Category: books

“[Akhenaten] had an ambitious and unprecedente…

“[Akhenaten] had an ambitious and unprecedented plan to steer his sacred land of Egypt away from the myriad gods of his fathers and toward his new religion of light. He would change the world from on high, foisting his notions onto an unwilling people. Was he a madman, a genius, a narcissist, a sociopath, or all of the above? We can’t know. But Nefertiti would be the one left to clean up his mess.”

When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt, by Kara Cooney

“Perspectives on materiality in ancient Egypt …

“Perspectives on materiality in ancient Egypt – agency, cultural reproduction and changeexpresses the authors’ broad theoretical interest on materiality and how it helps us to understand the crucial role of material culture in ancient Egyptian society in a more complex way. In the volume, mainly young scholars in Brazil, France, Germany and the UK approach the potential of materiality based on several case studies covering a wide range of topics such as Egyptian art, recent perspectives on sex and gender, hierarchies, and the materiality of textual sources and images. 

The idea of gathering young scholars to discuss ‘materiality’ first took place in the form of a colloquium organised in São Paulo, but soon after became a more encompassing project aspiring to produce a publication. The editors’ aimed to include researchers from various places, which makes the volume a materialisation of fruitful collaborations between individuals coming from different scholarly traditions. 

The combination of different ways of looking at the ancient material culture can hopefully contribute to the renovation of theory and practice in Egyptology. The editors believe that the emphasis on diversity— of background histories, national traditions and mind-sets—is one the main elements that can be used to boost new perspectives in a connected, globalised and hopefully less unequal world.”

Perspectives on materiality in ancient Egypt: Agency, Cultural Reproduction and Change, by Érika

Maynart, Carolina Velloza, Rennan Lemos

“Have you ever wondered what it was like to li…

“Have you ever wondered what it was like to live and work in Egypt, the most powerful kingdom of the ancient world? Spend a day with 24 Egyptians to see Egypt through their eyes – the sights, the smells, the struggles and the conflicts.

During the course of a day in the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor), Egypt’s religious capital, we meet 24 Egyptians from all strata of society – from the king to the bread-maker, the priestess to the fisherman, the soldier to the midwife – and get to know what the real Egypt was like by spending an hour in their company. We encounter a different one of these characters every hour and in every chapter, and through their eyes see what an average day in ancient Egypt was really like.”

24 Hours in Ancient Egypt: A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There, by Donald P. Ryan

“The ancient Egyptian Netherworld Books are am…

“The ancient Egyptian Netherworld Books are among the most extensive religious texts from pharaonic civilization and present humanity’s oldest surviving attempts to provide a scientific map of the unseen realms beyond the visible cosmos. First attested during the middle of the second millennium BCE, the Netherworld Books decorate the walls of the New Kingdom royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. 

The importance of these texts lies in their philosophical and theological speculations about the inner workings of the cosmos, particularly the events of the solar journey through the twelve hours of the night. These important texts describe one of the central mysteries of Egyptian religious belief, the union of the solar god Re with the underworldly god Osiris, and provide information on aspects of Egyptian theology and cosmography more thoroughly than what is presented in the more widely read Book of the Dead.”

The Ancient Egyptian Netherworld Books

(Writings from the Ancient World 39), by John Coleman Darnell, Colleen Manassa Darnell

“A detailed history with fascinating insight…

“A detailed history with fascinating insights and a gorgeous visual reference, this book tours the sacred Egyptian sites, from the impressive mortuary temples of the pharaohs to those dedicated to the many gods and goddesses.It includes an in-depth examination of the crucial role that religious belief and mythology played during this intriguing period of ancient history.

The allure of ancient Egypt has endured over many centuries – and this authoritative volume offers further intriguing insights. It delves into the tombs, devoting chapters to the most famous burial sites: Giza, Saqqara and the Valley of the Kings, where the resting place of the boy-king Tutankhamun was discovered. The book also describes Egypt’s temples, religions and myths, from the impressive mortuary temples of the pharaohs, such as Ramesses II, to elaborate funerary rituals, offerings and superstitions.With maps, chronologies and artwork supplementing more than 750 photographs, this book captures the essence of a fascinating epoch.”

Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated History, by Lorna Oakes and Lucia Gahlin

“In The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus, Chri…

“In The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus, Christian H. Bull argues that the treatises attributed to Hermes Trismegistus reflect the spiritual exercises and ritual practices of loosely organized brotherhoods in Egypt. These small groups were directed by Egyptian priests educated in the traditional lore of the temples, but also conversant with Greek philosophy. Such priests, who were increasingly dispossessed with the gradual demise of the Egyptian temples, could find eager adherents among a Greek-speaking audience seeking for the wisdom of the Egyptian Hermes, who was widely considered to be an important source for the philosophies of Pythagoras and Plato. The volume contains a comprehensive analysis of the myths of Hermes Trismegistus, a reevaluation of the Way of Hermes, and a contextualization of this ritual tradition.”

The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus, by Christian H. Bull

“This combination of research questions on the…

“This combination of research questions on the micro-level with the macro-level provides new information about cities and households in Ancient Egypt and Nubia and makes the book unique. Architectural studies as well as analyses of material culture and the new application of microarchaeology, here especially of micromorphology and archaeometric applications, are presented as case studies from sites primarily dating to the New Kingdom (Second Millennium BC). The rich potential of well-preserved but still not completely explored sites in modern Sudan, especially as direct comparison for already excavated sites located in Egypt, is in particular emphasized in the book.

Settlement archaeology in Egypt and Nubia has recently moved away from a strong textual approach and generalized studies to a more site-specific approach and household studies. This new bottom-up approach applied by current fieldwork projects is demonstrated in the book. The volume is intended for all specialists at settlements sites in Northeast Africa, for students of Egyptology and Nubian Studies, but it will be of interest to anyone working in the field of settlement archaeology. It is the result of a conference on the same subject held in 2017 as the closing event of the European Research Council funded project AcrossBorders at Munich.”

From Microcosm to Macrocosm: Individual households and cities in Ancient Egypt and Nubia, by Julia Budka and Johannes Auenmüller

“One of the world’s oldest treaties provides t…

“One of the world’s oldest treaties provides the backdrop for a new analysis of the Egyptian concept of hetep (“peace”). To understand the full range of meaning of hetep, Peace in Ancient Egypt explores battles against Egypt’s enemies, royal offerings to deities, and rituals of communing with the dead. Vanessa Davies argues that hetep is the result of action that is just, true, and in accord with right order (maat). Central to the concept of hetep are the issues of rhetoric and community. Beyond detailing the ancient Egyptian concept of hetep, it is hoped that this book will provide a useful framework that can be considered in relation to concepts of peace in other cultures.”

― Peace in Ancient Egypt (Harvard Egyptological Studies), by Vanessa Davies

“I am still amazed at the young boy’s in…

“I am still amazed at the young boy’s intelligence. It was as if he had been born with the mind of a high priest. I often caught myself arguing with him as though he were my equal. By the time he was ten, his mind was like a hot spring, sparkling with ideas. His weak body harbored such a strong will and perseverance that I took him as living proof that the human spirit could be stronger than the most exercised muscles. He was so devoted to his religious instruction that he spent no time preparing himself for the throne. He would not accept any idea without questioning and argument, and he never hesitated to express his doubts about many of our traditional teachings.

I was taken aback when, one time, he said, “Thebes! A holy city! Isn’t that what they claim? Thebes, Master, is nothing but a den of rapacious merchants, debauchery, and fornication. Who are those great priests? They delude people with superstition, and take from the poor what little they have. They seduce women in the name of the deities. Their temple has become a house of harlotry and sin. Accursed Thebes.”
I was greatly concerned when I heard him speak these words. I could see accusing fingers pointed at me, his teacher.
“Those priests are the foundation of the throne,” I replied.
“Then the throne is built on lies and dissolution.”
“Their power is no less than that of an army,” I warned him.
“Bandits and thugs are powerful, too.”

A reimagining of a dialogue between ten-year-old Akhenaten and his teacher, Ay.”

Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth, by Naguib Mahfouz

A young king… a lost tomb… and a…

A young king… a lost tomb… and a treasure trove of unimaginable splendour…

“The Legend of Tutankhamun is a sumptuous visual retelling of the story of one of the most well-known Egyptian pharaohs. More than 3,000 years ago, a young boy became King in ancient Egypt and his life, death and final resting place is something that has fascinated people ever since.

Readers are taken on a dramatic journey, from the deserts of ancient Egypt to the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb and the artefacts on show today. As the pages turn, you can witness the passing of a great King, his tomb being lost to the sand dunes, and its thrilling rediscovery. Powerful and vivid illustrations by James Weston Lewis bring the history, discovery and treasures of this young boy and his reign to life.”

― The Legend of Tutankhamun, by Sally Jane Morgan, James Weston Lewis