processes. The developments that gave the geology of Egypt its distinct character are explored, including the uplifting of mountains along the Red Sea coast, the evolution of the Nile river, and the formation of the vast desert areas beyond the Nile Valley. As the story unfolds, elements of Egypt’s archaeology are introduced, together with discussions of mining and quarrying, construction in stone, and the ways in which the country’s rich geological heritage allowed the culture of ancient Egypt to evolve.
Ideal for non-specialists and specialists alike, and supported with over one hundred illustrations, A Gift of Geology takes the reader on a fascinating journey into Egypt’s geological landscape and its relationship to the marvels of pharaonic culture.