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Ancient Egypt on 5 Deben a Day (Traveling on 5) Paperback – November 1, 2010
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The book encourages the reader to consider ancient Egyptian culture through the eyes of an Egyptian traveler ca. 1250BC during the New Kingdom reign of Ramesses II. This is a pleasing twist on more traditional and frequently drier tourist/academic literature. The scope is wide-ranging but doesn't skimp on detail. Ryan provides general information for the visitor - what to wear, when to go, money, food, drink and social norms as well as a giving a broader perspective of the ancient land - its history, geography, religion, art and building practices. The traveler is guided from the north (Memphis, Saqqara, Giza etc), through Middle Egypt (Dahshur, the Fayyum, Amarna) and on towards the south (Thebes, Aswan and into Nubia - the north of modern Sudan).
Thames and Hudson have a history of publishing finely presented works and this book is no exception. The text is complemented by well-chosen illustrations consisting of line drawings, paintings and photographs; many of the drawings come from classic early publications including Lepsius, Champollion, and the epic Description de l'Égypte. There are a couple of sections of full-color plates. Interesting facts are highlighted throughout in separate text boxes along with a selection of excerpts from ancient Egyptian spells, poems and letters. The books wraps up with maps/plans and a useful (and amusing) glossary/phrase list: "Nefer Kemet er-see er tay-ee khaset kheset."
If you have a passion for Egypt or are a traveler looking for literary transportation to pastures new - buy this book!
Edmund S. Meltzer PhD