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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-This authoritative revision on a perennially popular subject is an ambitious, and on all counts successful examination of the culture of ancient Egypt. More than 2000 alphabetically arranged, accessible entries varying in length from a paragraph to several pages accurately discuss topics such as daily life, dynasties and rulers, religion, gods and goddesses, mortuary rituals, dress, language, geography, foods, art, and architecture, etc. The scope of the earlier edition (Facts On File, 1991) has been broadened with coverage of the periods before the unification of Egypt (circa 3000 B.C.E.) and those following the fall of the New Kingdom (in 1070 B.C.E.). There is also material on the discoveries of the sunken cities of Canopus, Heraklion, and Menouthis, and the results of the DNA studies of mummies. In addition, significant documentation of changes on the political, religious, and social landscape of ancient Egypt is provided. Many of the articles are appended with useful see and see-also references and "Suggested Readings." This volume also boasts detailed and precise lists of the names and dates of the kings and queens, deities, and temple sites, and a brief, but user-friendly chronology of Egypt and neighboring cultures. Eighty black-and-white photos with informative captions and readable maps amplify and expand the narrative. Libraries will want to purchase this resource for students, ancient civilization enthusiasts, and general readers.
Hillary Jan Donitz-Goldstein, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The first, 1991 edition of this work had more than 1,500 entries and covered the predynastic period from around 3200 B.C.E. to the fall of the New Kingdom in 1070 B.C.E. The revised edition has more than 2,200 alphabetically arranged entries and extends coverage to the suicide of Cleopatra and the beginning of Roman occupation in 30 B.C.E. After a brief introduction there is a chronology of major events in Egypt and the Near East and Mediterranean in parallel columns. After the body of the work are a glossary of Egyptian words, a list of suggested readings, and a detailed index. The addition of the latter remedies a deficiency noted in our review of the first edition.
Articles range from a paragraph to several double-column pages. Many of the longer ones, and a few of the shorter ones, have suggestions for further reading. Cross-references and see also references are used liberally. There is a table of deities in the entry Gods and goddesses, and of queens in Queens, but a list of kings appears not under Pharaoh but in Dynasties, with no cross-reference. Most of the rulers of Egypt have separate entries, but a table of rulers under Pharaoh would have been useful for placing them in time.
The text is accompanied by some 14 black-and-white maps and diagrams of Egypt and major temple complexes. The 80 black-and-white photographs and line drawings should photocopy well. The suggested readings include materials published in 2001, and at least some of the readings should be available in most medium-sized to large pubic libraries.