Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Jul 22, 2004 - History - 192 pages
The ancient Egyptians are an enduring source of fascination - mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured the imagination of generations. We all have a mental picture of ancient Egypt, but is it the right one? How much do we really know about this great civilization? In this absorbing introduction, Ian Shaw describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses. He also explores the changing influences on our responses to these finds, through such media as literature, cinema and contemporary art. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of ancient Egypt, from despotic pharaohs to dismembered bodies, and from hieroglyphs to animal-headed gods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - aront - LibraryThing

As often true for books in this series, this book isn't what the title suggests. While it does cover the topic, the focus is more about Egyptology than Egypt. He does cover Ancient Egypt, not ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Brasidas - LibraryThing

Ian Shaw provides an overview of Egyptian civilization by way of a single proto-Dynastic antiquity called the Narmer Palette. Especially interesting for this reader was his emphasis on the way in ... Read full review


the story so far
constructing ancient Egypt
building chronologies and writing histories
the origins and implications of hieroglyphs
stereotyping and the oriental despot
issues of ethnicity race and gender
mummification dismemberment and the cult of Osiris
Egyptian gods and temples
the recycling and reinventing of Egypts icons and images
Further reading
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About the author (2004)

Ian Shaw studied Archaeology and Egyptology at Cambridge University from 1979 to 1983. He obtained his PhD (a study of the artefacts at el-Amarna) from Wolfson College, Cambridge University in 1987. From 1986 to 1990 he edited the ancient Egyptian section of the Macmillan Dictionary of Art. From 1990 to 1994, he undertook research into Egyptian quarrying and mining sites as a British Academy Research Fellow at New Hall, Cambridge. From 1995 to 2000 he was aLecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is currently Lecturer in Classics and Oriental Studies at the University of Liverpool.

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