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Comment: Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Date of Publication: 2011
Binding: paperback
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Description: This Book is in Good Condition. Normal wear to covers and edges, text is clean with no marks, binding tight. Not Ex-Library. 100% Guaranteed.
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Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris (New Aspects of Antiquity) Paperback – April 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In a masterly fashion… does justice to one of ancient Egypt’s most significant archeological sites. Highly recommended” (Choice)

“…the appearance of an up-to-date book on the site is most welcome.” (Historian)

“A superbly organized and impressively illustrated history of this seminally important site…The culture, the history, and archeological discoveries superbly presented.” (Midwest Book Review)

About the Author

David O’Connor is Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Aspects of Antiquity
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; First Edition Thus edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050028900X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500289006
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By JLee VINE VOICE on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David O'Connor has been excavating at Abydos since 1967 -- probably his most famous find is the series of boats near the enclosures of Khasekhemwy (Shunet el Zebib) and the Western Mastaba -- and so is well-qualified to author this valuable and comprehensive work on the site. O'Connor pulls together the history of the development of the site and its excavation, as well as discussing the significance of various discoveries. It is an excellent, and well thought out compendium. The book is easy to read and well written, but intended for those with at least some knowledge of the subject matter, not absolute beginners.

Especially valuable, and sometimes difficult to find elsewhere, is the information on more recent discoveries and theories. To provide a few examples: he discusses the excavations by Stephen Harvey at the Ahmose complex, Janet Richards at the North and Middle Cemeteries, Josef Wegner at the Senwosret III complex, Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner's survey of the cultic landscape, the Akhenaten talatat found at the Ramesses II temple, and the theories of Gunter Dreyer regarding the early hieroglyphic signs from Tomb U-j. This is almost priceless information - much of it is only available in more expensive, subscription or foreign language publications. The discussions here are, of course, often much briefer than are available elsewhere, and O'Connor does supply a bibliography for further reading (and I've added a few links at the end of this review).

O'Connor deals with many theories (tomb development, the meaning of various symbolic elements such as mounds and pyramids, etc.), and he is one of the few Egyptologists who seems willing to say that in many cases the limited data available is sometimes open to more than one interpretation.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Every year that passes sees more and more contributions to our understanding of ancient Egypt through continuing archaeological discoveries. Drawing upon his more than forty years of experience and expertise in excavation and research at Abydos, David O'Connor (Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) presents a superbly organized and impressively illustrated history of this seminally important site positioned between the towering cliffs of the Egyptian high desert and the green agricultural floodplain of the Nile river where Egypt's ancient royalty were entombed and which became a major cult center for Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead. The culture, history, and archaeological discoveries superbly presented in "Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs And The Cult Of Osiris" are informed, informative, and thoroughly 'reader friendly'. A seminal contribution to academic library Egyptology reference collections, and especially recommended to the attention of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the culture and history of ancient Egypt.
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17 of 27 people found the following review helpful By physics student on February 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One would wish to like this book, but it can hardly be described as well written. Mostly
it reads like an expansion of an after-dinner speech fulsomely praising the author's former
and present colleagues, with little asides about their achievemets. It is impossible to
read very far without one's train of thought being interrupted by an incomplete personal reference that distracts without informing. Really,
the prospective audience could likely handle footnotes and endnotes! After all, we are
assumed to know (and do know) who Khasekhemwy was!

I note the problems with this book with particular sensitivity because I am also reading
Martin Veltman's book on particle physics, in which he attempts something similar, with complete success. Veltman uses a layout in which personal information and anecdotes are
placed in boxes independent of the main text.

But it is the man, not the method, that solves the problem. I have read numerous books
on Egyptology which mix the subject and the excavators in a manner which is both
agreeable and informative. Michael Hoffman, in particular, achieved this in his
"Egypt before the Pharaohs: the Prehistoric Foundations of Egyptian Civilization", which is
my favorite book on Egyptology.

However, the graphical material - photographs, computer graphics, drawings, maps - is
truly excellent. I would suggest that a second edition be prepared, in which all of the
current text is stripped out and rewritten by a capable graduate student or post-doctoral
fellow, with the graphics and images maintained "as is".

My three stars are mainly given for the imagery.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well written, excellent source of Abydos history, through the ages. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Seti I's temple.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb coverage of this exceptionally important early site with great illustrations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry N. Stout on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
David O'Connor's authoritative book on Abydos is interesting and enlightening -- a very worthwhile addition to my library. The book is not as beautifully coherent in its organization as Barry Kemp's "Amarna", which likewise focuses on a particular ancient Egyptian city, but that may well be because Abydos itself, in its incomparably longer occupation, was and is considerably incoherent, just as archaeological investigations there have been (necessarily) less than comprehensive, and, especially in earlier times, uncoordinated and variously rather unmethodical. As another reviewer has noted, the lengthy credits to the author's colleagues who have worked or are working at Abydos are quite a digression, and should have been relegated to an afterword. Expansive interpretations of the Osiris cult and of the "sacred landscape" at Abydos are perhaps unconstrained, but nevertheless interesting. Unfortunately, the comprehensive chronological table for ancient Egypt at the back of the book in some notable respects conflicts materially with the dates and assignments adopted in the text (e.g., p. 87); presumably the table was lifted from other sources and inserted by the series editors without consulting Prof. O'Connor(?), and certainly without bothering to cross-check for agreement with the text.Read more ›
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