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Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt Hardcover – February 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069100448X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691004488
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,262,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt is a happy example of a synthesis of factual knowledge and theoretical questioning. It has much to say, both about a particular and well-documented society and about the nature of the suppositions that a modern scholar needs to bring to such a society to make sense of it. . . . [It] brings together an impressive range of material, sets this material sensibly in context and uses the testimony of an ancient society to remind us what it is to be human, and how life's challenges and limitations need to be met."--John Ray, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Drawing on extensive archaeological and textual evidence . . . Meskell draws a richly nuanced picture of life in an Egyptian village in New Kingdom Egypt, using the concept of human life cycle as her organizing framework."--Choice

"For [general readers] the book will clearly be an extremely useful source for understanding the private lives of the Egyptians at this time. For Egyptologists it should provide a unified, up-to-date view of this aspect of the subject and Lynn Meskell has done scholars a service in writing it."--Helen Strudwick, Antiquity

"Informative, well researched, entertaining, and [it] makes an important contribution to the field."--Ellen Morris, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology

From the Inside Flap

"Lynn Meskell has written the most detailed and insightful account of ordinary life in New Kingdom Egypt ever to see print. It will supersede all previous works on this subject."--Bruce Trigger, McGill University

"This is an original, stimulating, and readable work. The author presents life in ancient Egypt in an illuminating biographical framework, treating personal relations, gender, and sexuality extensively on the basis of a uniquely rich archaeological and textual record, especially from Deir el-Medina. The book makes a most valuable contribution at the levels of theory and of vital and accessible data."--John Baines, Oxford University

"Egyptology has been for many decades an intensely conservative, text-based discipline. Meskell's work is refreshing for breaking away to reassess textual, visual, and archaeological evidence to reconstruct how individuals experienced private life in the New Kingdom. It is well written and very accessiblean excellent and innovative project that will appeal to a broad audience of scholars, students, and general readers."--Gay Robins, author of The Art of Ancient Egypt

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14 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stella Nemeth on February 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Four people voted on the usefulness of my original review, and none of them found it helpful. I guess that is reason enough to try to rewrite it. Whether a review is pro or con, it ought to explain enough about why the reviewer made the decisions they made to be useful to the people who read the review.
My main problem with this book was the writer's style. The book read like one long catalog of citations, or an overgrown footnote instead of a book. I recognize that the author wanted to place herself within the context of current theories and demonstrate that she knew what that range consisted of. It would have been more useful to me if she had discussed the theories and her opinions of them. I found the lists of historians useless and frustrating. I kept wanting to get to the meat of the issues, but all I found was pages and pages of these lists.
It occurs to me that what I was reading was a PHD thesis and not a book. I suppose there is a place for published theses, but my bookshelf isn't one of them.
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