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Egyptian Pyramids and Mastaba Tombs (Shire Egyptology) [Paperback]

Philip J. Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

10 Aug 2008 Shire Egyptology (Book 6)
The Egyptian pyramids are iconic images of ancient Egyptian civilisation and mythology. This book traces the early development of ancient pyramids and tombs, from the Mastaba burial tombs of the first dynasty, to the Great Pyramid of the fourth. Also exploring the lesser-known pyramids of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, the author discusses the construction methods involved and reveals the elaborate decorations used to celebrate the afterlife. With photographs of original Egyptian artwork found within these monuments, "Egyptian Pyramids and Mastaba Tombs" provides insight into an ancient Egyptian world that continues to fascinate people to today.

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Egyptian Pyramids and Mastaba Tombs (Shire Egyptology) + Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt: Life in Death for Rich and Poor (Duckworth Egyptology Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd (10 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852638531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852638538
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 865,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Philip Watson studied Egyptology and Assyriology at Liverpool University School of Oriental Studies, graduating in 1975. After a period of research in Liverpool he was appointed Director's Assistant to the British Archaeological Expedition to Iraq, his duties including both administrative work and assisting on the expedition's excavations. On his return to England in 1980 he became Deputy Keeper of Archaeology at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, where he curates the ancient Egyptian, Western Asiatic, Pre-Columbian American and European prehistory collections. He has edited a catalogue of cuneiform tablets in Birmingham, written two books on ancient costume and contributed articles to archaeological journals on various subjects.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introdcution 25 April 2009
By A. Byrnes TOP 500 REVIEWER
The author is Head of Collections Management at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, having graduated from Liverpool University's School of Oriental Studies in 1975.

The book opens with a Table of Contents and a chronology of Egypt from the Predynastic through to the Graeco-Roman periods, showing the date ranges and the names of the pharaohs, where known.

Chapter 1 introduces the topic. The focus of the book is on the earliest established forms of burial structures - mastabas and pyramids.

Chapter 2 looks at First and Second Dynasty mastaba tombs. Two cemeteries are discussed - Saqqara and Abydos. The main components of the mastaba tombs, including the architecture, decoration, furnishings and grave goods are described. Early mastaba tombs are probably the burial structures that are least well known by the general public so it is good to see a discussion of them which gives a good insight into how elaborate they were.

Chapter 3 looks at the Third Dynasty, a new era of Egyptian funerary tradition established with the multi phased step pyramid of Djoser and his architect Imhotep. This is not only the first known pyramid but also the first to be built in stone. The chapter looks at how the step pyramid was developed from a mastaba tomb in several phases until the final form was achieved. Watson touches on other Third Dynasty royal tombs which he compares to the complex of Djoser.

The longest chapter, Chapter 4, is devoted to the great era of pyramid construction, the highlight of which was the construction. The development process that leads to the Great Pyramid begins with Snefru the first king of the Fourth Dynasty.
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