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Customer Review

on 25 October 2006
This book is a fantastic guide to the prehistory of Ancient Egypt. It spans from the Paleolithic to the Predynastic Period. As a lay-person, I found some of the terminology a bit daunting. However, a short google search on some of the terms brought me up to speed quickly, and the book became quite a bit easier to read. This book does use quite a few archaeological and geological principles that someone who isn't initiated in either field may struggle with at first. However, I liked that aspect of the book. This is not an emotive narrative, it is very much a synopsis of fieldwork that was carried out up until the late 1990s when the book was added to (the original version is from the early 1990s). Also, what may be surprising to some readers is that this book was written from the perspective of an expert in Prehistory, so she has a view point that is very much different from most Egyptologists who deal with the Pharaonic Period. Most of her book covers times when people did not have writing, so the emphasis is exclusively on the material culture.

If you are looking into finding out what archaeology has uncovered from the beginning of its use in Egypt to the 1990s and you want to concentrate exclusively on the period before the Dynastic Period, this book is a must-have. It is wonderfully well-written and gives a rigorously scientific view of what was going on in Egypt during this span of time. If you want a book that reads more like a narrative that relies more on the spectacular finds and less on descriptions of stonetools and pottery, this book does not fit that purpose so well and another may be better suited to your needs.
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