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Every month we scour the internet to update our readers on the very latest Egyptological publications. From accessible reads to peer-reviewed scholarship, we hope to illustrate the wide variety of topics discussed in Egyptology, and perhaps introduce you to your next read! Below are six books scheduled to be released this month (December 2017). We wonder, if any of these would make a good Christmas gift….

Click here to see last month’s new Egyptology releases

the-comparable-body

The Comparable Body: Analogy and Metaphor in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman Medicine

Edited by John Z. Wee

Brill (ISBN: 9789004356764) – Cost: USD $159.00

Publisher’s Summary:

The Comparable Body: Analogy and Metaphor in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman Medicine explores how analogy and metaphor illuminate and shape conceptions about the human body and disease, through 11 case studies from ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman medicine. Topics address the role of analogy and metaphor as features of medical culture and theory, while questioning their naturalness and inevitability, their limits, their situation between the descriptive and the prescriptive, and complexities in their portrayal as a mutually intelligible medium for communication and consensus among users.

christianizing-egypt

Christianizing Egypt: Syncretism and Local Worlds in Late Antiquity

David Frankfurter

Princeton University Press (ISBN: 9780691176970) – Cost: USD $39.95

Publisher’s Summary:

How does a culture become Christian, especially one that is heir to such ancient traditions and spectacular monuments as Egypt? This book offers a new model for envisioning the process of Christianization by looking at the construction of Christianity in the various social and creative worlds active in Egyptian culture during late antiquity. As David Frankfurter shows, members of these different social and creative worlds came to create different forms of Christianity according to their specific interests, their traditional idioms, and their sense of what the religion could offer. Reintroducing the term “syncretism” for the inevitable and continuous process by which a religion is acculturated, the book addresses the various formations of Egyptian Christianity that developed in the domestic sphere, the worlds of holy men and saints’ shrines, the work of craftsmen and artisans, the culture of monastic scribes, and the reimagination of the landscape itself, through processions, architecture, and the potent remains of the past.

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Road Archaeology in the Middle Nile: Volume 2, Excavations from Meroe to Atbara 1994

Michael Mallinson and Laurence Smith

Archaeopress (ISBN: 9781784916466) – Cost: £34.00

Publisher’s Summary:

The first season of survey work in 1993 was undertaken in advance of the construction of the North Challenge Road initially between Geili and Atbara. This work was carried out in the SARS concession area from BM98, opposite the Pyramids of Meroe, to Atbara. A total of 170 sites were recorded and this was published in the first volume of Road Archaeology in the Middle Nile (Mallinson et al. 96). In addition, a report was prepared advising the Sudan National Committee for Roads and Bridges of areas which were likely to be damaged by the road construction. The following year it was indicated that due to the advanced development of the road design no rerouting would be possible. In response to this a rescue season was proposed to excavate the sites clearly at risk in the remaining few months before construction and grading began. A limited amount of funds was provided by the Haycock Fund and within this resource a project was assembled with SARS directed by Laurence Smith and Michael Mallinson. As a total of eight sites with 30 archaeological structures appeared directly on the road line a methodology was needed that would permit these to be properly excavated and recorded in the available time of three weeks that the funds would accommodate.

how-the-great-pyramid-was-built

How the Great Pyramid was Built

Craig B. Smith

Smithsonian Books (ISBN: 9781588342003) – Cost: USD $27.95

Publisher’s Summary:

Going beyond even the expertise of archaeologists and historians, world-class engineer Craig B. Smith explores the planning and engineering behind the incredible Great Pyramid of Giza. How would the ancient Egyptians have developed their building plans, devised work schedules, managed laborers, solved specific design and engineering problems, or even improvised on the job? The answers are here, along with dazzling, one-of-a-kind color photographs and beautiful hand-drawn illustrations of tools, materials, and building techniques the ancient masters used. In his foreword to the book, Egypt’s Undersecretary of State for the Giza Monuments Zahi Hawass explains the importance of understanding the Great Pyramid as a straightforward construction project.

profane-egyptologists

Profane Egyptologists: The Modern Revival of Ancient Egyptian Religion

Paul Harrison

Routledge (ISBN: 9781138102996) – Cost: USD $140.00

Publisher’s Summary:

It is widely believed that the practice of ancient Egyptian religion ceased with the end of pharaonic culture and the rise of Christianity. However, an organised reconstruction and revival of the authentic practice of Egyptian, or Kemetic religion has been growing, almost undocumented, for nearly three decades. Profane Egyptologists is the first in-depth study of the now-global phenomenon of Kemeticism. Presenting key players in their own words, the book utilises extensive interviews to reveal a continuum of beliefs and practices spanning eight years of community growth. Profane Egyptologists is both an Egyptological study of Kemeticism, and a critical study of the discipline of Egyptology itself. It will be of value to scholars and students of archaeology and Egyptology, cultural heritage, religion online, phenomenology, epistemology, pagan studies and ethnography, as well as Kemetics and devotees of Egyptian culture.

coming-of-age-in-medieval-egypt

Coming of Age in Medieval Egypt: Female Adolescence, Jewish Law, and Ordinary Culture

Eve Krakowski

Princeton University Press (ISBN: 9780691174983) – Cost: USD $39.95

Publisher’s Summary:

Much of what we know about life in the medieval Islamic Middle East comes from texts written to impart religious ideals or to chronicle the movements of great men. How did women participate in the societies these texts describe? What about non-Muslims, whose own religious traditions descended partly from pre-Islamic late antiquity? Coming of Age in Medieval Egypt approaches these questions through Jewish women’s adolescence in Fatimid and Ayyubid Egypt and Syria (c. 969–1250). Using hundreds of everyday papers preserved in the Cairo Geniza, Eve Krakowski follows the lives of girls from different social classes—rich and poor, secluded and physically mobile—as they prepared to marry and become social adults. She argues that the families on whom these girls depended were more varied, fragmented, and fluid than has been thought. Krakowski also suggests a new approach to religious identity in premodern Islamic societies—and to the history of rabbinic Judaism. Through the lens of women’s coming-of-age, she demonstrates that even Jews who faithfully observed rabbinic law did not always understand the world in rabbinic terms. By tracing the fault lines between rabbinic legal practice and its practitioners’ lives, Krakowski explains how rabbinic Judaism adapted to the Islamic Middle Ages.

What are you reading at the moment? Let us know in the comments!