- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (November 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415268753
- ISBN-13: 978-0415268752
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,056,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Egypt's Making: The Origins of Ancient Egypt 5000-2000 BC 2nd Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Much careful work has gone into both the highly articulate text and the carefully chosen illustrations...presented with clarity and commitment.
Praise for the first edition
About the Author
Michael Rice is an extensively published author on the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt and the near East. He is particularly interested in the origins of complex societies, and has established museums throughout the Arabian peninsula states.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But the book does have flaws, not least of which is Rice's unquestioning acceptance of conventional dates and dating-systems. Rice appears to be unaware of the fact that Egyptian chronology, as we now find it, has no scientific basis. The First Dynasty of Egypt was originally placed in the fourth millunnium BC (by Eusebius) because he, along with Jewish chroniclers, wished to tie in the history of the Bible with that of Egypt. In doing so, they made Menes, the first pharaoh, identical to Adam, the first man, and therefore placed him in the fifth or fourth millnnium (estimates varied) BC. And that is the position (subject to minor amendment) that he still occupies. The irony, of course, is that this mistaken attempt to sycnronize Egyptian and Israelite histories has obscured the very real contacts that existed between the two peoples, and made proper synchronization all but impossible.
Take for example the Mesopotamian influence on early Egypt. This sounds remarkably like the culture-bearing migration from Mesopotamia to Egypt and Canaan recorded in the biblical story of Abraham. The two were never connected, of course, because the Abraham story is placed by conventional historians a thousand years after the founding of Egypt's First Dynasty. Yet it can be shown that everything, absolutely everything, about the Patriarch epoch, the epoch of Abraham, Joseph and Moses, indicates that it belongs in the Early Bronze Age. The Patriarch narratives are full of references to cultural and religious practices which point clearly in this direction. Among the most notable of these are: (a) Human sacrifice (mentioned in the Abraham story and the birth legend of Moses); (b) Religious use of ziggurats and pyramids (Jacob's "stairway to heaven", at the top of which was the "house of God".); (c) Mention of cosmic catastrophes (In Abraham, Joseph and Moses narratives); (d) References to Cosmic Pillar or Tower, and its destruction (In Abraham narrative).
It is in fact with Abraham that Hebrew history first connects with Egypt - and the connection was established, it appears, right at the beginning of the histories of the two peoples. We might note, for example, the striking phallic associations of both Abraham and Menes, the first pharaoh. The name Abraham actually means "father of many", and the Patriarch initiates the custom of circumcision, whilst the Egyptian Menes (or Mena or Min) clearly takes his name from the phallic god Min, who was also associated with circumcision and was perhaps the most important deity in Egypt at the beginning of the First Dynasty. Similarly, Jewish legend recalls that Abraham entered Egypt during the reign of the first pharaoh, and emphasizes that, when he arrived, the Egyptians were virtual barbarians, and to the Patriarch went the credit of teaching them the rudiments of civilization. (See Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews).
All this dramatically calls to mind the evidence of archaeology, which has revealed a culture-bearing migration from Mesopotamia to Egypt just before the beginning of the First Dynasty, which Michael Rice has so ably illustrated.
If "Abraham" then, or the Abraham epoch, was contemporary with Menes, the first pharaoh, this has dramatic consequences for the whole of Egyptian and Hebrew history. Most immediately, it implies that the Patriarch Joseph, who brought the Hebrew tribes into Egypt, be identified with the Egyptian seer Imhotep, who laboured for pharaoh Djoser at the start of the Third Dynasty. Imhotep was the greatest and most celebrated of all Egyptian seers, who solved the crisis of a seven-year famine by interpreting Djoser's dream. In precisely the same way, biblical history tells us that, about two centuries after Abraham, a young Hebrew seer named Joseph became vizier to the pharaoh after solving the crisis of a seven-year famine by interpreting the king's dream.
Removing a thousand years from Egyptian chronology therefore seems to have the effect of producing a precise match between the histories of the two neighbouring peoples. And the matches continue through subsequent centuries. These however are missed by Rice and by all mainstream Egyptologists, who remain wedded to a chronology based ultimately on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Book of Genesis (though they are unaware of this).