He readily admits that some discussions are not closed, such as the entire division of dynasties as he uses them in this book or the naming of Pharaohs. Another aspect I had never given thought is how wrong my assumptions were on the evolution of burial; I had always understood this to be a linear procession first towards monuments, then Pyramids and afterwards carved tombs in rock.
I was surprised to learn that earlier conceived Mastabas switched back and forth with pyramids in preference and survived pyramid period up until the new kingdom and the attempts to hide tombs of Pharaohs. This and the role of religion analysed as ideological choices made by individual Pharaohs. It makes so much sense but if one has never set down and read about it, it is easy to make false or oversimplified assumptions.
All in all I did enjoy reading this book and believe it is a solid book to further built upon your knowledge of ancient Egypt. What I did miss was a more detailed account on military changes. We get some comment on the introduction of the chariot, use of mercenaries as well as development of bronze weapons.
As it is now however, I can't picture an old kingdom Egyptian army or how it differed from a middle or new kingdom army or how the Nubian and late Egypt army was composed. Since the military conquest are a big part of the book, it would have been nice to get an idea of how these conquests where achieved. On the other side of the spectrum I do find the account of the building projects to interesting, a lot of comment on the recycling of building materials, tombs and temples, the abandonment of cities and mortuary practices and how this affects the periods but also our understanding of the periods.
Van Den Mieroop as said spends quite a bit of time on the subject of ethnicity as well as the big how black were the ancient Egyptians question, his focus is more directed towards the place of Nubian, Libyans, Asians middle east and Greeks in the country and how they and their culture both material and non material interacted with and influenced Egyptian culture and society. I did find interesting to note that the so often neglected Nubian civilization were the ones who kept the ancient traditions going as long as they did in their own fashion as it was mostly Nubians of Meroe kingdom who still actively used the last built temple complex of Philae as it was intended to be used up until it was finally closed and reused as a christian site in by emperor Theodosius.
This was the final blow to ancient Egypt as an active culture along with the loss of Hieroglyphs and the priesthood attached to both. But what is the point of reading about and studying ancient Egypt?
Oct 23, Beth rated it it was amazing Shelves: archaeology , history. Excellent - accessible, just-right level of detail, careful presentation of differing theories. Great to read pre- Egypt trip whenever that's possible! Jul 14, Mario Fabrizio Polinelli rated it it was amazing.
Brilliant, comprehensive and very well written. Another excellent job by this great author! Nov 24, Lauren Albert rated it liked it Shelves: history-ancient. Decent if not exciting history of Ancient Egypt. I did find the boxed texts special topics, etc. The publishers did not bother to put them at the end of a section or chapter but just dropped them in--often mid-sentence.
You have to scroll forward in the digital version anyway to finish your sentence and then scroll back to read the boxed text. Then, you have to remember what you were reading before the box interrupted. Nov 30, Igor rated it liked it. Not as good as his history of Near East, but still decent. Not as Eurocentric as one other review would make it to be, but it certainly written from a European perspective.
Whether this is because of Mr. Van De Mieroop's prejudices or because of scarcity of written sources from African areas neighbouring Egypt, is anyone's guess. Feb 24, Chris rated it did not like it Shelves: books-i-had-to-read-for-class , history.
I had to read this for my class and I found it absolutely boring. If I would have read it for fun over a longer period of time I probably would have found it a bit more delightful and would have probably given it two or three stars instead of one. It is filled with tons of information that an Ancient Egypt lover cannot be without but otherwise you should leave it on the shelf whenever possible. Iset rated it liked it Jun 04, Genn rated it liked it Sep 12, Ashleigh rated it really liked it Nov 08, Anastasiya rated it it was amazing Oct 19, Hayley rated it liked it Jan 07, Bizzy54 rated it it was amazing Sep 13, Ian Spencer rated it liked it Dec 09, Sarah Ellis rated it it was amazing Sep 09, Chloe Clark-Soles rated it it was amazing Dec 09, Lexxnet rated it it was amazing Nov 16, Alex rated it liked it Dec 06, Aurora rated it really liked it Apr 08, Apoorv rated it really liked it Sep 14, Arthur Brady rated it really liked it Sep 14, To the ancient Egyptians themselves, their country was simply known as Kemet, which means 'Black Land', so named for the rich, dark soil along the Nile River where the first settlements began.
Later, the country was known as Misr which means 'country', a name still in use by Egyptians for their nation in the present day. Egypt thrived for thousands of years from c. The great monuments which ancient Egypt is still celebrated for reflect the depth and grandeur of Egyptian culture which influenced so many ancient civilizations, among them Greece and Rome. One of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Egyptian culture is its emphasis on the grandeur of the human experience. Their great monuments, tombs, temples, and artwork all celebrate life and stand as reminders of what once was and what human beings, at their best, are capable of achieving.
Although ancient Egypt in popular culture is often associated with death and mortuary rites, something even in these speaks to people across the ages of what it means to be a human being and the power and purpose of remembrance. To the Egyptians, life on earth was only one aspect of an eternal journey.
The soul was immortal and was only inhabiting a body on this physical plane for a short time. At death, one would meet with judgment in the Hall of Truth and, if justified, would move on to an eternal paradise known as The Field of Reeds which was a mirror image of one's life on earth. Once one had reached paradise one could live peacefully in the company of those one had loved while on earth, including one's pets, in the same neighborhood by the same steam, beneath the very same trees one thought had been lost at death.
This eternal life, however, was only available to those who had lived well and in accordance with the will of the gods in the most perfect place conducive to such a goal: the land of Egypt. Egypt has a long history which goes back far beyond the written word, the stories of the gods, or the monuments which have made the culture famous.
Evidence of overgrazing of cattle, on the land which is now the Sahara Desert, has been dated to about BCE. This evidence, along with artifacts discovered, points to a thriving agricultural civilization in the region at that time. As the land was mostly arid even then, hunter-gatherer nomads sought the cool of the water source of the Nile River Valley and began to settle there sometime prior to BCE. Organized farming began in the region c. Industry developed at about this same time as evidenced by faience workshops discovered at Abydos dating to c.
By BCE mummification of the dead was in practice at the city of Hierakonpolis and large stone tombs built at Abydos. As in other cultures worldwide, the small agrarian communities became centralized and grew into larger urban centers. The Early Dynastic Period in Egypt c. Although his chronology has been disputed by later historians, it is still regularly consulted on dynastic succession and the early history of ancient Egypt. Identification of Menes with Narmer is far from universally accepted, however, and Menes has been as credibly linked to the king Hor-Aha c.
An explanation for Menes' association with his predecessor and successor is that 'Menes' is an honorific title meaning "he who endures" and not a personal name and so could have been used to refer to more than one king. The claim that the land was unified by military campaign is also disputed as the famous Narmer Palette , depicting a military victory, is considered by some scholars to be royal propaganda. The country may have first been united peacefully, but this seems unlikely. Geographical designation in ancient Egypt follows the direction of the Nile River and so Upper Egypt is the southern region and Lower Egypt the northern area closer to the Mediterranean Sea.
Narmer ruled from the city of Heirakonopolis and then from Memphis and Abydos. Trade increased significantly under the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period in Egypt and elaborate mastaba tombs, precursors to the later pyramids , developed in Egyptian burial practices which included increasingly elaborate mummification techniques.
From the Predynastic Period in Egypt c. An early Egyptian creation myth tells of the god Atum who stood in the midst of swirling chaos before the beginning of time and spoke creation into existence.
Atum was accompanied by the eternal force of heka magic , personified in the god Heka and by other spiritual forces which would animate the world. Heka was the primal force which infused the universe and caused all things to operate as they did; it also allowed for the central value of the Egyptian culture: ma'at , harmony and balance.
All of the gods and all of their responsibilities went back to ma'at and heka. The sun rose and set as it did and the moon traveled its course across the sky and the seasons came and went in accordance with balance and order which was possible because of these two agencies. The king was associated with the god Horus in life and Osiris in death based upon a myth which became the most popular in Egyptian history. Osiris and his sister-wife Isis were the original monarchs who governed the world and gave the people the gifts of civilization. Osiris' brother, Set, grew jealous of him and murdered him but he was brought back to life by Isis who then bore his son Horus.
Osiris was incomplete, however, and so descended to rule the underworld while Horus, once he had matured, avenged his father and defeated Set. This myth illustrated how order triumphed over chaos and would become a persistent motif in Egyptian religion , mortuary rituals, and religious texts, and art.
There was no period in which the gods did not play an integral role in the daily lives of the Egyptians and this is clearly seen from the earliest times in the country's history. During the period known as the Old Kingdom of Egypt c. The king Djoser , who reigned c.
The grandeur of the pyramids on the Giza plateau, as they originally would have appeared, sheathed in gleaming white limestone, is a testament to the power and wealth of the rulers during this period. Many theories abound regarding how these monuments and tombs were constructed, but modern architects and scholars are far from agreement on any single one. Considering the technology of the day, some have argued, a monument such as the Great Pyramid of Giza should not exist. Others claim, however, that the existence of such buildings and tombs suggest superior technology which has been lost to time.
There is absolutely no evidence that the monuments of the Giza plateau - or any others in Egypt - were built by slave labor nor is there any evidence to support a historical reading of the biblical Book of Exodus. Most reputable scholars today reject the claim that the pyramids and other monuments were built by slave labor, although slaves of different nationalities certainly did exist in Egypt and were employed regularly in the mines.
Egyptian monuments were considered public works created for the state and used both skilled and unskilled Egyptian workers in construction, all of whom were paid for their labor.
New Quantity Available: Dispatch time is working days from our warehouse. Preview this item Preview this item. He took an oath on pain of being beaten, of having his nose and ears cut off, and of being impaled , saying I know of no place here among these tombs except this tomb which is open and this house which I pointed to you Third Dynasty, limestone, h. Ancient Egypt Daily Life. Ancient Egyptian history, however, still had a long and illustrious path before it and as the pyramid form was abandoned the Egyptians focused their attention on Legacy Classic Furniture, Inc.
Workers at the Giza site, which was only one of many, were given a ration of beer three times a day and their housing, tools, and even their level of health care have all been clearly established. The era known as the First Intermediate Period of Egypt BCE saw a decline in the power of the central government following its collapse.
Largely independent districts with their own governors developed throughout Egypt until two great centers emerged: Hierakonpolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These centers founded their own dynasties which ruled their regions independently and intermittently fought with each other for supreme control until c. The stability provided by Theban rule allowed for the flourishing of what is known as the Middle Kingdom BCE. According to the historians Oakes and Gahlin, "the Twelfth Dynasty kings were strong rulers who established control not only over the whole of Egypt but also over Nubia to the south, where several fortresses were built to protect Egyptian trading interests" The first standing army was created during the Middle Kingdom by the king Amenemhat I c.