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.
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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
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