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National Geographic has a well-deserved reputation for quality writing and even greater photography, and in this text, they do not disappoint. Author Brian Fagan and photographer Kenneth Garrett have put together a stellar offering here in 'Egypt of the Pharoahs'. This is an historical period that lasted several thousand years -- Egypt is one of the original civilisations in the world -- and quite an undertaking for any author and photographer. This is meant as more of an accessible survey than an in-depth, critical analysis of ancient Egyptian history; a coffee-table book and a gift book, this text is also good for students and generalists for basic background on Egyptian history. The major sections of the text follow the historical progression: Egypt before the Pharoahs (circa 3100 BCE), the Old Kingdom (to 2000 BCE), the Middle Kingdom (to 1500 BCE), the New Kingdom (to 1000 BCE), and finally the late period, ending with the overthrow of Cleopatra (actually, Cleopatra VII) by Octavian (later Augustus), who brought Egyptian independence to an end. Egypt is perhaps best known for the pyramids, and in particular, the pyramids of Giza, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world (and the only one still standing). However, the vast richness of Egyptian history, as a regional superpower for literally thousands of years, extends far beyond the pyramids. The development of writing in the hieroglyph manner, while not adapted much beyond the Egyptian sphere of influence, nonetheless became symbolic of literacy and artistic ability in the ancient world.Read more ›
This large and lavishly illustrated volume is wonderful in nearly every aspect. The photos are new and fresh, and not the average, generic things you might expect to see in a book on Egypt, like pictures of the pyramids and Tut's tomb. This book is well-written, and aesthetically pleasing. I recommend it, particularly the leather, collector's edition.
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