Ancient Egypt Anatomy of a Civilization
This fully revised and updated third edition of the bestselling Ancient Egypt seeks to identify what gave ancient Egypt its distinctive and enduring characteristics, ranging across material culture, the mindset of its people, and social and economic factors.
In this volume, Barry J. Kemp identifies the ideas by which the Egyptians organized their experience of the world and explains how they maintained a uniform style in their art and architecture across three thousand years, whilst accommodating substantial changes in outlook. The underlying aim is to relate ancient Egypt to the broader mainstream of our understanding of how all human societies function.
Source material is taken from ancient written documents, while the book also highlights the contribution that archaeology makes to our understanding of Egyptian culture and society. It uses numerous case studies, illustrating them with artwork expressly prepared from specialist sources. Broad ranging yet impressively detailed, the book is an indispensable text for all students of ancient Egypt and for the general reader.
Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations of works; Introduction; Part I Establishing identity; 1 Who were the ancient Egyptians?; 2 The intellectual foundations of the early state; 3 The dynamics of culture; Part II The provider state; 4 The bureaucratic mind; 5 Model communities; Part III Intimations of our future; 6 New Kingdom Egypt: the mature state; 7 The birth of economic man; 8 Egypt in microcosm: the city of Amarna; Index
‘It is hard to express how important this book is for me. When Barry J. Kemp sorts out the anatomy of Egyptian civilization, from elite and royal Early Dynastic Tombs to tower houses of late antiquity, he provides critical new understanding, beautifully illustrating each lesson with enviable elegance and clarity.
In this third edition, Kemp continues to offer fresh, in-depth, eminently use-able, lasting perspectives on many facets of ancient Egyptian society and economy, while eschewing ephemeral, trendy theory. More than any other book, this one, and now it its third edition, continues to teach about and inspire a passion for the people of ancient Egypt and the civilization they created.’ Mark Lehner, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, USA