Category: books

Ancient Egyptian Literature

“Poetry, stories, hymns, prayers, and wisdom texts found exquisite written expression in ancient Egypt while their literary counterparts were still being recited around hearth fires in ancient Greece and Israel. Yet, because of its very antiquity and the centuries during which the language was forgotten, ancient Egyptian literature is a newly discovered country for modern readers.

This anthology offers an extensive sampling of all the major genres of ancient Egyptian literature. It includes all the texts from John Foster’s previous book Echoes of Egyptian Voices, along with selections from his Love Songs of the New Kingdom and Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry, as well as previously unpublished translations of four longer and two short poems. Foster’s translations capture the poetical beauty of the Egyptian language and the spirit that impelled each piece’s composition, making these ancient masterworks sing for modern readers. An introduction to ancient Egyptian literature and its translation, as well as brief information about the authorship and date of each selection, completes the volume.”

Ancient Egyptian Literature: An Anthology, by John L. Foster

“Beneath the waters of Abukir Bay, at the edge of the Nile Delta, lie the submerged remains of ancient Egyptian cities that sank over 1,000 years ago only to be rediscovered in the late twentieth century. Pioneering underwater excavations have yielded a wealth of ancient buildings and artifacts, including temples, harbor installations, and no fewer than sixty-nine shipwrecks. Some of the greatest of these treasures will be exhibited in London for the first time in 2016.

Through these spectacular finds, this book explains how two monumental ancient civilizations, Egypt and Greece, interacted in the late first millennium bc, from the founding of Thonis-Heracleion, Naukratis, and Canopus as trading and religious centers to the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great; the ensuing centuries of Ptolemaic (Hellenistic) rule; the suicide of Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt; and the ultimate dominance of the Roman Empire. Throughout, Greeks and Egyptians lived alongside one another in these lively cities, sharing their politics, religious beliefs, languages, and customs.”

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

“It came to pass that the land of Egypt was in misery, as there was no Lord, l.p.h., (functioning) ⟨as⟩ a (proper) king of the time. It happened that King Seknenre, l.p.h., was (but) Ruler, l.p.h., of the Southern City, and misery was in the city of the Asiatics, while Prince Apophis, l.p.h., was in Avaris, and the entire land paid tribute to him, delivering their taxes in full as well as bringing all good produce of Egypt.

So King Apophis, l.p.h., adopted Seth for himself as lord, and he refused to serve any god that was in the entire…”

The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry

“The Nile, like all of Egypt, is both timeless and ever-changing. In these pages, renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey downriver that is both history and travelogue. We begin at the First Nile Cataract, close to the modern city of Aswan. From there, Wilkinson guides us through the illustrious nation birthed by this great river. 

We see Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple. We visit the fertile Fayum, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and finally, the pulsing city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the water. Along the way, Wilkinson introduces us to the gods, pharaohs, and emperors who joined their fate to the Nile and gained immortality; and to the adventurers, archaeologists, and historians who have all fallen under its spell. Peerlessly erudite, vividly told, The Nilebrings the course of this enduring river into stunning view.”

The Nile: Travelling Downriver Through Egypt’s Past and Present

When Octavian added Egypt to the Roman Empire in 30 BC following his defeat of Cleopatra and Marc Antony a year earlier, Egyptian culture would continue its spread towards the western Mediterranean. Egyptian religion remained popular and its landscape and architecture (e.g. the Nilotic landscape at Praeneste) inspired Roman minds across the empire. In this work, Molly Swetnam-Burland focuses on many imports of Egyptian objects that made their way to Rome and the topic of reuse comes up often in her work: she argues that many original Egyptian objects attained new purposes in the Roman world. Egypt in Italy offers a detailed look into how ideas and concepts from ancient Egypt made their way into the Roman psyche and how these objects took on a new life in their new environs. Swetnam-Burland traces Egypt’s popularity throughout Imperial Rome, but also offers exciting case studies such as the adoption of the cult of Isis at Pompei. She shows well how Egyptian culture was to remain popular for centuries despite being incorporated into the Roman empire.

Egypt in Italy: Visions of Egypt in Roman Imperial Culture

6 symbols with an ancient past: the scarab beetle, cobra goddess Renenutet, falcon god Horu; vulture goddess Nekhbet, the Eye of Horus, and Amun, “the king of gods,” depicted as a ram.

Fun With Egyptian Symbols Stencils

“Between the 1880s and 1980s British excavations at locations across Egypt resulted in the discovery of hundreds of thousands of ancient objects that were subsequently sent to some 350 institutions worldwide. These finds included unique discoveries at iconic sites such as the tombs of ancient Egypt’s first rulers at Abydos, Akhenaten and Nefertiti’s city of Tell el-Amarna and rich Roman Era burials in the Fayum. This book explores the politics, personalities and social histories that linked fieldwork in Egypt with the varied organizations around the world that received finds. Case studies range from Victorian municipal museums and women’s suffrage campaigns in the UK, to the development of some of the USA’s largest institutions, and from university museums in Japan to new institutions in post-independence Ghana. By juxtaposing a diversity of sites for the reception of Egyptian cultural heritage over the period of a century, this book presents new ideas about the development of archaeology, museums and the construction of Egyptian heritage. It also addresses the legacy of these practices, raises questions about the nature of the authority over such heritage today and argues for a stronger ethical commitment to its stewardship.”

― Scattered Finds: Archaeology, Egyptology and Museums, by Alice Stevenson

US // UK

“The Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project (AEFP) is a multidisciplinary, ongoing research of footwear in ancient Egypt from the Predynastic through the Ottoman Periods. It consists of the study of actual examples of footwear, augmented by pictorial and textual evidence. This volume evaluates, summarises and discusses the results of the study of footwear carried out by the AEFP for the last 10 years (which includes the objects in the major collections in the world, such as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the British Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, as well as from various excavations, such as Amarna, Elephantine and Dra Abu el-Naga). All published material is depicted and some previously unpublished material is added here. The work on physical examples of footwear has brought to light exciting new insights into ancient Egyptian technology and craftsmanship (including its development but also in the relationships of various footwear categories and their origin), establishing and refining the dating of technologies and styles of footwear, the diversity of footwear, provided a means of identification of provenance for unprovenanced examples, and the relationship between footwear and socio-economic status. The archaeometrical research has lead to the reinterpretation of ancient Egyptian words for various vegetal materials, such as papyrus.”

The Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project: Final Archaeological Analysis, by André Veldmeijer

“Standing at the heart of Karnak Temple, the Great Hypostyle Hall is a forest of 134 giant sandstone columns enclosed by massive walls. Sety I built the Great Hypostyle Hall ca. 1300 BCE and decorated the northern wing with exquisite bas reliefs. After his death, his successor Ramesses II completed the southern wing mostly in sunk relief. This volume provides full translation, epigraphic analysis, and photographic documentation of the elaborate wall reliefs inside the Hall. This vast trove of ritual art and texts attest to the richness and vitality of Egyptian civilization at the height of its imperial power. The present volume builds upon and serves as a companion to an earlier volume of drawings of the wall scenes made by Harold H. Nelson in the 1950s and edited for publication by William J. Murnane in 1981.”

― 

The Great Hypostyle Hall in the Temple of Amun at Karnak. Vol 1, Parts 2 and 3

Becoming a Woman and Mother in Greco-Roman Egypt

“How did Greco-Roman Egyptian society perceive women’s bodies and how did it acknowledge women’s reproductive functions? Detailing women’s lives in Greco-Roman Egypt this monograph examines understudied aspects of women’s lives such as their coming of age, social and religious taboos of menstruation and birth rituals. 

It investigates medical, legal and religious aspects of women’s reproduction, using both historical and archaeological sources, and shows how the social status of women and new-born children changed from the Dynastic to the Greco-Roman period.

Through a comparative and interdisciplinary study of the historical sources, papyri, artefacts and archaeological evidence, Becoming a Woman and Mother in Greco-Roman Egypt shows how Greek, Roman, Jewish and Near Eastern cultures impacted on the social perception of female puberty, childbirth and menstruation in Greco-Roman Egypt from the 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D.”

Becoming a Woman and Mother in Greco-Roman Egypt, by Ada Nifosi