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Mysterious Lands (Encounters with Ancient Egypt) (University College London Institute of Archaeology Publications) [Paperback]

Stephen Quirke , David O'Connor

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Book Description

1 Sep 2003 University College London Institute of Archaeology Publications
"Mysterious Lands" covers two kinds of encounters. First, encounters which actually occurred between Egypt and specific foreign lands, and second, those the Egyptians created by inventing imaginary lands. Some of the actual foreign lands are mysterious, in that we know of them only through Egyptian sources, both written and pictorial, and the actual locations of such lands remain unknown. These encounters led to reciprocal influences of varying intensity. The Egyptians also created imaginary lands (pseudo-geographic entities with distinctive inhabitants and cultures) in order to meet religious, intellectual and emotional needs. Scholars disagree, sometimes vehemently, about the locations and cultures of some important but geographically disputed actual lands. As for imaginary lands, they continually need to be re-explored as our understanding of Egyptian religion and literature deepens. "Mysterious Lands" provides a clear account of this subject and will be a stimulating read for scholars, students or the interested public.

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'The first of these volumes looks at the ways in which the Egyptians considered not only "real" lands and peoples but also those truly mysterious lands that made up aspects of the underworld or the cosmos. The editing of this volume by a field archaeologist (David O'Connor) and a gifted linguist (Stephen Quirke) is a particular strength of the volume and come through in the careful selection of papers and the useful introduction. Jim Allen's paper on "The Egyptian concept of the world" is rightly placed immediately after the introduction and gives the reader an excellent grasp of how the Egyptians perceived their world. With this view in mind, we can appreciate something of the underworld as well ass their perception of other countries. The land of Punt, the best known of Egypt's mysterious lands, is given two chapters. That by Dimitri Meeks takes us through the evidence for the location of the country, while Stephen Harvey looks at it in a cultural, literary and artistic perspective.' Dr Paul Nicholson, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 17 December 2004 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

David O'Connor is Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, in the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University and former President, American Research Center in Egypt. Stephen Quirke is Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, and a Lecturer in Egyptology at its Institute of Archaeology.

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