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How to Read the "Egyptian Book of the Dead" Paperback – February 5, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: How to Read
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862079137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862079137
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,932,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

* 'A capsule key to the ancient Egyptian mind' Dr. Norman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent, The Times * 'Excellent, unusual and arresting...This is most certainly a book that will challenge and reward' New World * 'A fascinating tour of the most significant hieroglyphs and the people who created them' VeloCity magazine

About the Author

Barry Kemp is Professor of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Field Director of The Egypt Exploration Society's archaeological expedition to Tell el-Amarna. He is the author of Ancient Egypt; Anatomy of a Civilization and 100 Hieroglyphs.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By PamR on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
A slim book -- 100 pages or so -- but filled with solidly researched information. Barry Kemp is a practicing Egyptologist (working in Amarna), as well as a Cambridge University professor and scholar. I appreciate the fact that he gives not only his own carefully thought out opinions but mentions other scientists' opinions as well. He is a good writer, though he has a dense style. It has taken me a while to get through this book, but well worth the effort. There is more information in this small book than in many large books on Ancient Egypt that I have read. I have learned so much about The Book of the Dead from reading it, including the fact that it was never called that by the Ancient Egyptians, but called The Going Forth by Day. Kemp cites and examines many of the spells that make up the work, and the information he conveys along the way is illuminating. This book is well worth adding to your library of books on Ancient Egypt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Gibson on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book definitely offered insight and assistance in understanding the spells in the Book of the Dead, and the author does a nice job of trying to fit the spells into the everyday life and world-view of the ancient Egyptian. He seemed to me at times, however, to be a little bit condescending toward his subjects and the period, as if the Egyptian worldview and religion were inferior to our own (not in every respect, surely). Overall, though, I found it a short, helpful companion to my beautiful oversized version of the papyrus of Ani.
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By Roberto on December 31, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Della on January 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At roughly 110 pages, Kemp's book is more of a long pamphlet. But for those interested in understanding the mindset behind the Book of the Dead (or Peret em Heru--Coming Forth by Day), this book will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf. Kemp's writing is clear, enjoyable to read, and at times quite insightful.

Kemp had a habit of subtly putting down the ancient Egyptians at times, while demonstrating a degree of respect for them at others. The part that grated most was when Kemp kept calling the ancient Egyptians' religion an invented one, as if the ancients were silly savages whose thoughts had no merit. It was really a matter of tone and how he framed it. This was the one flaw that marred an otherwise wonderful addition to my Egyptology collection.
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful By magickseeker on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read only a few pages and it is in my garage shelf now. Perhaps I was expecting too much info, but nonethless, I really did not what to expect
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