Download Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Ian Shaw PDF

By Ian Shaw

The traditional Egyptians are an everlasting resource of fascination--mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured our imaginations for generations. all of us have a psychological photograph of historic Egypt, yet is it the proper one? How a lot will we fairly learn about this as soon as nice civilization? during this soaking up creation, Ian Shaw, one of many leading professionals on historical Egypt, describes how our present rules approximately Egypt are established not just at the exciting discoveries made by means of early Egyptologists but additionally on attention-grabbing new different types of proof produced by way of smooth clinical and linguistic analyses. He additionally explores the altering impacts on our responses to those unearths, via studying the effect of Egyptology on a variety of facets of pop culture akin to literature, cinema, opera, and modern artwork. He considers all facets of historic Egyptian tradition, from tombs and mummies to the invention of artefacts and the decipherment of hieroglyphs, and from despotic pharaohs to animal-headed gods. From the overall reader attracted to historical Egypt, to scholars and academics of historical historical past and archaeology, to museum-goers, this Very brief advent won't disappoint.

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41 Discovering and inventing instance, obviously had enormous impact on the public awareness of Egyptology from the 1920s onwards, but, apart from providing the first tantalizing glimpse of the sumptuous range of equipment which must once have been contained in the tombs of much more renowned and long-lived pharaohs, such as Amenhotep III and Ramesses the Great, it included very little genuinely new historical data. Arguably Carter’s greatest achievement was to raise the public profile of Egyptian archaeology to a much higher level, but the contents of the tomb did not take the subject in any new directions or change opinions on any great historical debates (apart from the possibility that the calcified blood clot at the base of Tutankhamun’s skull might show that he was murdered).

It has also been pointed out that Ramesses’ eldest son, Amunherkhepeshef appears to vanish from the records fairly early in his father’s reign, leading some scholars to suggest that he might have died young and thus might be a theoretical candidate for pharaoh’s slaughtered ‘firstborn’ in the Exodus narrative. However, Farouk Gomaa argues that this son might simply have changed his name to Amunherwenemef or Sethherkhepeshef, both of which continue to appear in texts until fairly late in Ramesses’ reign.

It is noticeable, however, that archaeological discoveries in Egypt have become such a cliché, in the way that the media respond to them and portray the discoveries and the protagonists, that an issue of Punch in 1986 was able to satirize very effectively the breathless and overblown way in which a new find (in this case the tomb of a man called Maya, Tutankhamun’s treasurer) is pumped up into a mini-Tutankhamun’s tomb, as if the newspaper reports automatically switch into a particularly fossilized and naı¨ve style of reportage when confronted by the glint of hidden treasure.

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