Item description for A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of Egypt (How the Land Made Egypt What It Is) by Bonnie M. Sampsell...
Egypt is primarily a land of deserts and mountains, the habitable Nile Valley and Delta occupying less than 5 percent of the country. Although the ancient Egyptians lived on only a small fraction of the land, they made extensive use of resources from the less hospitable areas, exploiting the opportunities and adjusting to the constraints of their physical environment. The Geology of Egypt: A Traveler's Guide describes these features and more, providing for the first time a guide for the traveler to Egypt interested in learning about its history from a different perspective.
The guidebook presumes no background in geology or related fields and provides an introduction to the relevant geological concepts, presenting examples to illustrate how the country's geological features influenced Egyptian civilization. Most examples are selected from the pharaonic period and Greco-Roman period, though many cases also illustrate how geological factors continue to have an impact on modern Egyptian society.
The text is organized as a trip on the Nile from Lake Nasser downstream to the Delta, with chapters devoted to such popular sites as Aswan, Luxor, and Giza. Also covered are the Eastern and Western Deserts, as well as the Sinai Peninsula. Maps, illustrations, photographs, and an extensive glossary help make a complex but intriguing subject accessible to everyone.
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Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2010
Publisher American University in Cairo Press
ISBN 977424785X ISBN13 9789774247859
Availability 0 units.
More About Bonnie M. Sampsell
Dr. Bonnie M. Sampsell is a retired college professor who has traveled to many parts of the world and studied Egyptology, archaeology, and geology extensively.
Bonnie M. Sampsell has an academic affiliation as follows - Chicago State University, Buffalo State College Chicago State Universi.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of Egypt (How the Land Made Egypt What It Is)?
Good, but could have been better. Sep 8, 2006
A rather hit-and-miss affair. The opening chapters on `geological concepts' and `the origins of rock types' are good basic introductions to geology. At first glance, the rest of the book seems up to the job. However, it falls down in two major areas. The first is an almost unforgivable lack of geological maps. This is meant to be a guide to the geology of Egypt, and yet there are only two geological maps in the entire book (on pages 22 and 98). To make matters worse, neither map has a distance scale on it. As a geologist who is interested in the geology of places I visit on holidays, this is a serious oversight. Maps are essential to any book that calls itself a guide to geology. More frequent maps would also negate the need for having to constantly turn back to page 22 to see where the rocks mentioned on each stage of the trip fit into the overall picture. The second area where the book falls down is in a failure to add detail to the stratigraphic column given on page 23. Periods (e.g. Jurassic) are not broken down further to give formations or members. This would be useful if the reader wanted to compare the geology of places such as Britain or the USA with Egypt at particular times in a bit more detail. This oversight is compounded on page 78 where the author mentions the "Serai Formation of the Thebes Group" and the "Esna Shale" without clarifying where these fit in to the overall picture. The dust jacket states that the author has "..studied Egyptology, archaeology, and geology extensively". It does not actually state what subject(s) her actual professional qualifications are in. From what I have seen in the book, geology does not appear to be one of them. It comes across as the work of an enthusiastic amateur, who has read lots of other peoples' work but who lacks the knowledge of what a geological guide is all about.
An Accessible Guide to the Gift of the Nile Sep 2, 2003
For civilizations, geology is destiny. If Egypt is indubitably the gift of the Nile, as Herodotus has said, than the history of how the great river was formed over the millenia is surely the place to start in understanding the great civilization that grew along its banks. This is a book that fills a much-needed vacuum: an accessible guide to the history of Egypt's geological formation for the layman tourist rather than the specialist. It also takes the reader on a fascinating trip down the Nile and across the country, documenting lost tributaries and mysterious rock formations. Even for a reader born and raised in Egypt, this book proved to be a voyage of discovery and a treasure trove of little known facts. Best of all, its accessible language and logical lay-out make it a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it for anyone planning a trip to that country or merely interested in the great civilization of the banks of the Nile.
A Much Needed Book Jul 15, 2003
Until the publication of this volume, it was difficult to find a book on the geology of Egypt, and impossible to find one at an affordable price. "A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of Egypt" truly fulfills a need. A few brief introductory chapters put the newcomer to geology in a position to better understand what follows. As a further aid, technical words that appear in boldface are found in a helpful glossary. The main body of the book describes the geology of Egypt, and its impact and influence on the development of the ancient civilization, from Lake Nasser to the Delta and east to Sinai. The size of the book and the arrangement of the information within make it an ideal companion to the traveler wishing to understand not only the surrounding physical landscape, but the cultural interaction with that landscape from pharaonic times through the present. This book is clearly written, and plenty of maps, diagrams, and photos compliment the text. The extensive bibliography provides a good tool for further research. While it makes a good bookshelf reference, I look forward to taking this book with me to Egypt.
A "Must Have/Must Read" Jul 14, 2003
"A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of Egypt" is well written and extremely readable. Designed for people who have little or no prior knowledge of geology, it is still loaded with information that even professional geologists will find of great interest. As an archaeologist and a frequent traveler to Egypt, I will never again go to Egypt without rereading and carrying a copy of this book. Nor, I think, should any first-time tourist. It's definitely a 5-star publication.
A " Must Have" Jul 12, 2003
This book belongs on the shelf of every student of ancient Egypt. It is a book I didn't think we needed, but after reading it, I realize how important geology was to the development of ancient Egypt and its monuments. Aswan, for example, existed for one reason: granite -- boulders in the river and stone in the quarries. Again, the location of monuments, and the materials they were made of, were directly related to the availability of building stone. The author's writing style is clear and straightforward -- painless reading for a non-scientist such as myself. Dr. Sampsell explains all of the technical terms she uses (and includes a helpful glossary), and she avoids the common tendency of academics to sound "scholarly." My only suggestion for enhancement in future editions: Although there is a section of color photos, I would have liked more illustrations (and would have been willing to pay more for them). I will definitely pack this book with me on my next trip to Egypt.