From Publishers Weekly
This is a packed tour through one of the most remarkable eras in world history, overseen by Ziegler, director of the department of Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre, who curated a show at Venice's Palazzo Grassi for which this book served as the catalogue. Distributed among 11 conceptually-based chapters are more than 20 rich but short and accessible essays by a variety of hands, which Ziegler binds together, when necessary, with chapter introductions. They take readers through the New Kingdom that arose in 1554 BC and lasted 500 years, exploring "The State and Administration," "The Ritualist Pharaoh" and "The Royal Mummies," and revealing much about individual figures like Djoser and Akhenaton, the structure and function of state institutions and the kingdom's treasures. The works, culled from more than 30 lenders and institutions, have more often than not been photographed against standard black backgrounds; the images are generally crisp but seem familiar, while the layout of the text is cramped and uninviting. Some 100 pages are devoted to a checklist-style "catalog" of pieces in the show that reveals the piece's provenance and reprints the "wall text" that appeared next to the object in the exhibition. The credits list five translators for the project, but the text is generally smooth, unremarkable museum-ese. All in all, this is a deeply researched work of popular Egyptology that puts accuracy and breadth above presentation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Christiane Ziegler is director of the department of Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre. Francesco Tiradritti has Ph.D. in Egyptian studies and is affiliated with the Civiche Raccolte Archeologiche in Milan.