Egypt's Golden Empire: The Age of the New Kingdom Hardcover – 1 Nov 2001
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About the Author
Joyce Tyldesley is Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies at Liverpool University as well as a freelance writer and lecturer on Egyptology.
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Top Customer Reviews
One word of warning... Once you realise how much the world of AE can offer in it's history and cultural study, you can pretty much wave goodbye to all your free time, money and peaceful sleep...
"What are you doing with your break this summer?"
"I am going to sit in a lecture theatre and learn Middle Egyptian vocabulary and hieroglyphs"
"Uh, OK... Any plans for the Christmas breaks?"
"I'm going to traspe around the desert, kick the dust around and look at old carved stones and dead people"
"riiiiiight, of course"
Be that as it may, Tyldesley's books make a good night time read, being less taxing than the more student-orientated academic books after a long day, and also adding life to the facts, bringing an amused smile to my face many a time. I imagine it'd also be a good book to historically/culturally indoctrinate any older children you may have, less they become too interested in the Assyrians or other "foreign wretches"
This book left me sad, however.
"We are not now that strength which in old days moved Earth and Heaven"
This was the "classical" period in Egyptian history, when Egypt was a great power, controlling an empire from Nubia in the south to Syria in the north. Even the kings of Babylon had to send tribute to the Egyptian rulers. Most well known pharaohs lived during the New Kingdom: Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamen and Ramesses II. And, of course, Akhenaten's famous queen, Nefertiti. Of equal importance, but perhaps less known to the general public, are Thutmosis III, Amenhotep III, Horemheb and Ramesses III.
Tyldesley takes the reader on a fascinating journey through New Kingdom history and monuments. The book also contains chapters on the lives of women, soldiers, peasants, artisans and undertakers. There is also a chapter on Egyptian religion.
"Egypt's Golden Empire" isn't a scholarly work. It's intended for the general public. However, the author is an archaeologist with a special interest in Egypt. The book is refreshingly free from sensationalist speculations about connections between Akhenaten and Moses, the ultimate fate of Nefertiti or the "murder" of Tutankhamen. It's solid (almost a bit boring) Egyptology through out. But then, it may come closer to the truth than the more speculative works...
My only problem with this book is that it lacks an introductory chapter on the Old and Middle Kingdoms, and a concluding chapter on later periods in Egyptian history. The reader might get a bit confused reading a book about ancient Egypt which doesn't mention the pyramids or Cleopatra!
Still, this is definitely the book to start if you know absolutely nothing about New Kingdom Egypt, or need detox from more sensationalist and pseudoscientific works.