The Nile Valley civilization, which spanned a period from c. 5000 B.C. to the early centuries A.D., was one of the earliest created by humankind. This handy reference provides a comprehensive overview of more than five millennia of Egyptian history and archaeology, from predynastic times to the Old and New Kingdoms to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Accessible, authoritative, and clearly organized, the Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt offers an engaging look at a culture whose art and architecture, religion, and medicine would come to form the basis of Western Civilization. The thematically arranged chapters allow readers easy access to particular topics, including historical background, geography, government, religion, funerary customs, architecture, literature, the military, the economy, and everyday life. Drawing on written sources dating from c. 3100 B.C. and historical evidence including monuments, artifacts, inscriptions, and preserved human remains, Rosalie David covers everything from the Sun Cult and the pyramids to the arrival and spread of Christianity.
The Handbook contains 112 maps, photographs, and original line drawings, a chronological table, an appendix listing museums with Egyptian collections, and extensive bibliographies included with each chapter. Combining both archaeological and historical sources, the Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt provides all the essential information required by anyone interested in Egyptian history, archaeology, religions, or culture. In this new edition, the author discusses the latest findings in areas that are currently at the forefront of Egyptological research. A new chapter on Egyptology describes the history of the field, the results of the latest excavations, and the techniques involved in new scientific studies, such as DNA analysis and the tracing of disease patterns. This newly revised edition takes into account the discoveries of the last few years that have led Egyptologists to change their perspective on some aspects of life in ancient Egypt, including a reevaluation of the purpose and functions of the Egyptian temples, the role of the Great Royal Wife, and the possible date and nature of the Biblical Exodus.