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The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated Histories) [Hardcover]

Ian Shaw
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt 3.9 out of 5 stars (17)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2000 Oxford Illustrated Histories
The essays and illustrations in this history portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians, from their prehistoric origins to their incorporation into the Roman Empire, covering the period from around 7000 BCE to 311. The authors outline the principal sequence of political events, including detailed examinations of the three so-called "intermediate periods" which were previously regarded as "dark ages" and are only now beginning to be better understood. Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this book also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature. The pace of change in such aspects of Egyptian culture as monumental architecture, funerary beliefs, and ethnicity was not necessarily tied to the rate of political change. Each of the authors of this history has therefore set out to elucidate, in both words and pictures, the underlying patterns of social and political change and to describe the changing face of ancient Egypt, from the biographical details of individuals to the social and economic factors that shaped the lives of the population as a whole.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st Edition edition (1 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198150342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198150343
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 18.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 677,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt is the only book available providing detailed historical coverage of Egypt from the early Stone Age to its incorporation into the Roman Empire. The lively essays and beautiful illustrations portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians covering the period from 700,000 BC to ad 311. The authors - each working at the cutting edge of their particular fields - outline the principal sequence of political events, including detailed examinations of the three so-called Intermediate Periods previously regarded as 'dark ages'.

Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this Oxford History also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature. The pace of change in such aspects of Egyptian culture as monumental architecture, funerary beliefs, and ethnicity was not necessarily tied to the rate of political change. Each of the authors has therefore set out to elucidate, in both words and pictures, the underlying patterns of social and political change, and to describe the changing face of ancient Egypt, from the biographical details of individuals to the social and economic factors that shaped the lives of the population as a whole.


The approach combines traditional chronological history with cultural and social historical material to produce a well rounded picture ... chapters covering prehistory and the intermediate periods are particularly good, with Seidlmayer on the First Intermediate Period and Bourriau on the Second Intermediate Period outstanding. Bryan's chapter on the 18th Dynasty before the Amarna Period is also particularly good. (Antiquity)

If you only want to read one book on Egypt, then read this one ... even people who consider themselves as experts on Ancient Egypt will find much to set them thinking: And while such Egyptologists will have a field day, the casual reader will find plenty to arouse their interest, ranging from the story of the world's first strike ... to the revelation that Scotland Yard possesses a print taken from the hand of a mummy. (The Northern Echo)

splendid, lavishly illustrated book ... the only single-volume work to cover 700,000 years of Ancient Egypt from the stone age to Roman conquest ... Lucidly edited by Ian Shaw ... you get the facts without the dust. An excellent choice for enthusiasts and novices alike; even better if you can persuade someone to buy for you as a present. (Roddy Phillips, Aberdeen Press and Journal)

From the Stone Age to the Roman occupation in the fourth centry AD, the mighty Egyptian dynasties are brought to life in almost 450 pages ... never anything but deeply informative, without losing sight of the essential attribute of any book - readability ... both stimulating to the casual reader or keen-to-learn holiday maker and the serious student alike. (Peter Leach, North West Evening Mail) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ian Shaw is Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
All history is clearly reliant on some form of chronological framework, and a great deal of time has been spent on the construction of such dating systems for ancient Egypt. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book gives a detailed look at the history of ancient Egypt, from earliest times to the end of the pharaohs. Well illustrated with drawings & photographs, supporting the text.
Based entirely on the physical evidence from archealogy this history gives the political, but not the religous detail, that aids understanding of the two kingdoms.
The lack of religous reference, vital to a knowledge of the ancient Egyptians and their view of life, is a serious omission. Previous possession of this knowledge, would help the reader to understand the motivation and driving force of the kingdoms.
It is well written, although as different experts cover differing time periods, readability does vary from chapter to chapter. However this is not a major issue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent resume of the whole of Ancient Egyptian history. Despite some of the negative reviews it is not boring, merely very thorough.
The style is variable because Ian Shaw has brought together different 'experts' to tell the history and some writers have a easier narrative style than others. It is more than a reference book because it does read as a story, but only just!
Its value lies in the comprehensive way it allows you to fit all the disparate bits of Egyptian history picked up from, school, casual reading the TV etc into a framework. Yes its is dry in places, but that's only because it is thorough.

Buy this book if you want to get Egyptian history straightened out in your mind. Use it as a reference work to look up which part of the 5000 odd years of interlocking stories is being mentioned elsewhere.
Don't buy this if you want a romance of ancient history.

Kindle readers (like myself) will be annoyed at the poor resolution of the maps, even when read on PC. The maps are almost essential at some points and unless you have access to historical atlas you will/may struggle at times.
It really is a shame that Amazon does not operate some form of quality control. It has the economic clout to tell e-publishers to get their act together!

This last should not prevent you from buying the book, even for Kindle, because I have not found another text to come even close to the usefulness of this work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only have one book on Egyptology ... 1 May 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you can only have one book on Egyptology then this is the one.

Ian Shaw has gathered together experts to present a generally accepted history of this fascinating period of history. As a student of Egyptology I have a significant collection of books; but this is the one that I keep returning to. I've been using it for many years and can vouch for its broad coverage of a complex (and evolving) topic; the depth squeezed into a readable book is surprising.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great book 11 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you just need a book about Ancient Egypt, this is your book.
Really complete.Not a mithology book, its a history book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reference 13 Feb 2013
By Val
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Haven;t completed this as I am using it for research. Just delving in for snippets as I go along. Very interesting so far.
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