The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (BCP Egyptology)
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About the Author
Wolfram Grajetzki is the author of several books including most recently Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt (2003, also published by Duckworth) and studies of Tarkhan and Harageh.
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The first third examines the 11th, 12th and 13th dynasties, providing political context for the remainder of the book. The middle third covers geography (basically a list of the 22 upper Egyptian nomes and the 16 lower Egyptian nomes). This was the weakest part of the book, providing little more than a list of the nomes and their capitals and a few details of the principal deity of these sites. Fortunately the last third on Egyptian society was stronger.
To his detriment, Grajetski is rather dry - his prose is not very lively and there is little analysis around the political changes and archeological record (making up 2/3 of the book). This is balanced by his detailing of the political changes that took place in the Middle Kingdom, and his careful exposition when writing about society: how the archaeological record informs and leads to differing interpretations of the social heirarchy. It is unfortunate that he does not provide similar criticism to the other elements of the book.
Nonetheless, this is a very good examination of Middle Kingdom Egypt and offers a solid foundation for further reading. The biblography is particularly helpful. For serious students of ancient history, this is a recommended read.
This book is a comprehensive history of this underappreciated period in Egyptian history - the 11, 12th&13th dynasties.
The book starts with brief, concise summaries of the reign of each of the Pharoahs of the period, such as Montuhotep, and Amenemhet and Senusret, as well as summaries of the mysterious 13th dynasty, which is usually completely ignored in the history books.
Then the book starts in the South of Egypt, and works its way north, region ( called Nomes in Egyptian history) by region, summarizing all of the remains that can be found in this region which date to the Middle Kingdom.
Then the books concludes with a section on Egyptian society, including material on the King and his court, and some of the towns like Lahun.
This is a comprehensive, welcome addition to an armchair Egyptologists library.