Item description for The Gold of the Pharaphs (Smart) by Henri Stierlen...
In the popular imagination, Ancient Egypt is defined by its monumental architecture and treasure-packed royal tombs. What many people don't realize is that most of the tombs were plundered by grave robbers shortly after their royal occupants were interred. Fortunately, since the late 19th century, archaeologists have been able to save a large part of the treasure in tombs that had not been plundered. This book, through its text and illustrations, gives the reader exceptional insight into the genius of the ancient Egyptians, for whom gold was "the flesh of the gods".
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.75" Height: 8.5" Weight: 1.62 lbs.
Release Date Jun 29, 2008
ISBN 2879393302 ISBN13 9782879393308
Reviews - What do customers think about The Gold of the Pharaphs (Smart)?
Golden Reference Aug 17, 2008
This is a book to leave it in your livingroom! Beautiful and big pictures. The book offers detailed information about the materials, gems, techniques, dates, names of pharaohs, regions and lots of history. Big size book and conversation piece. Perfect for inspiration.
The Gold of the Pharaohs Apr 9, 2004
Most books on the art of Ancient Egypt focus on "great works" - pyramids and temples, sculpture, and painting. The art of the goldsmith tends to be relatively neglected, except for a few well-known masterpieces like King Tutankhamun's golden coffin, for the simple reason that most Egyptian goldwork was melted down in antiquity by the Egyptians themselves, as tomb-robbers "recycled" the treasure of the Pharaohs. There are barely enough ancient examples still remaining to form a just appreciation of the richness of this ancient art.
Stierlin's book has chapters on Tutankhamun, the Middle Kingdom and Ramesside New Kingdom, Tanis, and the Late Period. Hundreds of artifacts - rings, pectorals, bracelets, statues, coffin masks, and the like - are lavishly illustrated and discussed in detail. The history of discovery is not neglected, and the techniques used by ancient artisans are explained. Evidence is also presented from tomb paintings of many objects which did not survive over the centuries, but which were more intricate and complex than any remaining examples.
If the book has a weakness, it is that Stierlin treats the iconography of these pieces only superficially. For example, in the pectoral of Ahmose on p. 119, the gods lustrating Pharaoh are identified only as Ra and Amun; technically, they are Ra-Horakhty and Amun-Ra. Hieroglyphs and symbolic formulas, even the most important that appear over and over on these pieces (djed, was, mery-, shen, djet, etc.), are not translated, and are mentioned, if at all, only in passing. There are a few typos of the "B.C." for "A.D." variety. Finally, it is inconvenient that the translator chose to retain many older and now less-familiar "Greek" names for the Pharaohs - "Sethos" instead of "Seti," "Amenophis" rather than "Amenhotep," "Khephren" for "Khafre," etc.
To summarize, readers of this book will surely enjoy its beautiful photographs and illustrations, and will come away with a better appreciation of the goldsmith's art in Ancient Egypt. If you love gold and fine jewelery (and who doesn't?), you will probably like this book!