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Comment: Pages are free from writing, underlining, and highlighting. Binding is tight. Spine is creased. Cover shows moderate shelf wear.
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The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0192804587 ISBN-10: 0192804588

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The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt + The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt (Hist Atlas)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192804588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192804587
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

`Review from previous edition The approach combines traditional chronological history with cultural and social historical material to produce a well rounded picture ... chapters covering prehistory and the intermediate periods are particularly good, with Seidlmayer on the First Intermediate Period and Bourriau on the Second Intermediate Period outstanding. Bryan's chapter on the 18th Dynasty before the Amarna Period is also particularly good.' Antiquity

`If you only want to read one book on Egypt, then read this one ... even people who consider themselves as experts on Ancient Egypt will find much to set them thinking: And while such Egyptologists will have a field day, the casual reader will find plenty to arouse their interest, ranging from the story of the world's first strike ... to the revelation that Scotland Yard possesses a print taken from the hand of a mummy.' The Northern Echo

`splendid, lavishly illustrated book ... the only single-volume work to cover 700,000 years of Ancient Egypt from the stone age to Roman conquest ... Lucidly edited by Ian Shaw ... you get the facts without the dust. An excellent choice for enthusiasts and novices alike; even better if you can persuade someone to buy for you as a present.' Roddy Phillips, Aberdeen Press and Journal

`From the Stone Age to the Roman occupation in the fourth centry AD, the mighty Egyptian dynasties are brought to life in almost 450 pages ... never anything but deeply informative, without losing sight of the essential attribute of any book - readability ... both stimulating to the casual reader or keen-to-learn holiday maker and the serious student alike.' Peter Leach, North West Evening Mail

`brimming with ... intriguing facts ... also provides a first-rate overview of - le progres Egyptien - from the period when Homo erectus first stalked the land right up to Octavian's triumphant entry into Egypt in 30 BC.' Douglas Kennedy, The Times

About the Author


Ian Shaw studied Archaeology and Egyptology at Cambridge University, gaining a PhD on the archaeological remains at Tell el-Amarna. He later undertook research into Egyptian quarrying and mining sites as a British Academy Research Fellow at New Hall, Cambridge. His other publications include Ancient Egyptian Warfare and Weapons (1992), The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (1995), The Dictionary of Archaeology (1999), and Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (2000)

Customer Reviews

Overall, a very good overview of Ancient Egyptian history.
Rob
If you don't have a lamp in the right position, you will get a large unreadable glare on the page.
David Weisman
The chapters thus feel rather disjointed, and of course, there is no narrative momentum.
Robert J. Crawford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Carwash on March 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
The work in this book is presented in a thorough and detailed manner, covering the whole fascinating history of ancient Egyptian civilization. My one complaint is that the style is very dry, making it tough going for a non-specialist (even one used to academic treatise in another field). That said, if you are willing to stick with it, or wish to have a reliable reference work on the subject, this would be an asset on your bookshelf.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Fischer on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of essays by various authors, and the quality of them varies tremendously from chapter to chapter. While it covers all of Egyptian history from prehistoric times to the Roman era, this book is not a particularly good introduction. Here's a typical sentence from the first chapter: "The Nubian Middle Paleolithic is characterized by the Nubian Levallois technique and by bifacial foliates and pendunculates." If you know what the Levallois technique and pendunculates are, great. If, like me, you have no idea what this means, you have a problem because there is a maddening lack of definition throughout. For me, the book's major drawback is that it fails to balance the larger picutre of historical development with this kind of astonishingly particular language. The main problem is that the editor has not sought any consistency among the various contributions. For example, the chapter on the Ptolemeic period spends an inordinate amount of time examinging the Egyptian military, a topic only fleetingly touched on in earlier chapters and ignored completely in the following chapter on the Roman period. The final Roman essay almost completely ignores the political structure of Egypt, even though that topic is central to almost all earlier contributors. Finally, anyone interested in Egyptian religion will find little information in this book. Some chapters touch on the topic, often pointing out that religious ideas evolved significantly over long periods of time. Other chapters ignore it altogether or merely present religious ideas as if the reader fully understood them. There is, however, an excellent array of maps and high quality pictures of art and architecture.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on August 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has got to be one of the most boring history books that I have read in years, and I read a lot of them. While it competently covers the grand outlines of Egyptian history, it gets mired in the details of how archaeologists go about piecing together their clues, that is, the deductions behind how an artifact is interpreted by whom at what unrecognizable excavation site. Now this can certainly be interesting if a story is told, but in this book it comes across as the driest of exercises in academic rigor. Of course, this kind of detail, particularly regarding their methods, should be of great interest to serious university students who are wondering about the cutting edge in their field. But it is most emphatically not for the interested amateur.

If you want to get an idea of what the book is like, take a look at the introduction, which is available in the "excerpts" on the amazon onlinereader. It is 15 pages of a kind of lecture on how chronologies should be compiled, what kinds of artifacts are available in what period, what problems there are in interpretation of them, who pioneered what method, etc. It is so boring that it is akin to eating cardboard. And the rest of the book is hardly any better.

In addition, because each chapter is written by an expert, the overall book loses a coherence of voice that is available only in works by a single author. The chapters thus feel rather disjointed, and of course, there is no narrative momentum. As such, I got little sense of why so much attention is lavished on certain archaeological details while events about which much is known, such as the reign of the various Ramses (think Moses, etc.) receive at most passing mention. I also barely got any sense of the religion or mythology.
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37 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David Weisman on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of dry essays written with poor cohesion. It's as if the sum editiorial guidance was "Write something about the second intermediate period." Some articles repeat discusssions (for instance, after dozens of citations of Manetho's Aeqyptiaca and the Turin Canon as well as an explanation of both, on page 186, these sources are explained as if for the first time), some articles refer to history that has never been discussed.

If you are not knowledgeable about the geopgraphy of Egypt, you will be frustrated. For instance, the city Memphis is cited 4 times before the page with a map including its location. I was constantly flipping through the maps trying to find different cities. It didn't help that this particular map (p 91) is not even included on the list of maps and plans! The 1st and 2nd cataracts are not included on a map until page 227!

Some cities are never included on maps (historical and modern: "route from 'Sako' (probably modern el-Qes)"). And when locations are on maps, the text often contradicts the map. On page 201: "Cusae lies about 40 km, south of Hermopolis (el-Ashmunein)". On the facing page, Cusae is about 5 km ne of Hermoplois.

Religion is an essential part of understanding Egyptian history. I was really disappointed that a 500 page book did not include one article on religion or the afterlife.

The final annoyance is the glossy stock. If you don't have a lamp in the right position, you will get a large unreadable glare on the page.
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