Item description for The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated Histories) by Ian Shaw...
The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt is the only book available providing detailed historical coverage of Egypt from the early Stone Age to its incorporation into the Roman Empire. The lively essays and beautiful illustrations portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians covering the period from 700,000 BC to AD 311. Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this book also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature. The pace of change in such aspects of Egyptian culture as monumental architecture, funerary beliefs, and ethnicity was not necessarily tied to the rate of political change. Each of the authors--working at the cutting edge of their particular fields--has therefore set out to elucidate, in both words and pictures, the underlying patterns of social and political change, and to describe the changing face of ancient Egypt, from the biographical details of individuals to the social and economic factors that shaped the lives of the population as a whole.
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Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.58" Width: 6.98" Height: 0.99" Weight: 2.41 lbs.
Release Date Jun 13, 2002
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 0192802933 ISBN13 9780192802934
Availability 0 units.
More About Ian Shaw
Ian Shaw studied Archaeology and Egyptology at Cambridge University, gaining a PhD on the archaeological remains at Tell el-Amarna. He later undertook research into Egyptian quarrying and mining sites as a British Academy Research Fellow at New Hall, Cambridge. His other publications include Ancient Egyptian Warfare and Weapons (1992), The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (1995), The Dictionary of Archaeology (1999), and Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (2000)
Reviews - What do customers think about The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated Histories)?
Good book Jul 19, 2007
I bought this book for a class in Egyptology as required course material but it is so well written and has great pictures and information that instead of selling it after the quarter is over like I do with most books for my class I'm going to keep this one. It's well worth the buy if you are interested in Ancient Egypt. It has a great deal of insightful detailed information.
Very disappointing Jan 6, 2007
This book is a collection of dry essays written with poor cohesion. It's as if the sum editiorial guidance was "Write something about the second intermediate period." Some articles repeat discusssions (for instance, after dozens of citations of Manetho's Aeqyptiaca and the Turin Canon as well as an explanation of both, on page 186, these sources are explained as if for the first time), some articles refer to history that has never been discussed.
If you are not knowledgeable about the geopgraphy of Egypt, you will be frustrated. For instance, the city Memphis is cited 4 times before the page with a map including its location. I was constantly flipping through the maps trying to find different cities. It didn't help that this particular map (p 91) is not even included on the list of maps and plans! The 1st and 2nd cataracts are not included on a map until page 227!
Some cities are never included on maps (historical and modern: "route from 'Sako' (probably modern el-Qes)"). And when locations are on maps, the text often contradicts the map. On page 201: "Cusae lies about 40 km, south of Hermopolis (el-Ashmunein)". On the facing page, Cusae is about 5 km ne of Hermoplois.
Religion is an essential part of understanding Egyptian history. I was really disappointed that a 500 page book did not include one article on religion or the afterlife.
The final annoyance is the glossy stock. If you don't have a lamp in the right position, you will get a large unreadable glare on the page.
Encyclopedic work Apr 18, 2006
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt is really more of an encyclopedia than a narrative history. Each of its 15 chapters is written by a different author, presumably an expert in the particular time period under study. This lends itself to a disjointed style as each author presents an overwhelming welter of archeological facts in an effort to deal with their own view of the controversies in the assigned area. While no doubt providing the experienced Egyptologist with fine details is important, the casual reader will find the book a dense and confusing read. The details of stone-age arrowhead manufacture or the various types of thrown pottery in the First Intermediate Period tend to obscure the bigger picture. As a prerequisite for reading this book I would recommend something lighter and more cohesive such as "A History of Ancient Egypt" by Grimal.
That said, the book is definitely a significant resource for anyone interested in Egyptian history. It covers the Egyptian state from prehistory through its incorporation into the Roman empire. Three chapters cover the pre-dynastic period including one on the Paleolithic period, one on the Naqada period and one entitled "Emergence of the Egyptian State" (Dynasties 0-2). Subsequent chapters for the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms (2 chapters for the last of these) and the Intermediate Periods follow. A rather strange and slightly redundant chapter, entitled "Egypt and the Outside World" is located just prior to the article on the Third Intermediate period. Its insertion here seems an afterthought as it covers the material of several preceding chapters using a topical, rather than chronologic, approach. Finally, several shorter chapters cover the Late Period, the Ptolemaic Period and the Roman Period. The book has a substantial further reading list and glossary as well as a tabular chronology, and index. It is well illustrated, with many black and white pictures, extensive maps and approximately 40 colour plates. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between the written material and the plates and pictures, leaving the reader confused as to their purpose.
I would definitely recommend this book as a scholarly or reference resource due to its detailed approach but I would suggest it not be the first book you read if you are a casual reader, interested in understanding the sweep of Egyptian history.
Bone Crunching Read Jan 8, 2006
First of all, do not buy the non-illustrated version of this book, it is too hard to follow without some form of visual reference imo. Secondly, the book focuses way too heavily on the archeological finds and archelogists and treats the actual history as if it were secondary information. It makes me wonder if this is a book about the history of the archeological discovery of ancient Egypt or the history of ancient Egypt itself. I have read on for dozens of pages (I am currently on page 110) about the most minut details of regions, geology, dates and tools...If you are interested in the actual history of Ancient Egypt, and like me, have little interest in the nile flood inundation then I would suggest getting another book.
So Rameses II had 85 kids... Dec 21, 2005
This is a very thorough history on Ancient Egypt. All aspects of Egyptian history and society are addressed- chronology, history, religion, and culture. It's great for both newcomers to Egyptology and people with experience in the subject. Without getting too technical, it overviews the basic outline of Egyptian history, detailing historical, cultural, and religious development throughout the country's long history. Many interesting details (such as the one in the title of this review) are referenced, making the book a very interesting read apart from a simple overview. The chronology is pretty solid, although the authors themselves admit that some of it may need adjusting (by a few decades at most, nothing drastic). Overall, a very good overview of Ancient Egyptian history.