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Early Dynastic Egypt New Ed Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415260114
ISBN-10: 0415260116
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Editorial Reviews


'At last there is available a comprehensive, scholarly synthesis of the formative period of Egyptian history ... magisterial ... the extraordinary scope and outstanding quality of this synthesis make it a work of scholarship of the highest quality and utility and a major contribution to Egyptology. Wilkinson has established a reputation for himself as a scholar of formidable talent and productivity.' - Bruce G. Trigger, Chronique d'Egypte

About the Author

Toby A.H. Wilkinson is a fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Archaeology, University of Durham. His publications include State Formation in Egypt (1996) and Royal Annals of Ancient Egypt (2000). He has just lead a successful expedition to the desert of Eastern Egypt and unearthed some of the earliest and most extensive Egyptian rock art.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (August 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415260116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415260114
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book replaces W.B. Emery's Archaic Egypt as the standard English-language introduction to the early dynatic period. It is a fine synthesis of the last century of work in the field and in specialist journals, including many recent discoveries (e.g., cemetary U at Umm-el-Qaab) and the most important discussions (e.g., Seidlmayer,Renee Friedman). Especially strong in dealing with the "new" archeology, the most important original contribution of this work is its analysis of royal administration in the 1st through 3rd dynasties. If the book does have a weakness, it is in its catalog-like treatment of religion: but the major references are given for the reader to follow out even here.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gunther on December 21, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Early Dynastic Egypt" is an excellent - indeed, probably indispensible - professional reference. However, it isn't necessarily suitable for most "general readers," even those who already know something about ancient Egypt.

The amount of factual detail in this book is overwhelming, as befits a scholarly work, but there is not enough interpretation or explanation to make the archaeology come alive for a non-professional reader. The book's lack of illustration (other than confusing line drawings of early dynastic seals) is another minus, both for scholars and general readers alike.

I was also surprised at Wilkinson's non-quantitative treatment of the archaeological record. Important numbers like population estimates and enclosure dimensions seem largely absent from this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Francesca Jourdan on August 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In this stunning book, the author chronicles the cultural, religious, economic and political developments which led to the construction of the pyramids. Divided in three parts, the author provides convincing evidence in relation to the five topics discussed herein, i.e. administration, contacts with foreign lands, establishment of divine kingship, royal tombs, and early Egyptian religion. A remarkable publication with great photography. Highly recommended for the interested student or scholar.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Filson on May 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Seriously solid information on the early Egyptian dynasties is almost impossible to find. The era gets short shrift in the popular literature owing to the paucity of remains from it. This is at least partly, we learn, because archaeologists seemed more attracted to the dynasties that would yield booty than those that would surface trinkets. Additionally, the lack of a cogent narrative for the first three dynasties gives little for non-accademic writers to work with.

Wilkinson makes up for this by organizing the book more by topic than by chronology. It makes for an interesting read, even if the picture that emerges is just a fragmentary as the evidence. A perusal of the table of contents will give you an idea of how this is done.

Wilkinson spares no detail. Looking for attested instances of Semerkhet's nswt-bty? They're all dutifully cataloged in well-written prose in the chapter covering kings by chronology and likely referenced in the chapter on population centers if they were found within one.

Aside from the actual archaeological evidence, there's a fair bit of informed speculation. The actual names of the kings isn't altogether clear and there are a few ephemerally attested kings that may be alternate names of known kings, usurpers, or something else entirely. It's these musings that make this such a great read and highlight where encyclopedias of kings' names or overviews of Egyptian history fall well short. Early Dynastic Egypt is invaluable.
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