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The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt

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4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  784 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt is the only book available providing detailed historical coverage of Egypt from the early Stone Age to its incorporation into the Roman Empire. The lively essays and beautiful illustrations portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians covering the period from 700,000 BC to AD ...more
Paperback, 552 pages
Published June 13th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2000)
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Alex Telander
The Oxford University Press, as many of you scholars already know, is famed for producing inimitable compendiums and texts that anyone interested in history or literature simply must own. And the have done it again with The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. While the book is pretty small for encompassing an entire civilization of dynasties, gods, beliefs, and thousands of years of ancient happenings, it nevertheless somehow manages to do the job. With tons of black and white photos, as well as ma ...more
Jer
Aug 27, 2013 Jer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great survey volume for those who already have a grip on historical and archaeological practices and terminology. Not a volume for those with no prior interest or study of history outside of high school. If a reader is just beginning to wonder about ancient Egyptian history, they should hold off reading this and pick up a few of the basic historical atlases first to acclimate and educate themselves on some of the ways we've deduced the knowledge collected in this book. Diving right into this boo ...more
Jeremy Hurd-McKenney
The unintentionally humorous reviews on the back say it all--"full of facts," raved one critic, while another proclaimed, "if you only want to read one book about Ancient Egypt, make it this one." I found both statements to be accurate.

In large part a very dry read; the chapters smacked of "please read my thesis," but amid all the stuffy academia, there was quite a bit of interesting information. Many of the authors seemed weirdly obsessed with pottery.
Daniel
Aug 19, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serious history book, works great as a reference. A hard slog if you read it cover to cover and you are relatively new to digging around Ancient Egypt. As expected, the chapters that deal with more recent times were more interesting, particularly the sections that reference the intersection of Ancient Egypt with peoples of the Bible, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. I would have enjoyed more pictures of the architecture and art that are referenced in the text; perhaps the hardcover has these?
Sam
Jan 20, 2014 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
As dry as the mummies described, but covering something like 10,000 years of history is going to lean that way.
Ryan
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
Ian Shaw (Credited)
Read it in paper back at a very long 554 pages.

OTC Historic Side Pots first read, and what a challenging beginning to this whole shenanigans. A lot of us have a pretty big interest in history (even though we all like different time periods), so we decided on four books this year to start delving into Ancient History. The Mediterranean has the most easily identifiable and well documented history, thus we started with Egypt.

Ian Shaw is credite
...more
Yasser Maniram
Preface: Read this surgically during an Ancient Egypt course at University.

Complete with maps and other relevant images, Shaw's "History of Ancient Egypt" combines history with anthropology. Well researched with an extensive "Further Reading" section, this is a must-have for anyone interested in a specific period of Egypt's history or just a general background of what happened between the Palaeolithic and the Roman Period.

Pros: Extensive. Something for everyone, the casual reader and the resear
...more
Siria
Nov 11, 2008 Siria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really excellent collaborative history of Ancient Egypt—though dense and detailed enough that it's probably only for the serious Egyptophile or the aspiring student. It runs from the Palaeolithic era right through to the post-Ptolemaic period, which is an enormous time frame, but Shaw and the other contributors do a good job of addressing all the main developments and key events—the only real disappointment is the chapter on the Amarna period, which fails to be as comprehensive as the ...more
Sean
Mar 25, 2010 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chock full of information, not easy reading. Very dry and achaeological. Many long lists of kings. And pottery, lots of pottery. I certainly know far more about ancient Egypt than ever before, that's for sure.
Sean Brennan
Nov 09, 2015 Sean Brennan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Obviously Written by an aerchaeologist I can say I learnt absolutely nothing about Ancient Egypt, One would think that the only people of any importance was the Pharoeh and the only things of interest were their burials! Awful!
Ian Nazarehth
An incredibly dry read. At times this book appears more like a catalogue of grave goods than any comprehensive narrative. I'm sure some professional archaeologists and egyptologists would find it very useful, but if you're reading this as part of an introductory course, you'll be bored to death.

As another reviewer put it, a lot of the authors here have a weird obsession with pottery.

Ryan
Jan 14, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
Ian Shaw (Credited)
Read it in paper back at a very long 554 pages.

OTC Historic Side Pots first read, and what a challenging beginning to this whole shenanigans. A lot of us have a pretty big interest in history (even though we all like different time periods), so we decided on four books this year to start delving into Ancient History. The Mediterranean has the most easily identifiable and well documented history, thus we started with Egypt.

Ian Shaw is credite
...more
Andrew
Dec 07, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it
Truth be told, I wavered a great deal on rating this one, and never quite made up my mind as to whether to go with three or four stars. I finally opted for four because the scholarship is simply top-notch.

Let me start my review, however, by discussing the minuses. The biggest problem is that this book will not be very accessible unless you've already got a basic and passing familiarity with the history of Ancient Egypt. If you go into this one having only encountered Egypt back in the first uni
...more
Emma Bain
May 17, 2013 Emma Bain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember flipping through this plenty of times in primay and high school in the libraries and i honestly love it, it gives lots of nice pictures to look at on each page (at least the Hardback does anyway), with all the facts and information next to it, it's one of the books i picked up a lot to read during library group day because i'm really intrerested in Ancient Egypt, i reccomend it to read or flip through if you wish to learn more about Ancient Egypt, it's one of the easier books to get ...more
Carlos Burga
This was probably the best “The Oxford History of …”-book that I’ve read. Shaw does a wonderful job stitching the chapters into a coherent tapestry and the individual authors, for the most part, do a great job in describing their respective eras. The best feature by far is that none of the authors get hung up on detailing each of the over one hundred pharaohs that ruled Egypt and focus more on the large scale trend wherein each fit. This made the book easily accessible to a lay reader who may ha ...more
Paul Haspel
Jul 25, 2011 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt is thorough -- very thorough, in a manner characteristic of the Oxford histories. Eminent scholars from Europe, North America, and Australia (though, oddly, no scholars from Egyptian universities) contribute different chapters, and a complete picture of pharaonic society emerges over the course of the book. Rather than reading this dense and demanding text chronologically, you may find it easier to pick out your own particular area of interest and read those p ...more
Tamra
Apr 02, 2010 Tamra added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tamra by: Jude
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Slow-going. Written for people who, umm, already know what the authors are talking about (the terms, areas, etc.), which I don't. I enjoy it anyway, it just slows down the process.

I skipped most of the pre-history pre-history chapter, because it's not surprising how much we DON'T know about that time period: "People may or may not have lived in this particular area and possibly could have done this with their time, but we don't really know for sure." Repeat that sentence about 200 times and you
...more
Royce
This is a great, concise history of Egyptian from pre-history to the Roman period, with emphasis on dynastic Egypt. It has two main limitations, however, which are sort of related: one is that it assumes quite a bit of prior knowledge about archeology and ancient Egypt. The other is that the book suffers from a real lack of maps. So if you know a lot about Egypt already, and know your geography (including the Egyptian, Greek and Arabic names of cities) you'll be fine. But then you might not have ...more
Barnaby Thieme
Aug 15, 2009 Barnaby Thieme rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: egypt, history
Dryer than it needs to be. Each period is documented by a different author, so it is inevitably uneven. As is so often the case with history books, I wonder why they don't focus a little more on cultural history. The names of kings and the dates of invasions don't tell us more about a people than the character of their culture or beliefs.

Still, this book seems to be widely regarded as the basic historic intro, and purely on those terms it succeeds well enough. It could have used more better map
...more
S.L. Stevens
Mar 12, 2012 S.L. Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the textbook for my Egyptian history class at the American University in Cairo in 2007. It is an excellent introduction to Egyptian history, from its origins in prehistory to its end in the Roman era. Try to get a copy that has photographs in it. It will probably be more expensive but worth it.
Katie
Jun 21, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightfully concise, with an excellent and useful bibliography. A good starting point for anyone interested in studying Ancient Egypt. I would recommend this book to anyone without solid grounding in Ancient Egyptian history and culture.
Reem Afifi
Oct 03, 2013 Reem Afifi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, very thorough and went beyond the political and dynastic timelines to the various aspects of life in Ancient Egypt. However, the language /wording of the book is too "convoluted" so you have to read each sentence 2-3 times tp get the idea
Lana
Jan 12, 2011 Lana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive and well-researched. An excellent resource for armchair Egyptologists and professionals alike.
Kristin
Dry in parts but fascinating in others (the result of having different authors for different chapters) but always enlightening and factual.
Michele
This has been described to me as one of the best texts for ancient Egyptian history, but it's very tedious. Not easy to read, but full of information.
Christine Bewley
Aug 13, 2008 Christine Bewley rated it liked it
A text book with pretty pictures....again another book I felt needed to have a teacher come with it.
elizabeth
This book made the entire history of Egypt easy to digest and easily understood. It covers everything, and does so very well.
Karlos Dearma
Jan 08, 2016 Karlos Dearma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compilado por Ian Shaw, uno de los mejores trabajos sobre egiptología de los últimos tiempos. Muy recomendable.
AskHistorians
Fairly standard text on Ancient Egypt, with sections on each part of Egyptian history. A good jumping off point.
Vicki
Dec 27, 2011 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
You have to really be into Ancient Egyptian History to truly enjoy this book as each chapter was written by a different author.
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“This process was also used on beautiful daggers with bifurcated blades, which look ahead to the Old Kingdom forked instruments known as pesesh-kef used in the Opening of the Mouth funerary ceremony.” 0 likes
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