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The Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt [Paperback]

Rosalie David
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 18 2003
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.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA-From the predynastic times to the Old and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, this concise overview is written in thematic chapters that result in a complete picture of the civilization. Topics include history, geography, society and government, religion, funerary beliefs and customs, architecture and building, hieroglyphs, the army and navy, foreign trade and transport, economy and industry, and everyday life. The book ends with a chronology and a list of museums with Egyptian collections. Not quite as easy to read or as simply organized as a general encyclopedia, the title does provide useful material not found in standard resources for reports and projects.
Linda A. Vretos, West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

David (professor of Egyptology, University of Manchester, England), surveys Egypt from predynastic times through the arrival of Islam, concentrating on the period before the establishment of the Ptolemies as the ruling dynasty. The chapters are thematic, covering Egyptology and archaeology, history, geography, society and government, religion, funerary customs and beliefs, architecture and building, written evidence, the military, foreign trade and transport, economy and industry, and everyday life.

David has added material based on the many discoveries since the 1998 edition. In the chapter "Egyptology, Archaeology, and Scientific Mummy Studies in Egypt," which is new, she discusses the application of modern scientific techniques, including medical diagnosis, to mummies. All the techniques are described briefly but clearly. There is a section on the Schistosoiasis Research Project, which may be the most far-reaching chronological study of a disease ever undertaken. Mummies are being tested for evidence of the disease, which is still a danger to modern Egyptians. Among other changes are a brief section on pets added to the chapter on everyday life and a rewritten section on temples to reflect new thinking about the different temple types. The section on Tomb KV5 has been rewritten and moved to the new chapter on archaeology. However, much of the text remains the same as in the earlier edition.

The format of the book has not changed. Besides an extensive bibliography, with more up-to-date citations, each chapter has suggested readings, some of which may be available in larger public libraries. The text is liberally illustrated with photographs, line drawings, and excellent maps.

Less scholarly than The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (2000), the new edition of Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt is recommended for high-school and public libraries; lower-division undergraduates and adults looking for quick information should find it useful as well. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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The civilization of ancient Egypt lasted for more than 5,000 years. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Reference or Beginner's Guide March 6 2004
Format:Hardcover
HANDBOOK TO LIFE IN ANCIENT EGYPT is a very helpful reference and the revised edition gives the most up-to-date information. It really is more like an encyclopedia. It is not necessary to be read cover to cover as such, although the reader can do so. It is divided up into 12 chapters covering 12 different topics. Some of the information, if pertinent, overlaps in the chapters, but is put there for completeness. The chapters are: 1 - Egyptology, Archaeology and Scientific Mummy Studies in Egypt; 2 - Historical Background; 3-Geography of Ancient Egypt; 4 - Society and Government; 5 - Religion of the Living; 6-- Funerary Beliefs and Customs; 7 - Architecture and Building; 8-- Written Evidence; 9-- The Army and Navy; 10 -- Foreign Trade and Transport; 11 - Economy and Industry; and 12 -- Everyday Life. There are also a Chronological Table, a List of Museums with Egyptian Collections, a Bibliography and an Index included.
This is a helpful reference for anyone and is especially useful to the person just beginning to learn about Ancient Egypt.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kemet.org Book Review Posted! April 22 2001
Format:Paperback
A wonderful book to replace the very outdated and patently racist "Life in Ancient Egypt" by Erman, David's coffee-table book about the worldview and culture of the ancient Egyptians is quite nice. Be aware of a tendency to read certain portions of Egyptian life as "coming from an outside source" (an oblique reference to the outdated "Dynastic Race Theory" that, sadly, still seems to be held to by some British archaeologists). Otherwise factual, useful, and filled with an excellent bibliography.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kemet.org Book Review Posted! April 22 2001
By Tamara L. Siuda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A wonderful book to replace the very outdated and patently racist "Life in Ancient Egypt" by Erman, David's coffee-table book about the worldview and culture of the ancient Egyptians is quite nice. Be aware of a tendency to read certain portions of Egyptian life as "coming from an outside source" (an oblique reference to the outdated "Dynastic Race Theory" that, sadly, still seems to be held to by some British archaeologists). Otherwise factual, useful, and filled with an excellent bibliography.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt Jan. 14 2011
By Gilgamesh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt by Rosalie David is one of a series under the Facts on File imprint. As a writer of historical novels I found this book, as well as others in the series, authoritative, highly readable and full of relevant information. Books such as this are very convenient to have at hand when writing on screen as there is no need to lose sight of the text, as would happen when consulting internet sources that may or may not be as well founded in their knowledge as Rosalie David.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read for beginners and intermediate enthusiasts alike July 7 2010
By Karson178 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To begin with, this book is well written and is very accessible for a variety of people who like to either begin their journey into the Egyptian existence. The chapterts are both cohesive in reading but also stand alone if you would like to read on a particular facet of Egyptian culture. It is, of course, not a book for in depth exploration of these topics but if gives a marvelous overview of the topics and there is a provided list of recommended reading for these topics if warranted. As above, I definitely recommend this book for beginning and intermediate enthusiasts wanting a more intimate approach to the Egyptian people and the lives they lived.
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of info July 20 2005
By M. Sanders - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book gives a good overview of what we know about the Ancient Egyptian culture. This was a book I had to purchase for a class on the subject and I found it quite interesting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Aug. 8 2006
By Bighead - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is very thorough in the information it provides. Pretty much self explanatory.
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