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The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People (New Aspects of Antiquity) Paperback – 27 Aug 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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  • The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People (New Aspects of Antiquity)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; Reprint edition (27 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500291209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500291207
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.3 x 24.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The advent of a new book from Thames & Hudson is always something to look forward to ... this is a very special book indeed ... offers readers the chance to revise all you thought you knew about the city, its temples, buildings, artwork and inhabitants ... every page of the publication is brimming with new information and detailed plans and diagrams ... challenging and original ... well worth purchasing. --Ancient Egypt

This well-researched book makes evocative reference to the sights and smells of Ancient Egypt. --The Post (Liverpool), Birmingham Post

More than any other study that I am aware of, Kemp's book succeeds in bringing to life the day-to-day workings of this ancient Egyptian capital ... clear and well-written ... This is a superb book, written and illustrated by a superb archaeologist and scholar of ancient Egypt. --Antiquity

Well-written and clearly structured ... very well illustrated. --Egyptian Archaeology

Well-written and clearly structured ... very well illustrated --Egyptian Archaeology

About the Author

Barry Kemp is Emeritus Professor of Egyptology at Cambridge University and has been conducting research and excavation at Amarna since 1977. He lives in England.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the blurb on the back cover tells us, this book represents "the fruits of more than three decades of research and excavation" by Barry Kemp. The sense of proximity to the subject - in several senses but including that of of having lived through and even become part of the history of the site - is conveyed throughout. Detailed description and analysis are complemented by forceful and memorable commentary. For example, "Akhenaten moved to Armana with a plan in his mind and a clean expanse of desert on which to develop it."

Proximity has not taken the author too close to his subject. There is also dispassionate judgement. He rightly points out that the images we are used to seeing of ancient Egypt emphasise everything that was "gigantic and wonderful". However, this book is as clear about what was more limited, apparently fairly arbitrary and, indeed, even after many years of excavation and exploration, still very little understood.

If I were to quibble, I suppose a criticism could be that one or two of the photographs are less than fully clear in the way they have been reproduced or taken in the first place. However, my overall response is one of respect for what Kemp has achieved at Amarna and how it is conveyed in this book. Wonderful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book knowing that I would not be dissapointed, and infact it has surpassed my best expectations. Among many books about the Armarna period, this stands out in it's great attention to the facts and details as we know them. And as a previous reviewer has written, it is not dry as dust list of facts and figures. Barry Kemp cuts through the conjecture and often outright weird nonsense surrounding Akhenaten and his city, and presents us with a believable living city populated by real people. I think the general reader will get as much from this book as the Armarna specialists, and this is mostly due to Barry Kemp's writing style and the humane way he treats his subject. There is a fascinating section about how the city may have smelt, yet he makes this otherwise mundane and esoteric matter very readable. And for the Atenists out there, yes, I know you exist, Kemp does address, very clearly and with some insight, the issue of the Aten and religion. There are also very good and clear illustrations, some in colour, of the city as a whole, individual buildings and even the reality of how the so very perfectly close fitting clothes depicted in Armana art would have looked on a person in reality, less than flattering. When it comes to the murky, curious, bizarre and contentious world of Akhenaten, very often the books by Donald Redford and Cyril Aldred are used as references. I contend that this sharply focused and very well written book by Barry Kemp, surpases both by some distance as regards Akhetaten, and reality.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding book. For a long time I was looking for more than the usual retelling of the Pharaoh Akhenaten. I bought this book after reading the glowing reviews and boy am I glad that I did.
If you want the suggested romance of the Amarna period, or speculation, don't bother with this book. All you will find here is the truth based on the facts and evidence. Barry Kemp refuses to bow to speculation and simply presents the facts, the options and leaves the rest to you. This is how it should be. For example. How many times have we been told that Akhenaten obliterated all the temples to the traditional ancient egyptian gods in favor of his god the Aten? The evidence doesn't point to this at all and Mr Kemp says as much. This in itself is a revelation and a game changer. If you want to read facts and not drama, then buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This could have been a dry as dust report on what Professor Kemp has discovered at Amarna over the years. It is not! Some of the writing is almost poetic, and the author is so honest about what we still do not know. There is no mystique here, but a fascinating description about what we know and reasonably surmise about the fascinating site. It is not for beginners, but to readers who found the books on Akhenaten by Cyril Aldred and Nicholas Reeves fascinating, this will be a gripping read. Like all the Thames and Hudson Egyptology books, this is beautifully bound and presented.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have read in a long time.

Admittedly I began the book hoping for some clarification of the theories about the royal family. What Kemp presents instead - and presents exceedingly well - is a full and dynamic report of the internal goings on in the city of Amarna based on archaeological evidence. Instead of a list of 'maybes' and 'perhaps's', this is a masterpiece of fact written by an expert. It's readable Egyptology that an interested amateur (like me!) could follow.

Kemp takes us through what life in Amarna might have been like; daily life, its religious aspects, the way that normal people regarded the Aten and the reasons for the removal of the court from Thebes. It is written clearly and concisely throughout. Instead of being a book of conspiracies and guesses, this is a book of facts based upon more than thirty years of study and excavation.

Whilst I wish that there had been a little bit more information about the intriguing Queen Tiye, this book is a rare treat - I couldn't put it down!
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