New Books in Egyptology – March-April 2018

Every other month the Nile Scribes update our readers on the most recent 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 nine books scheduled for release early this year (March and April 2018).

Catalogue général du Musée copte du Caire. Objets en bois 1

Julien Auber de Lapierre and Adeline Jeudy

IFAO (ISBN: 9782724707168) – Cost: EUR€ 39

Publisher’s Summary:

“The Department of Woods at the Coptic Museum counts thousands of pieces donated by the Patriarchate of Alexandria, gracefully offered by families or discovered during archaeological excavations. The present catalogue furnishes a primary selection of eighty-six objects from various origins and periods. It includes architectural elements from monastic sites, such as those from Apa Apollo at Bawit or Apa Jeremiah at Saqqara, liturgical furniture from the churches of Old Cairo (altar, ciborium, iconostasis), as well as everyday objects (combs, spindle whorls) covering a vast chronological period, from the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire. This collection gives a glimpse of the liveliness and diversity of popular crafts while illustrating the tastes of urban and cosmopolitan civilian elite. Carpenters and sculptors collaborated regardless of their religion and readily mixed Pagan, Christian and Muslim iconographic repertoires. Woodwork, a material at the crossroads of cultures, is indicative of the various economic and social exchanges that punctuated Egyptian history and its Christian community.”


Exorcism, illness and demons in an ancient Near Eastern context. The Egyptian magical Papyrus Leiden I 343 + 345

Susanne Beck

Sidestone Press (ISBN: 9789088905391) – Cost: EUR€ 34.95

Publisher’s Summary:

“Papyrus Leiden I 343 + 345 is one of the most extraordinary manuscripts providing a deeper insight into magic and medicine in Ancient Egypt. The main part of the papyrus deals with the ancient Near Eastern disease demon Sāmānu, who is well known from Sumerian and Akkadian incantations and medical texts. In addition, a broad range of other conjurations and spells against any pain and feet swelling are included. The papyrus also contains two curious spells dealing with ‘falling water from the sky’. Eight out of fourteen incantations against the demon Sāmānu were incorporated twice in this papyrus. The texts are not only presented as parallel text edition but also with photographs of the papyrus. This re-edition of papyrus Leiden I 343 + 345 is a revised transliteration, transcription, translation and up-to-date commentary.”


Karnak, Amon-Ré: la genèse d’un temple, la naissance d’un Dieu

Luc Gabolde

IFAO (ISBN: 9782724706864) – Cost: EUR€ 64

Publisher’s Summary:

“The age of the Karnak temple and the genesis of the cult of Amon have been the subject of debate and inconsistent conclusions for years, due to the lack of decisive elements, but it is now possible to present some new hypotheses on the development of the site and the rise of the cult of Amon. The course of the Nile clearly endured some major changes and it appears that the site of Karnak, that was originally located on the left bank, became a desert island during the Old Kingdom. In the XIth Dynasty, after the island became part of the right bank, the new Theban kings took advantage of the emerged land to build a sanctuary, dedicated to a new divinity, which was supposed to guarantee their legitimacy. The divinity, Amon-Re, though a new one, was not created ex nihilo. Amon-Re summarizes the Memphite Heliopolitan concept of Imn, “hidden”, and the solar dimension that is a feature of Re-Item of Heliopolis, as well as the iconography and the Coptite liturgies of Min. For those sovereigns coming from the South, Amon-Re became the god that they contributed to reveal, to the contrary of the previous kings, who did not rightly appreciate it.”


Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deîr el-Médîneh. Tome XII. Nos 10276-10405

Pierre Grandet

IFAO (ISBN: 9782724707014) – Cost: EUR€ 59

Publisher’s Summary:

“This twelfth issue of the Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deîr el-Médînéh includes the photography, the fac-simile, the hieroglyphic transcription, the transliteration and the annotated translation of 130 ostraca originating from the site and deposited at the Ifao for their study. These documents are representative of the various categories that one usually uses to classify the documentary ostraca: institutional and private documents and sub-categories within these two main categories (journals, supplies of commodities, letters, depositions, etc.). Some exceptional specimens — both in scale and in contents — are worth mentioning, such as a document resulting from the combination of 30 fragments of the same vessel, as well as some documents, in a tabular form, listing the details of the tributes brought in kind by a large number of people (mainly women) for the organisation of communal banquets.”


Thebes in the First Millennium BC: Art and Archaeology of the Kushite Period and Beyond

Edited by Elena Pischikova, Julia Budka, and Kenneth Griffin

Golden House Publications (ISBN: 9781906137595) – Cost: US$ 150

Publisher’s Summary:

“This volume is a collection of articles, most of which are based on the talks given at the conference of the same name in Luxor in 2016. It brings together a lot of current studies on royal and elite monuments of the First Millennium BC, puts them into a wider context, and fills some gaps in Egyptological scholarship.”


Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical and Biographical, Volume IX

Joshua A. Roberson

Abercromby Press (ISBN: 9780993092091) – Cost: GBP£ 52.50

Publisher’s Summary:

“The present, ninth volume of Ramesside Inscriptions, compiled and edited by Dr. Joshua A. Roberson, collects Hieratic and Hieroglyphic documents of historical and biographical interest, which have been published since 1989, when the final text volume of Kenneth Kitchen’s Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical and Biographical series first appeared. The 385 texts anthologized in this new collection are presented in Hieroglyphic transcription, typeset digitally with internal and external line numbers for easy reference, primary bibliography, and select philological and palaeographic notes. The content of this material spans the full chronological range of the Ramesside Period, from Ramesses I through Ramesses XI. The subject matter is heterogeneous, including documents relating to local administration, state- sponsored construction, execution of criminals, military actions, and the accession and death of kings, among others. A series of indices, including object numbers, toponyms, ethnonyms, private names, private titles, posthumous royal names, and divine names, round out the volume and increase its utility as a tool for research.”


The Ramesside Period in Egypt. Studies into Cultural and Historical Processes of the 19th and 20th Dynasties. Proceedings of the International Symposium held in Heidelberg, 5th to 7th June 2015

Edited by Ute Rummel and Sabine Kubisch

deGruyter (ISBN: 9783110555998) – Cost: GBP£: 91

Publisher’s Summary:

“The Ramesside Period forms a significant epoch of Ancient Egypt marked by an extraordinary intellectual and cultural productiveness as well as by profound political and social developments. Based on a broad range of sources and representing different research perspectives, the volume investigates aspects of art, architecture, religion, language and literature as well as of the political, social and economic history of Ramesside Egypt.”


My dear Miss Ransom: Letters between Caroline Ransom Williams and James Henry Breasted, 1898-1935

Kathleen L. Sheppard

Archaepress (ISBN: 9781784917821) – Cost: GBP£ 24

Publisher’s Summary:

“Caroline Louise Ransom Williams (1872-1952) is remembered as the first American university-trained female Egyptologist, but she is not widely-known in the history of science. Her mentor was James Henry Breasted, well-known as the first American Egyptologist and founder of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. As long as they worked together and as much as they depended on each other professionally, Ransom Williams is little more than a footnote in the published history of archaeology. She was a successful scholar, instructor, author, and museum curator. She also had personal struggles with her mother and her husband that affected the choices she could make about her career. This book presents the correspondence between Ransom Williams and Breasted because the letters are crucial in piecing together and allowing an in-depth analysis of her life and career. “


Labour organisation in Middle Kingdom Egypt (Middle Kingdom Studies 7)

Micòl Di Teodoro

Golden House Publications (ISBN: 9781906137588) – Cost: US$ 120

Publisher’s Summary:

“This book explores the organisation of labour in Egypt during the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2050–1700 BCE) through a combination of written sources and archaeological evidence. Major lines of inquiry are the social profile and human activity of those strata of society liable to conscription, type of employments and temporality of work, management and administrative procedures in labour organisation. The written sources and archaeological record are first examined in two independent chapters. Then in the final chapters the results reached by the separate study of the different types of evidence are combined and compared by subject matter in order to identify patterns of outcome.”


What new reads can you recommend to us?