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Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction

Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) Ian Shaw

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 108mm x 168mm x 16mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 21 October 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192854194
  • ISBN 13: 9780192854193
  • Illustrations note: numerous halftones and line drawings
  • Sales rank: 48,028

Product description

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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Author information

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 a Lecturer 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.

Table of contents

1. Introduction: the story so far ; 2. Discovering and inventing: constructing ancient Egypt ; 3. History: building chronologies and writing histories ; 4. Writing: the origins and implications of hieroglyphs ; 5. Kingship: stereotyping and the 'oriental despot' ; 6. Identity: issues of ethnicity, race, and gender ; 7. Death: mummification, dismemberment, and the cult of Osiris ; 8. Religion: Egyptian gods and temples ; 9. Egyptomania: the recylcing and reinventing of Egypt's icons and images ; REFERENCES ; FURTHER READING ; USEFUL WEBSITES ; GLOSSARY ; TIMELINE ; INDEX