A History of Ancient Egypt: From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid

John Romer. St. Martin's/Dunne, $29.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-250-03011-5
In this thoughtful and meticulous reconsideration of Egyptian ancient- and pre-history, Egyptologist Romer draws directly from archaeological and hieroglyphic evidence in an effort to cast aside Western preconceptions. This, the first of two volumes, begins with a focus on the farmers of Faiyum Lake in 5000 BCE and ends with the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza, tomb of the pharaoh Khufu, in around 2500 BCE. Romer comments on the logical fallacies of other historians, citing physical evidence. He remarks, for instance, that previous interpretations of the Second Dynasty are "[h]uge histories built upon the thinnest evidence." He also cautions that it is "important to recognize the traps that lurk within the very words we use," suggesting that to even name the inhabited region along the Nile "Egypt" is to make an unwarranted assumption. Though careful in building towards his conclusions, the author waxes lyrical in his descriptions of some of the exquisite works of art which form the basis of our understanding of these dwellers by the Nile. An essential read for anyone interested in Egyptian history. Maps and photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-84614-378-6
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-250-03010-8
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-14-139971-3
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-1-84614-377-9
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