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Egypt's Golden Empire: The Dramatic Story of…

Egypt's Golden Empire: The Dramatic Story of Life in the New Kingdom

by Joyce A. Tyldesley

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I got this one out of the library but I'll be keeping an eye out for a copy of my own now. It took me a couple of weeks or so to get through but I have no idea why - it was accessible, concise, well structured and easy to read. Tyldesley is known for her books on the New Kingdom and this didn't disappoint.

In neat chapters she takes us on a journey through the rulers of the New Kingdom in chronological order, alternating these with chapters on important elements of everyday life in the Nile Valley. It makes for fascinating reading, covering the famous Pharaohs - including Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen and Ramesses II - alongside the helpful background chapters on topics including the role of women, soldiers, agriculture, funerary rites and the gods of Egypt. There is also a helpful chronological list of the New Kingdom Pharaohs, a map of Egypt, and a strong bibliography of further reading suggestions.

My only complaint would be that the accompanying photos are split between two conventional sections midway through the book. This may be fairly usual, but for a subject as rich as this it would have been nice to have seen more and better photographs (particularly since it accompanies a television series), interspersed throughout the text as much as possible as a reference point to bring to life the descriptions of the wonderful monuments, statues and wall carvings. Nevertheless, this is well worth a read! ( )
  elliepotten | Jun 14, 2009 |
A good, general overview of New Kingdom Egyptian history. A little too general in places, and there are a number of times when she states something as a fact when there is in fact some debate in Egyptological circles as to whether or not it is true. Her overview of the Amarnan period is notable for its clarity and succinctness. Even if there are a couple of points where I would quibble with her, I do appreciate the way in which she points out the worship of the Aten was not a monotheistic religion, because that's one of my pet bugbears. Overall, a recommended general introduction. ( )
  siriaeve | Apr 26, 2008 |
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