Spanning the years from c. 5000 B.C. to the early centuries A.D., the Nile Valley civilization was one of the earliest created by humankind. It remains one of the most fascinating and influential. This handy yet encyclopedic reference work offers a comprehensive overview of ancient Egyptian history, from Predynastic times to the Old and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Accessible, authoritative, and clearly organized, the Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt affords an engaging look at a culture whose art, architecture, religion, and medicine came to form the basis of Western Civilization. The thematically arranged chapters allow readers easy access to several key topics, including historical background, geography, government, religion, funerary customs, architecture, literature, the military, the economy, and everyday life. Drawing on written sources dating from c. 3100 B.C. and such widespread archaeological evidence as monuments, artifacts, inscriptions, and preserved human remains, noted Egyptologist Rosalie David covers everything from the Sun Cult and the pyramids to the arrival and dispersal of Christianity. Her useful Handbook also features: * 112 maps, photographs, and original line drawings * suggestions for further reading at the conclusion of each chapter * a chronological table of over five millennia of Egyptian history * an appendix listing museums with Egyptian collections * a timely and extensive overall bibliography as well as a thorough index Combining archaeological and historical sources, this Handbook provides all the essential data required by anyone interested in Egyptian history, archaeology, religion, or culture.