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Seller: ancientgifts (4,333) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382199273687 Condition: See detailed condition description below., Material: Paper, Details: "Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt" by Nigel Strudwick. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket. Publisher: University of Texas (2006). Pages: 352. Size: 8½ x 8½ x 1¼ inches; 2¾ pounds. Summary: The British Museum has the largest and finest collection of antiquities from Egypt and the Sudan outside of those countries. "Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt" presents the highlights of the British Museum's Egyptian collection for the first time in print. This beautiful volume displays 200 of the most important and famous objects, including the Rosetta Stone, as well as a selection of lesser-known but equally significant pieces. Together, these works offer an overview of the whole of ancient Egyptian art. Each object is illustrated with a full-page color photograph, many of which were taken especially for this publication. The accompanying text unfolds the story and features of each object. The introduction offers a brief history of the vast collections of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan and a description of how and why items are selected for display in the permanent galleries of the British Museum. CONDITION: NEW. NEW hardcover with dustjacket. University of Texas (2006) 352 pages.Unblemished and pristine in every respect except that the dustjacket and covers evidence very mild edge and corner shelfwear. Inside the book is pristine; the pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. The edge and corner shelfwear to the dustjacket is principally in the form of very mild crinkling to the spine head and heel, and the upper "tips" (the top open corners of the dustjacket, front and back). Beneath the dustjacket the full cloth covers are clean and unsoiled, only echoing the same very mild edge and corner shelfwear as the overlaying dustjacket. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8691a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: The British Museum’s ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collection is one of the most comprehensive and magnificent in the world. “Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt” is the first illustrated guide to the highlights of this wonderful collection. It features over 200 of the most stunning and important Egyptian and Sudanese artifacts in the Museum, including not only internationally famous items such as the Rosetta Stone, but also a wealth of lesser-known but equally significant or beautiful pieces from Egypt and Sudan. The entries are illustrated with stunning full-page color photographs. The objects are arranged in chronological order, beginning with the earliest Pre-Dynastic pots and figurines, and continuing through the three-thousand-year rule of the pharaohs, right up to Roman Egypt and the Coptic Christian period. The book thus provides an overview of the whole of ancient Egyptian art and civilization. REVIEW: Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt is the first illustrated guide to the highlights of the British Museum's wonderful collection. It features over 180 of the most stunning and important Egyptian and Sudanese artifacts in the Museum, including not only internationally famous items such as the Rosetta Stone, but also a wealth of lesser-known but equally significant or beautiful pieces. The objects are arranged in chronological order, beginning with the earliest pre-dynastic pots and figurines, and continuing through the three thousand year rule of the Pharaohs, right up to Roman Egypt and the Coptic Christian period. REVIEW: Features over 200 of the most stunning and important Egyptian and Sudanese artifacts in the [British] Museum, including not only internationally famous items such as the Rosetta Stone, but also a wealth of lesser-known but equally significant or beautiful pieces from Egypt and Sudan. The entries are illustrated with full-page color photographs. REVIEW: This beautiful, richly illustrated book highlights 200 of the most magnificent and important Egyptian objects in the collections of the British Museum. REVIEW: More than 200 of the British Museum's most striking and important objects from Egypt and the Sudan are presented here, spanning 3,000 years of ancient history and culture. Along with such internationally famous items as the Rosetta Stone, it includes the earliest-known pre-dynastic pots and figurines, funerary items and other masterpieces of the pharaonic era, and items from Roman Egypt and the Coptic Christian period. Each is shown in a full-page color photograph, and fully described on the facing page. REVIEW: The British Museum has the largest and finest collection of antiquities from Egypt and the Sudan outside of those countries. Packed with information and insights, this classic book, now in paperback, contains over 200 of the most important objects, including the most famous (such as the Rosetta Stone) and also a selection of lesser known but equally significant or beautiful pieces. An introduction offers a brief history of the vast Egyptian collections of the British Museum and the Egyptian sites and periods from which they come. Each of the 200 objects has a short accompanying text and full page color illustration. It is arranged in chronological order, these intriguing objects range from the earliest predynastic period through the 3,000 year rule of the pharaohs up to Roman Egypt, offering an overview of the art of ancient Egypt in a single volume. REVIEW: Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt is the first illustrated guide to the highlights of the British Museum's wonderful collection. REVIEW: The British Museum has the largest, finest and most famous collection of antiquities from Egypt and the Sudan outside of those countries. This guide highlights this collection. It provides an introduction that offers a history of the collections of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan. REVIEW: Nigel Strudwick is a curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum. His publications include Thebes in Egypt. REVIEW: Dr. Nigel Strudwick earned his Ph.D. at the Department of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, England and a B.A. in Ancient Egyptian and Coptic, Keble Collage, Oxford, England. He has been Assistant Keeper, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum, London since 1978. He has written extensively on ancient Egypt, including scholarly works on Egyptian grammar and translations, as well as popular books such as "Thebes in Egypt: A Guide to the Tombs and Temples of Ancient Luxor"; "Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt", which highlights the British Museum collection; and "Hieroglyph Detective: How to Decode the Sacred Language of the Ancient Egyptians". REVIEW: Currently a visiting professor of Art History at the University of Memphis, Dr. Strudwick earned his Ph.D. from Liverpool University. He has excavated in Egypt for many years, has a long-standing interest in the Tombs of the Nobles at Thebes, and currently directs the excavation of the tomb of Senneferi in Thebes. He publishes extensively on ancient Egypt, and his books include scholarly and popular works on ancient Egyptian history and archaeology. A very versatile scholar, he has produced a volume of translations of ancient Egyptian texts from the Old Kingdom (circa 2700–2150 B.C.) and several books on Egyptian objects in the collections of the British Museum. Some of his fieldwork and publications are done in collaboration with his wife Helen, also a noted Egyptologist. To name only a few, his books include "Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt” and "The Administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom", as well as collaborative edited volumes, such as The "Theban Necropolis: Past, Present, and Future" and "Old Kingdom: New Perspectives". Among his books for the layman is The Hieroglyph Detective, a guide on how to read certain types of hieroglyphic inscriptions. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Preface. Introduction: -Ancient Egypt. -Chronology of Ancient Egypt. -The Egyptian Collections of the British Museum. -Map of Sites in Ancient Egypt. The Masterpieces: -Predynastic Period. -Early Dynastic Period. -Old Kingdom. -First Intermediate Period. -Middle Kingdom. -Second Intermediate Period. -New Kingdom. -Third Intermediate Period. -Late Period. -Ptolemaic Period. -Roman Period. -Meroitic and Post-Meroitic Periods. -Coptic/ Byzantine Period and Later. Glossary. Further Reading. Bibliography for the Objects. Index of British Museum Numbers. Index of Egyptian Names. Index of Place Names Ancient Egypt Chronology of Ancient Egypt The Egyptian Collections of the British Museum Map of Sites in Ancient Egypt The Masterpieces Predynastic Period Early Dynastic Period Old Kingdom First Intermediate Period Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate Period New Kingdom Third Intermediate Period Late Period Ptolemaic Period Roman Period Meroitic and Post-Meroitic Periods Coptic/ Byzantine Period and Later Glossary Further Reading Bibliography for the Objects Index of British Museum Numbers Index of Egyptian Names Index of Place Names. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: "Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt" opens with a standard run through of ancient Egyptian history through to the Arab conquest of 642 A.D., with a particularly informative inclusion of the history of the Kingdom of Kush to Egypt's south. The author includes an explanation of how the British Museum acquired its collection and the provenances of the pieces. Mr. Strudwick begins with the collections earliest pieces from the Predynastic and earliest dynasties including the small ivory statuette of a king, perhaps Dynasty I found by Flinders Petrie in the ruins of an early temple at Abydos. The picture cannot do justice to this little piece as I found when I last stood in front of it in 2004 and for me a favorite piece in the collection. The First or Second Dynasty relief of two kings on limestone (EA 67153), is a rarely seen piece in pictures and may actually be a practice slab used be an artist to perfect his/her craft. The shame that today we can only see fragments of the first rate fresco's that once decorated the funerary chapel of Itet at Meydum. I have always loved the Old Kingdom husband-wife statues and the limestone statue of Kaitep and Hetepheres is no exception. Mr. Strudwick puts forth in his choice of an object from the First Intermediate Period the stela of Inyotef (EA1203). When I saw this piece last I did not like it, in fact, I was unable to appreciate it but my mind has now been changed with a better understanding of a complex piece of provincialism put forward by the author. The brewery from tomb 3 in the temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el Bahri is a gem of simple complexity containing 28 figures making bread and beer. From the island of Elephantine comes a royal stela of King Senwosret I (circa1940 B.C.) of enormous importance in the Middle Kingdom collection. Mr. Strudwick picks the colossal head of Amenemhet III, and I am in complete agreement an awe-inspiring head, the eyes of which give it a ghostly presence. I have always been fond of the Middle Kingdom block statues and Mr. Strudwick's choice of the block statue of Sennefer is a fine addition to the book. The simple wooden mummiform figures of Qenamun are rarely published gems from the reign of Amenhotep II in the last quarter of the fifteenth century BC. Qenamun is the owner of Theban tomb and was a powerful official during that king's reign. The paintings from the tomb chapel of Sebekhotep are sophisticated and possess great merit. This point in the book Mr. Strudwick turns to the sculpture from the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III a king who's reign is viewed as an epoch of the XVIII Dynasty and possibly in Egyptian history. Clearly outside of Egypt, the British museum's collection of statuary from this king's mortuary temple is unrivaled in the world being acquired very early in the nineteenth century by men like Belzoni and counsel general Salt's first collection in 1823. The author’s choice of Amarna period objects for the book only included three picks and though the stela of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye is a wonderful piece to stand in front of as is the glass tilapia fish. Still I found myself wanting more. The wooden protective figures from a kings tombs in the Valley of Kings capture a fearsome presence and the feeling of what the ancient burial party would have thought of such figures though I might imagine they were in black shrines and unseen by the mourners? I was glad to see the XIX'th Dynasty unknown couple carved in limestone, which sculptor Henry Moore liked so much and am in full agreement with him as they possess a real charm and dignity and are beautifully crafted. While the silver cult image of Amun, I make a departure from the author in the reality the photographs always seem to make this piece look impressive but that in fact besides its material of silver and gold the statuette is very cheap looking and wonky in his position. For me, it is not good enough to be the actual cult figure but more likely a votive offering of the late period? I loved the ostrakon bearing attendance of the workmen in the Valley of Kings besides being very attractive the information is of an interesting personal nature of the workers responsible for the creation of the kings tombs. The seated statue of Seti II has taken a gentle journey through the millenniums it's excellent state of preservation and is impressive, the statue having been found by the famous Belzoni in the temple of Mut at Karnak in 1816. A sketch on an ostrakon (EA 5620), said to have been found in the Valley of Kings of Ramesses IX with a prince and vizier is exquisite in detail of complexity. The author has chosen the museums XXI'rst Dynasty mummy board, known as the "Unlucky mummy" . Though a fine work of art of the period of 950 BC, the mummy board is enhanced further by modern fantasies. I love that the author goes on to the British museum's oracular shabti decree, which may have come from the royal cache at Thebes. Mr. Strudwick follows this with the museums Third Intermediate Period receipt for a set of shabti. Fascinating is the Late Period coffin of Menkaure), which colonel R.W.H. Vyse found in the pyramid of that king in 1837 and of course the museums star piece "The Rosetta stone" is certainly on a first level importance in this collection. The stela of Taimhotep is a wonderful example of autobiographical information complete with a prayer to Imhotep to bring her a son. I often complain in my reviews of Egyptian books which lack mummies this book is very different in that a good selection of mummies from the collection are represented. The mummy portrait of an elite lady found at el-Rubayat is a work of immense beauty so much so that when I saw her in the British museum show "Eternal Egypt" she hung in a corner of a gallery while the public formed a human whirlpool in that corner of the room as everyone tried to get close as they could to her while the rest of the objects in the room remained overlooked and unappreciated including the mask of Satdjehuty on this book's cover, so small. The mysterious Merotic stela is of great interest and hopefully, archaeology will one day bring it's language to life. The book ends with the fourteenth century A.D. iron cross removed from the body of bishop Timotheus at Qasr Ibrim. As I expected from the start that a British Museum publication by Nigel Strudwick would be good I was right the book is a great edition to any one's library with particular notice that the book is suitable to those readers 10 years to 100 years and are interested in the "Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt". REVIEW: This book is an absolute “must have” and will prove to be an invaluable reference for anyone interested in ancient Egypt. You will find information on the objects in this book that you will simply not find elsewhere. [Ancient Egypt Magazine]. REVIEW: Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt is full of powerful images of the Ancient Egyptian collections in the British Museum. With concise and clear text providing a valuable introduction to the magnificent history of Ancient Egypt it’s ideal as both a gift and an educational resource. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Nigel Strudwick’s book ‘Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt’ truly is a masterpiece itself. The 352 page book presents objects from one of world’s most important collections on ancient Egypt: the British Museum. The book is divided in roughly three parts: the introduction shortly describes Egypt’s long history (note that Nubia is included too!) and the history of the collection of the Museum’s Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan. The end of the introduction is marked by a map which gives all major Egyptian and Sudanese sites from which objects are housed in the collection. The part entitled "The Masterpieces", the main part, is in a two-page format: the left page gives a description of the object which is shown in full color on the right hand page; the left margin of the text page is used to give details on the date of the object, the material, measurements and the museum number as well as how it became part of the collection. The last part of the book consists of a short glossary with all necessary terms explained, followed by a short "further reading". As related by the author in the preface (page 7), “the selection criteria for the almost 200 objects is somewhat personal, and beyond the obvious pieces, I know that many readers will regret the omission of this object or wonder why that one does appear”. Indeed, I think it is a pity that so few objects of "daily life" (such as footwear, clothing, utensils) are included, even though I understand that such objects are not often regarded "masterpieces". The choice however, is understandable as there is limited space and the number of object to choose from is enormous. In conclusion the text is well written, a joy to read and gives a good insight in ancient Egypt. The photographs (many of which were taken especially for this publication) are excellent, or, as stated in a review in the "Good Book Guide"; “The quality of the photography is outstanding so that the objects, whether paintings, sculpture, jewelry or papyrus, leap off the page.” The book is a must for everyone, layman or professional alike and should have a prominent place on every bookshelf of he/she who is interested in ancient Egypt. REVIEW: The British museum is unique and vast. Masterpieces brings it alive with stunning color pictures followed by an in depth description and history of the piece. History has to admire this early civilization and the beautiful artifacts they created. You get a lot for your money and I totally loved the book! REVIEW: Good read, interesting read. Good pictures and clear book structure, easy to look for specific subjects or just open at any page and let yourself be amazed by a new fact. REVIEW: Color photos of artifacts in the British Museum collection, with short descriptions. Excellent! ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: The artworks of ancient Egypt have fascinated people for thousands of years. The early Greek and later Roman artists were influenced by Egyptian techniques and their art would inspire those of other cultures up to the present day. Many artists are known from later periods but those of Egypt are completely anonymous and for a very interesting reason: their art was functional and created for a practical purpose whereas later art was intended for aesthetic pleasure. Functional art is work-made-for-hire, belonging to the individual who commissioned it, while art created for pleasure - even if commissioned - allows for greater expression of the artist's vision and so recognition of an individual artist. A Greek artist like Phidias (circa 490-430 B.C.) certainly understood the practical purposes in creating a statue of Athena or Zeus but his primary aim would have been to make a visually pleasing piece, to make "art" as people understand that word today, not to create a practical and functional work. All Egyptian art served a practical purpose: a statue held the spirit of the god or the deceased; a tomb painting showed scenes from one's life on earth so one's spirit could remember it or scenes from the paradise one hoped to attain so one would know how to get there; charms and amulets protected one from harm; figurines warded off evil spirits and angry ghosts; hand mirrors, whip-handles, cosmetic cabinets all served practical purposes and ceramics were used for drinking, eating, and storage. Egyptologist Gay Robins notes: "As far as we know, the ancient Egyptians had no word that corresponded exactly to our abstract use of the word `art'. They had words for individual types of monuments that we today regard as examples of Egyptian art - 'statue', 'stela', 'tomb' -but there is no reason to believe that these words necessarily included an aesthetic dimension in their meaning. 'Art for art's sake' was unknown and further, would have probably been incomprehensible to an ancient Egyptian who understood art as functional above all else." Although Egyptian art is highly regarded today and continues to be a great draw for museums featuring exhibits, the ancient Egyptians themselves would never have thought of their work in this same way and certainly would find it strange to have these different types of works displayed out of context in a museum's hall. Statuary was created and placed for a specific reason and the same is true for any other kind of art. The concept of "art for art's sake" was unknown and, further, would have probably been incomprehensible to an ancient Egyptian who understood art as functional above all else. This is not to say the Egyptians had no sense of aesthetic beauty. Even Egyptian hieroglyphics were written with aesthetics in mind. A hieroglyphic sentence could be written left to right or right to left, up to down or down to up, depending entirely on how one's choice affected the beauty of the finished work. Simply put, any work needed to be beautiful but the motivation to create was focused on a practical goal: function. Even so, Egyptian art is consistently admired for its beauty and this is because of the value ancient Egyptians placed on symmetry. The perfect balance in Egyptian art reflects the cultural value of ma'at (harmony) which was central to the civilization. Ma'at was not only universal and social order but the very fabric of creation which came into being when the gods made the ordered universe out of undifferentiated chaos. The concept of unity, of oneness, was this "chaos" but the gods introduced duality - night and day, female and male, dark and light - and this duality was regulated by ma'at. It is for this reason that Egyptian temples, palaces, homes and gardens, statuary and paintings, signet rings and amulets were all created with balance in mind and all reflect the value of symmetry. The Egyptians believed their land had been made in the image of the world of the gods and, when someone died, they went to a paradise they would find quite familiar. When an obelisk was made it was always created and raised with an identical twin and these two obelisks were thought to have divine reflections, made at the same time, in the land of the gods. Temple courtyards were purposefully laid out to reflect creation, ma'at, heka (magic), and the afterlife with the same perfect symmetry the gods had initiated at creation. Art reflected the perfection of the gods while, at the same time, serving a practical purpose on a daily basis. The art of Egypt is the story of the elite, the ruling class. Throughout most of Egypt's historical periods those of more modest means could not afford the luxury of artworks to tell their story and it is largely through Egyptian art that the history of the civilization has come to be known. The tombs, tomb paintings, inscriptions, temples, even most of the literature, is concerned with the lives of the upper class and only by way of telling these stories are those of the lower classes revealed. This paradigm was already set prior to the written history of the culture. Egyptian art begins in the Pre-Dynastic Period (circa 6000-3150 B.C.) through rock drawings and ceramics but is fully realized by the Early Dynastic Period (circa 3150-2613 B.C.) in the famous Narmer Palette. The Narmer Palette (circa 3150 B.C.) is a two-sided ceremonial plate of siltstone intricately carved with scenes of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by King Narmer. The importance of symmetry is evident in the composition which features the heads of four bulls (a symbol of power) at the top of each side and balanced representation of the figures which tell the story. The work is considered a masterpiece of Early Dynastic Period art and shows how advanced Egyptian artists were at the time. The later work of the architect Imhotep (circa 2667-2600 B.C.) on the pyramid of King Djoser (circa 2670 B.C.) reflects how far artworks had advanced since the Narmer Palette. Djoser's pyramid complex is intricately designed with lotus flowers, papyrus plants, and djed symbols in high and low relief and the pyramid itself, of course, is evidence of the Egyptian skill in working in stone on monumental artworks. During the Old Kingdom (circa 2613-2181 B.C.) art became standardized by the elite and figures were produced uniformly to reflect the tastes of the capital at Memphis. Statuary of the late Early Dynastic and early Old Kingdom periods is remarkably similar although other art forms (painting and writing) show more sophistication in the Old Kingdom. The greatest artworks of the Old Kingdom are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza which still stand today but more modest monuments were created with the same precision and beauty. Old Kingdom art and architecture, in fact, was highly valued by Egyptians in later eras. Some rulers and nobles (such as Khaemweset, fourth son of Ramesses II) purposefully commissioned works in Old Kingdom style, even the eternal home of their tombs. In the First Intermediate Period (2181-2040 B.C.), following the collapse of the Old Kingdom, artists were able to express individual and regional visions more freely. The lack of a strong central government commissioning works meant that district governors could requisition pieces reflecting their home province. These different districts also found they had more disposable income since they were not sending as much to Memphis. More economic power locally inspired more artists to produce works in their own style. Mass production began during the First Intermediate Period also and this led to a uniformity in a given region's artwork which made it at once distinctive but of lesser quality than Old Kingdom work. This change can best be seen in the production of shabti dolls for grave goods which were formerly made by hand. Art would flourish during the Middle Kingdom (2040-1782 B.C.) which is generally considered the high point of Egyptian culture. Colossal statuary began during this period as well as the great temple of Karnak at Thebes. The idealism of Old Kingdom depictions in statuary and paintings was replaced by realistic representations and the lower classes are also found represented more often in art than previously. The Middle Kingdom gave way to the Second Intermediate Period (circa 1782-1570 B.C.) during which the Hyksos held large areas of the Delta region while the Nubians encroached from the south. Art from this period produced at Thebes retains the characteristics of the Middle Kingdom while that of the Nubians and Hyksos - both of whom admired and copied Egyptian art - differs in size, quality, and technique. The New Kingdom (circa 1570-1069 B.C.), which followed, is the best known period from Egypt's history and produced some of the finest and most famous works of art. The bust of Nefertiti and the golden death mask of Tutankhamun both come from this era. New Kingdom art is defined by a high quality in vision and technique due largely to Egypt's interaction with neighboring cultures. This was the era of Egypt's empire and the metal-working techniques of the Hittites - who were now considered allies, if not equals - greatly influenced the production of funerary artifacts, weaponry, and other artwork. Following the New Kingdom the Third Intermediate Period (circa 1069-525 B.C.) and Late Period (525-332 B.C.) attempted with more or less success to continue the high standard of New Kingdom art while also evoking Old Kingdom styles in an effort to recapture the declining stature of Egypt. Persian influence in the Late Period is replaced by Greek tastes in the Ptolemaic Period (323-30 B.C.) which also tries to suggest the Old Kingdom standards with New Kingdom technique and this paradigm persists into the Roman Period (30 B.C.-646 A.D.) and the end of Egyptian culture. Throughout all these eras, the types of art were as numerous as human need, the resources to make them, and the ability to pay for them. The wealthy of Egypt had ornate hand mirrors, cosmetic cases and jars, jewelry, decorated scabbards for knives and swords, intricate bows, sandals, furniture, chariots, gardens, and tombs. Every aspect of any of these creations had symbolic meaning. In the same way the bull motif on the Narmer Palette symbolized the power of the king, so every image, design, ornamentation, or detail meant something relating to its owner. Among the most obvious examples of this is the golden throne of Tutankhamun (circa 1336-1327 B.C.) which depicts the young king with his wife Ankhsenamun. The couple are represented in a quiet domestic moment as the queen is rubbing ointment onto her husband's arm as he sits in a chair. Their close relationship is established by the color of their skin, which is the same. Men are usually depicted with reddish skin because they spent more time outdoors while a lighter color was used for women's skin as they were more apt to stay out of the sun. This difference in the shade of skin tones did not represent equality or inequality but was simply an attempt at realism. In the case of Tutankhamun's throne, however, the technique is used to express an important aspect of the couple's relationship. Other inscriptions and art work make clear that they spent most of their time together and the artist expresses this through their shared skin tones; Ankhesenamun is just as sun-tanned as Tutankhamun. The red used in this composition also represents vitality and the energy of their relationship. The couple's hair is blue, symbolizing fertility, life, and re-birth while their clothing is white, representing purity. The background is gold, the color of the gods, and all of the intricate details, including the crowns the figures wear and their colors, all have their own specific meaning and go to tell the story of the featured couple. A sword or a cosmetic case was designed and created with this same goal in mind: story-telling. Even the garden of a house told a story: in the center was a pool surrounded by trees, plants, and flowers which, in turn, were surrounded by a wall and one entered the garden from the house through a portico of decorated columns. All of these would have been arranged carefully to tell a tale which was significant to the owner. Although Egyptian gardens are long gone, models made of them as grave goods have been found which show the great care which went into laying them out in narrative form. In the case of the noble Meket-Ra of the 11th Dynasty, the garden was designed to tell the story of the journey of life to paradise. The columns of the portico were shaped like lotus blossoms, symbolizing his home in Upper Egypt, the pool in the center represented Lily Lake which the soul would have to cross to reach paradise, and the far garden wall was decorated with scenes from the afterlife. Every time Meket-Ra would sit in his garden he would be reminded of the nature of life as an eternal journey and this would most likely lend him perspective on whatever circumstances might be troubling at the moment. The paintings on Meket-Ra's walls would have been done by artists mixing colors made from naturally occurring minerals. Black was made from carbon, red and yellow from iron oxides, blue and green from azurite and malachite, white from gypsum and so on. The minerals would be mixed with crushed organic material to different consistencies and then further mixed with an unknown substance (possibly egg whites) to make it sticky so it would adhere to a surface. Egyptian paint was so durable that many works, even those not protected in tombs, have remained vibrant after over 4,000 years. Although home, garden, and palace walls were usually decorated with flat two-dimensional paintings, tomb, temple, and monument walls employed reliefs. There were high reliefs (in which the figures stand out from the wall) and low reliefs (where the images are carved into the wall). To create these, the surface of the wall would be smoothed with plaster which was then sanded. An artist would create a work in minature and then draw gridlines on it and this grid would then be drawn on the wall. Using the smaller work as a model, the artist would be able to replicate the image in the correct proportions on the wall. The scene would first be drawn and then outlined in red paint. Corrections to the work would be noted, possibly by another artist or supervisor, in black paint and once these were taken care of the scene was carved and painted. Paint was also used on statues which were made of wood, stone, or metal. Stone work first developed in the Early Dynastic Period and became more and more refined over the centuries. A sculptor would work from a single block of stone with a copper chisel, wooden mallet, and finer tools for details. The statue would then be smoothed with a rubbing cloth. The stone for a statue was selected, as with everything else in Egyptian art, to tell its own story. A statue of Osiris, for example, would be made of black schist to symbolize fertility and re-birth, both associated with this particular god. Metal statues were usually small and made of copper, bronze, silver, and gold. Gold was particularly popular for amulets and shrine figures of the gods since it was believed that the gods had golden skin. These figures were made by casting or sheet metal work over wood. Wooden statues were carved from different pieces of trees and then glued or pegged together. Statues of wood are rare but a number have been preserved and show tremendous skill. Cosmetic chests, coffins, model boats, and toys were made in this same way. Jewelry was commonly fashioned using the technique known as cloisonne in which thin strips of metal are inlaid on the surface of the work and then fired in a kiln to forge them together and create compartments which are then detailed with jewels or painted scenes. Among the best examples of cloisonne jewelry is the Middle Kingdom pendant given by Senusret II (circa 1897-1878 B.C.) to his daughter. This work is fashioned of thin gold wires attached to a solid gold backing inlaid with 372 semi-precious stones. Cloisonne was also used in making pectorals for the king, crowns, headdresses, swords, ceremonial daggers, and sarcophagi among other items. Although Egyptian art is famously admired it has come under criticism for being unrefined. Critics claim that the Egyptians never seem to have mastered perspective as there is no interplay of light and shadow in the compositions, they are always two dimensional, and the figures are emotionless. Statuary depicting couples, it is argued, show no emotion in the faces and the same holds true for battle scenes or statues of a king or queen. These criticisms fail to recognize the functionality of Egyptian art. The Egyptians understood that emotional states are transitory; one is not consistently happy, sad, angry, content throughout a given day much less eternally. Art works present people and deities formally without expression because it was thought the person's spirit would need that representation in order to live on in the afterlife. A person's name and image had to survive in some form on earth in order for the soul to continue its journey. This was the reason for mummification and the elaborate funerary rituals: the spirit needed a 'beacon' of sorts to return to when visiting earth for sustenance in the tomb. The spirit might not recognize a statue of an angry or jubilant version of themselves but would recognize their staid, complacent, features. The lack of emotion has to do with the eternal purpose of the work. Statues were made to be viewed from the front, usually with their backs against a wall, so that the soul would recognize their former selves easily and this was also true of gods and goddesses who were thought to live in their statues. Life was only a small part of an eternal journey to the ancient Egyptians and their art reflects this belief. A statue or a cosmetics case, a wall painting or amulet, whatever form the artwork took, it was made to last far beyond its owner's life and, more importantly, tell that person's story as well as reflecting Egyptian values and beliefs as a whole. Egyptian art has served this purpose well as it has continued to tell its tale now for thousands of years. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Ancient Egyptian culture flourished between circa 5500 B.C. with the rise of technology (as evidenced in the glass-work of faience) and 30 B.C. with the death of Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. It is famous today for the great monuments which celebrated the triumphs of the rulers and honored the gods of the land. The culture is often misunderstood as having been obsessed with death but, had this been so, it is unlikely it would have made the significant impression it did on other ancient cultures such as Greece and Rome. The Egyptian culture was, in fact, life affirming, as the scholar Salima Ikram writes: "Judging by the numbers of tombs and mummies that the ancient Egyptians left behind, one can be forgiven for thinking that they were obsessed by death. However, this is not so. The Egyptians were obsessed by life and its continuation rather than by a morbid fascination with death. The tombs, mortuary temples and mummies that they produced were a celebration of life and a means of continuing it for eternity…For the Egyptians, as for other cultures, death was part of the journey of life, with death marking a transition or transformation after which life continued in another form, the spiritual rather than the corporeal." This passion for life imbued in the ancient Egyptians a great love for their land as it was thought that there could be no better place on earth in which to enjoy existence. While the lower classes in Egypt, as elsewhere, subsisted on much less than the more affluent, they still seem to have appreciated life in the same way as the wealthier citizens. This is exemplified in the concept of gratitude and the ritual known as The Five Gifts of Hathor in which the poor labourers were encouraged to regard the fingers of their left hand (the hand they reached with daily to harvest field crops) and to consider the five things they were most grateful for in their lives. Ingratitude was considered a `gateway sin’ as it led to all other types of negative thinking and resultant behaviour. Once one felt ungrateful, it was observed, one then was apt to indulge oneself further in bad behaviour. The Cult of Hathor was very popular in Egypt, among all classes, and epitomizes the prime importance of gratitude in Egyptian culture. Religion was an integral part of the daily life of every Egyptian. As with the people of Mesopotamia, the Egyptians considered themselves co-labourers with the gods but with an important distinction: whereas the Mesopotamian peoples believed they needed to work with their gods to prevent the recurrence of the original state of chaos, the Egyptians understood their gods to have already completed that purpose and a human’s duty was to celebrate that fact and give thanks for it. So-called `Egyptian mythology’ was, in ancient times, as valid a belief structure as any accepted religion in the modern day. Egyptian religion taught the people that, in the beginning, there was nothing but chaotic swirling waters out of which rose a small hill known as the Ben-Ben. Atop this hill stood the great god Atum who spoke creation into being by drawing on the power of Heka, the god of magic. Heka was thought to pre-date creation and was the energy which allowed the gods to perform their duties. Magic informed the entire civilization and Heka was the source of this creative, sustaining, eternal power. In another version of the myth, Atum creates the world by first fashioning Ptah, the creator god who then does the actual work. Another variant on this story is that Ptah first appeared and created Atum. Another, more elaborate, version of the creation story has Atum mating with his shadow to create Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture) who then go on to give birth to the world and the other gods. From this original act of creative energy came all of the known world and the universe. It was understood that human beings were an important aspect of the creation of the gods and that each human soul was as eternal as that of the deities they revered. Death was not an end to life but a re-joining of the individual soul with the eternal realm from which it had come. The Egyptian concept of the soul regarded it as being comprised of nine parts: the Khat was the physical body; the Ka one’s double-form; the Ba a human-headed bird aspect which could speed between earth and the heavens; Shuyet was the shadow self; Akh the immortal, transformed self, Sahu and Sechem aspects of the Akh; Ab was the heart, the source of good and evil; Ren was one’s secret name. An individual’s name was considered of such importance that an Egyptian’s true name was kept secret throughout life and one was known by a nickname. Knowledge of a person’s true name gave one magical powers over that individual and this is among the reasons why the rulers of Egypt took another name upon ascending the throne; it was not only to link oneself symbolically to another successful pharaoh but also a form of protection to ensure one’s safety and help guarantee a trouble-free journey to eternity when one’s life on earth was completed. According to the historian Margaret Bunson: "Eternity was an endless period of existence that was not to be feared by any Egyptian. The term `Going to One’s Ka’ (astral being) was used in each age to express dying. The hieroglyph for a corpse was translated as `participating in eternal life’. The tomb was the `Mansion of Eternity’ and the dead was an Akh, a transformed spirit. The famous Egyptian mummy (whose name comes from the Persian and Arabic words for `wax’ and `bitumen’, muum and mumia) was created to preserve the individual’s physical body (Khat) without which the soul could not achieve immortality. As the Khat and the Ka were created at the same time, the Ka would be unable to journey to The Field of Reeds if it lacked the physical component on earth. The gods who had fashioned the soul and created the world consistently watched over the people of Egypt and heard and responded to, their petitions. A famous example of this is when Ramesses II was surrounded by his enemies at the Battle of Kadesh (1274 B.C.) and, calling upon the god Amun for aid, found the strength to fight his way through to safety. There are many far less dramatic examples, however, recorded on temple walls, stele, and on papyrus fragments. Papyrus (from which comes the English word `paper’) was only one of the technological advances of the ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians were also responsible for developing the ramp and lever and geometry for purposes of construction, advances in mathematics and astronomy (also used in construction as exemplified in the positions and locations of the pyramids and certain temples, such as Abu Simbel), improvements in irrigation and agriculture (perhaps learned from the Mesopotamians), ship building and aerodynamics (possibly introduced by the Phoenicians) the wheel (brought to Egypt by the Hyksos) and medicine. The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus (circa 1800 B.C.) is an early treatise on women’s health issues and contraception and the Edwin Smith Papyrus (circa 1600 B.C.) is the oldest work on surgical techniques. Dentistry was widely practised and the Egyptians are credited with inventing toothpaste, toothbrushes, the toothpick, and even breath mints. They created the sport of bowling and improved upon the brewing of beer as first practised in Mesopotamia. The Egyptians did not, however, invent beer. This popular fiction of Egyptians as the first brewers stems from the fact that Egyptian beer more closely resembled modern-day beer than that of the Mesopotamians. Glass working, metallurgy in both bronze and gold, and furniture were other advancements of Egyptian culture and their art and architecture are famous world-wide for precision and beauty. Personal hygiene and appearance was valued highly and the Egyptians bathed regularly, scented themselves with perfume and incense, and created cosmetics used by both men and women. The practice of shaving was invented by the Egyptians as was the wig and the hairbrush. By 1600 B.C. the water clock was in use in Egypt, as was the calendar. Some have even suggested that they understood the principle of electricity as evidenced in the famous Dendera Light engraving on the wall of the Hathor Temple at Dendera. The images on the wall have been interpreted by some to represent a light bulb and figures attaching said bulb to an energy source. This interpretation, however, has been largely discredited by the academic community. In daily life, the Egyptians seem little different from other ancient cultures. Like the people of Mesopotamia, India, China, and Greece, they lived, mostly, in modest homes, raised families, and enjoyed their leisure time. A significant difference between Egyptian culture and that of other lands, however, was that the Egyptians believed the land was intimately tied to their personal salvation and they had a deep fear of dying beyond the borders of Egypt. Those who served their country in the army, or those who travelled for their living, made provision for their bodies to be returned to Egypt should they be killed. It was thought that the fertile, dark earth of the Nile River Delta was the only area sanctified by the gods for the re-birth of the soul in the afterlife and to be buried anywhere else was to be condemned to non-existence. Because of this devotion to the homeland, Egyptians were not great world-travellers and there is no `Egyptian Herodotus’ to leave behind impressions of the ancient world beyond Egyptian borders. Even in negotiations and treaties with other countries, Egyptian preference for remaining in Egypt was dominant. The historian Nardo writes, "Though Amenophis III had joyfully added two Mitanni princesses to his harem, he refused to send an Egyptian princess to the sovereign of Mitanni, because, `from time immemorial a royal daughter from Egypt has been given to no one.’ This is not only an expression of the feeling of superiority of the Egyptians over the foreigners but at the same time and indication of the solicitude accorded female relatives, who could not be inconvenienced by living among `barbarians’." Further, within the confines of the country people did not travel far from their places of birth and most, except for times of war, famine or other upheaval, lived their lives and died in the same locale. As it was believed that one’s afterlife would be a continuation of one’s present (only better in that there was no sickness, disappointment or, of course, death), the place in which one spent one’s life would constitute one’s eternal landscape. The yard and tree and stream one saw every day outside one’s window would be replicated in the afterlife exactly. This being so, Egyptians were encouraged to rejoice in and deeply appreciate their immediate surroundings and to live gratefully within their means. The concept of ma’at (harmony and balance) governed Egyptian culture and, whether of upper or lower class, Egyptians endeavoured to live in peace with their surroundings and with each other. Among the lower classes, homes were built of mud bricks baked in the sun. The more affluent a citizen, the thicker the home; wealthier people had homes constructed of a double layer, or more, of brick while poorer people’s houses were only one brick wide. Wood was scarce and was only used for doorways and window sills (again, in wealthier homes) and the roof was considered another room in the house where gatherings were routinely held as the interior of the homes were often dimly lighted. Clothing was simple linen, un-dyed, with the men wearing a knee-length skirt (or loincloth) and the women in light, ankle-length dresses or robes which concealed or exposed their breasts depending on the fashion at a particular time. It would seem that a woman’s level of undress, however, was indicative of her social status throughout much of Egyptian history. Dancing girls, female musicians, and servants and slaves are routinely shown as naked or nearly naked while a lady of the house is fully clothed, even during those times when exposed breasts were a fashion statement. Even so, women were free to dress as they pleased and there was never a prohibition, at any time in Egyptian history, on female fashion. A woman’s exposed breasts were considered a natural, normal, fashion choice and was in no way deemed immodest or provocative. It was understood that the goddess Isis had given equal rights to both men and women and, therefore, men had no right to dictate how a woman, even one’s own wife, should attire herself. Children wore little or no clothing until puberty. Marriages were not arranged among the lower classes and there seems to have been no formal marriage ceremony. A man would carry gifts to the house of his intended bride and, if the gifts were accepted, she would take up residence with him. The average age of a bride was 13 and that of a groom 18-21. A contract would be drawn up portioning a man’s assets to his wife and children and this allotment could not be rescinded except on grounds of adultery (defined as sex with a married woman, not a married man). Egyptian women could own land, homes, run businesses, and preside over temples and could even be pharaohs (as in the example of Queen Hatshepsut, 1479-1458 B.C.) or, earlier, Queen Sobeknofru, circa 1767-1759 B.C.). The historian Thompson writes, "Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. The Egyptians believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.” Because of this belief, women enjoyed a higher prestige in Egypt than in any other culture of the ancient world. While the man was considered the head of the house, the woman was head of the home. She raised the children of both sexes until, at the age or four or five, boys were taken under the care and tutelage of their fathers to learn their profession (or attend school if the father’s profession was that of a scribe, priest, or doctor). Girls remained under the care of their mothers, learning how to run a household, until they were married. Women could also be scribes, priests, or doctors but this was unusual because education was expensive and tradition held that the son should follow the father's profession, not the daughter. Marriage was the common state of Egyptians after puberty and a single man or woman was considered abnormal. The higher classes, or nobility, lived in more ornate homes with greater material wealth but seem to have followed the same precepts as those lower on the social hierarchy. All Egyptians enjoyed playing games, such as the game of Senet (a board game popular since the Pre-Dynastic Period, circa 5500-3150 B.C.) but only those of means could afford a quality playing board. This did not seem to stop poorer people from playing the game, however; they merely played with a less ornate set. Watching wrestling matches and races and engaging in other sporting events, such as hunting, archery, and sailing, were popular among the nobility and upper class but, again, were enjoyed by all Egyptians in as much as they could be afforded (save for large animal hunting which was the sole provenance of the ruler and those he designated). Feasting at banquets was a leisure activity only of the upper class although the lower classes were able to enjoy themselves in a similar (though less lavish) way at the many religious festivals held throughout the year. Swimming and rowing were extremely popular among all classes. The Roman writer Seneca observed common Egyptians at sport the Nile River and described the scene: "The people embark on small boats, two to a boat, and one rows while the other bails out water. Then they are violently tossed about in the raging rapids. At length, they reach the narrowest channels…and, swept along by the whole force of the river, they control the rushing boat by hand and plunge head downward to the great terror of the onlookers. You would believe sorrowfully that by now they were drowned and overwhelmed by such a mass of water when, far from the place where they fell, they shoot out as from a catapult, still sailing, and the subsiding wave does not submerge them, but carries them on to smooth waters." Swimming was an important part of Egyptian culture and children were taught to swim when very young. Water sports played a significant role in Egyptian entertainment as the Nile River was such a major aspect of their daily lives. The sport of water-jousting, in which two small boats, each with one or two rowers and one jouster, fought each other, seems to have been very popular. The rower (or rowers) in the boat sought to strategically maneuver while the fighter tried to knock his opponent out of the craft. They also enjoyed games having nothing to do with the river, however, which were similar to modern-day games of catch and handball. Gardens and simple home adornments were highly prized by the Egyptians. A home garden was important for sustenance but also provided pleasure in tending to one’s own crop. The labourers in the fields never worked their own crop and so their individual garden was a place of pride in producing something of their own, grown from their own soil. This soil, again, would be their eternal home after they left their bodies and so was greatly valued. A tomb inscription from 1400 B.C. reads, “May I walk every day on the banks of the water, may my soul rest on the branches of the trees which I planted, may I refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore” in referencing the eternal aspect of the daily surroundings of every Egyptian. After death, one would still enjoy one’s own particular sycamore tree, one’s own daily walk by the water, in an eternal land of peace granted to those of Egypt by the gods they gratefully revered. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish

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