New Books in Egyptology (May-June 2019)

Every two months the Nile Scribes update our readers on the most recent Egyptological publications. From popular 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 13 books scheduled for release this summer (May and June).

Did you read our last post on new books from March and April?

Études de documents hiératiques inédits. Les ostraca de Deir el-Medina en regard des productions de la Vallée des Rois et du Ramesseum. Travaux de la première Académie hiératique – IFAO (27 septembre – 1er octobre 2015)

Edited by Florence Albert and Annie Gasse

IFAO (ISBN: 9782724707458) – Cost: EUR€ 19

Publisher’s summary:

“The Académie hiératique, created in 2015, was set up to train young researchers in the publication of hieratic texts. Based on the literary ostraca fund of Deir el-Medina kept at the IFAO (Institut français d’archéologie orientale), in Cairo, some unpublished texts of which were selected to be studied and published by the students.

Each year a specific theme is chosen which becomes the connecting thread of work to be carried out by this workshop.

This volume assembles the contributions of the 6 participants of the first Académie hiératique held at the IFAO from September 27th to October 1st, 2015.

Keeping in view the title Ṯȝy-ḫw (« fan bearer »), it allows an approach of relationships between Deir el-Medina and the other centres on the left bank of Thebes in the New Kingdom where literary texts were produced and found. The introduction to these contributions combines articles by Chr. Barbotin, A. Dorn and St. Polis, who were all three invited as experts to coach the students during the first session of the Academy. These contributions present the results of their work on the unpublished hieratic documents used as a methological support throughout the training.”

Egitto, Iraq ed Etruria nelle fotografie di John Alfred Spranger

Stefano Anastasio and Barbara Arbeid

Archaeopress (ISBN: 9781789691269) – Cost: GB£ 35

Publisher’s summary:

“This volume – in Italian, with an English summary – presents the 1930s archaeological photo-albums of John Alfred Spranger (1889-1968). Engineer, topographer, mountain climber, archaeologist, art collector and photographer, Spranger traveled extensively – in the Balkans, Greece, Egypt and the Near East, Canada, Central Asia – and left several photo albums detailing archaeological explorations as well as travel memories. In the 1920s-1930s, he took part in a number of Etruscan excavations in Tuscany, together with Harry Burton, the photographer of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. With a pioneering approach, they used the photo-camera to document the excavation work in progress. The albums are dedicated to a trip to Egypt in 1929, a trip to Mesopotamia (Iraq) in 1936 and some surveys and excavations carried out in Etruria (Tuscany, Italy) in 1929-1935. Spranger’s photos are particularly meaningful, especially because he combined his skills in using the camera with a great expertise in archaeology and topography. His photos make it possible to understand, after almost a century, how many Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Etruscan sites appeared at the time of their first excavations.”

Across the Mediterranean – Along the Nile. Studies in Egyptology, Nubiology and Late Antiquity Dedicated to László Török on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday

Edited by Tamás A. Bács – Ádám Bollók, and Tivadar Vida

Archaeolingua (ISBN: 978-615-5766-18-3) – Cost: EUR€ 90.50

Publisher’s summary:

“The present book, dedicated to the distinguished Nubiologist, László Török to celebrate his 75th birthday, is made up of 60 English, German, and French essays authored by a community of internationally renowned scholars. The volume covers thousands of years of Mediterranean, Egyptian, and Nubian history, archaeology, religious history, and art history from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. As a clear reflection to the Jubilant’s scholarly interest, the bulk of the published papers are centred around Egyptian, Nubian, and late antique studies, besides which contributions on prehistoric Europe, the ancient Near East, and the Roman world are also included. A separate chapter is dedicated to the early modern and modern European reception of the Ancient world. Besides larger syntheses and overviews, a rich array of new excavation results and re-evaluations of famous sites and finds are offered to the reader. All these studies provide new insights into the vibrant and colourful lives of past societies and contribute to a better understanding of the ancient and late antique world of the Mediterranean and its wider environment.”

The Black Kingdom of the Nile

Charles Bonnet

Harvard University Press (ISBN: 9780674986671) – US$ 29.85

Publisher’s summary:

“For centuries, Egyptian civilization has been at the origin of the story we tell about Western society and culture. But Charles Bonnet’s landmark archaeological excavations have unearthed extraordinary sites in present-day Sudan and Egypt that challenge this notion and compel us to look to the interior of black Africa and to the Nubian Kingdom of Kush, where a highly civilized state existed from 2500 to 1500 BCE.

For the past fifty years, Charles Bonnet has been excavating sites in present-day Sudan and Egypt that point to the existence of a sophisticated ancient black African civilization thriving alongside the Egyptians. In The Black Kingdom of the Nile, he gathers the results of these excavations to reveal the distinctively indigenous culture of the black Nubian city of Kerma, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush. This powerful and complex political state organized trade to the Mediterranean basin and built up a military strong enough to resist Egyptian forces.

Further explorations at Dukki Gel, north of Kerma, reveal a major Nubian fortified city of the mid-second millennium BCE featuring complex round and oval structures. Bonnet also found evidence of the revival of another powerful black Nubian society, seven centuries after Egypt conquered Kush around 1500 BCE, when he unearthed seven life-size granite statues of black Pharaohs (ca. 744–656 BCE). Bonnet’s discoveries have shaken our understanding of the origins and sophistication of early civilization in the heart of black Africa.”

Le temple funéraire du roi Pépy Ier. Le temps de la construction

Audran Labrousse

IFAO (ISBN: 9782724707090) – Cost: EUR€ 69

Publisher’s summary:

“The present volume concerns the pyramid temple of the mortuary complex of Pepy I, third King of the 6th Dynasty. It belongs to the series of publications concerning the pyramid of Pepy I: the texts, the translation of the texts, the architecture and stone marks. It includes the project for the royal tomb, the arrival of his causeway, the exteriors, the two parts of the temple: the fore-temple and the cult-temple. It presents the small tails of the decoration blocks. Many hypotheses for restitutions are proposed, both for the architecture and the reliefs and their original location on the walls. Finally, modifications to the monument under Merenre I and an essay of synthesis between function and decoration are envisaged.

A final collective volume will be devoted to the tomb’s history, its burning at the extreme end of the Old Kingdom, its restoration during the Middle Kingdom, its ruin at the New Kingdom when it was turned in to a modest collective cemetery, up to the reuse of its blocks during the Coptic period and its use as a quarry under the Mamluks.”

Concepts in Middle Kingdom Funerary Culture Proceedings of the Lady Wallis Budge Anniversary Symposium Held at Christ’s College, Cambridge, 22 January 2016

Edited by Rune Nyord

Brill (ISBN: 9789004399846) – Cost: EUR€ 149

Publisher’s summary:

Concepts in Middle Kingdom Funerary Culture presents a collection of archaeological and philological papers discussing how ancient Egyptians thought, and modern scholars may think, about Egyptian funerary practices of the early 2nd millennium BCE. Targeting the concepts used by modern scholars, the papers address both general methodological questions of how concepts should be developed and used and more specific ones about the history and presuppositions behind particular Egyptological concepts. In so doing, the volume brings to the fore occasionally problematic intellectual baggage that have hindered understanding, as well highlighting new promising avenues of research in ancient Egyptian funerary culture in the Middle Kingdom and more broadly.”

Current Research in Egyptology 2018. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Symposium, Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, 25–28 June 2018

Edited by Marie Peterková Hlouchová, Dana Belohoubková, Jirí Honzl, and Vera Nováková

Archaeopress (ISBN: 9781789692143) – Cost: GB£ 55 (available open-access)

Publisher’s summary:

“Current Research in Egyptology 2018 is a collection of papers and posters presented at the nineteenth symposium of the prestigious international student conference, held at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague on 25th–28th June 2018. The Prague conference was attended by more than 100 people from various countries and institutions. The range of topics discussed was wide, covering all periods of ancient Egyptian and Nubian history and various topics concerning their society, religious life, material culture and archaeological excavations. The event also included six keynote lectures by experts from the Czech Institute of Egyptology, the FA CU (Prof. Mgr. Miroslav Bárta, Dr., Doc. PhDr. Hana Vymazalová, Ph.D., Doc. PhDr. Jana Mynářová, Ph.D., Prof. PhDr. Ladislav Bareš, CSc., and PhDr. Filip Coppens, Ph.D.) and the University of Vienna (Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter-Christian Jánosi). The Egyptological meeting was enriched with a visit to the Karolinum, historical buildings of Charles University.”

Demotic Literary Texts from Tebtunis and Beyond

Edited by Joachim Quack and Kim Ryholt

Museum Tusculanum Press (ISBN: 978-87-635-2607-4) – Cost: EUR€ 101

Publisher’s summary:

“The Tebtunis temple library, the only ancient Egyptian temple library of which substantial remains are still preserved, is by far the richest single source of Egyptian literary texts.

This book contains a wide selection from its stores of demotic texts, including a theological treatise; a composition in praise of Isis; a mythological account of the war of the gods against the giants; a series of manuals on divination (astrology, dream interpretation, and lot drawing); a catalogue of ritual handbooks and lists of professions and plants; a herbal describing the medical properties of a series of plants; newly discovered fragments of the Great Demotic Book of Wisdom; and fragments of several narratives. Nearly all of the manuscripts are edited here for the first time, and many of the texts are hitherto unknown.”

Handbook of Ancient Nubia

Edited by Dietrich Raue

deGruyter (ISBN: 9783110420388) – Cost: EUR€ 249

Publisher’s summary:

“Numerous research projects have studied the Nubian cultures of Sudan and Egypt over the last thirty years, leading to significant new insights. The contributions to this handbook illuminate our current understanding of the cultural history of this fascinating region, including its interconnections to the natural world.”

Loaves, Beds, Plants and Osiris: Considerations about the Emergence of the Cult of Osiris

Leo Roeten

Archaeopress (ISBN: 9781784919665) – Cost: GB£ 34

Publisher’s summary:

“The emergence of the cult of Osiris is, in most cases, dated to the end of the 5th dynasty, the period in which the name of Osiris appears in writing, and it is commonly held that before this period not a trace of the cult can be discerned. This study is intended to investigate whether this emergence was really so sudden, or if there is evidence to suggest this appearance was preceded by a period of development of the theology and mythology of the cult. One of the most important aspects of the mythology of the cult is the rebirth of Osiris. In the theology of the cult this rebirth was projected on mortal men, and led to the postulation that every human being, whether royal or non-royal, had the possibility to attain eternal life after death. What made this cult even more attractive is that this eternal life was not confined to the tomb, as it used to be for non-royalty. The study is concerned with the rebirth possibilities of non-royal persons and aims to determine the chronological development of the rebirth connotations of the various decoration themes that were used in the chapel of Old Kingdom tombs. The decoration themes that are the subject of the determinations are the group of bed-scenes consisting of the bed-making scene and the marital bed-scene, the development in form and length of the bread loaves on the offering table, the different aspects of the scenes in which the “lotus” flower is depicted, and the marsh scenes.”

All Things Ancient Egypt. An Encyclopedia of the Ancient Egyptian World

Edited by Lisa K. Sabbahy

ABC-Clio (ISBN: 9781440855122) – Cost: US$ 198

Publisher’s summary:

“Written by specialists in the field of Egyptology, this book is a readable introduction to ancient Egypt, covering all anticipated subjects and stressing the monuments and material culture of this remarkable ancient civilization.

The rich natural resources of ancient Egypt provided a wealth of raw material for its structures, sculptures, and art, while its geographic isolation helped to ensure the survival of its rich culture for centuries. While other references focus on the people and battles central to Egyptian history, this reference explores the material culture and social institutions of ancient Egypt. The book focuses on pharaonic Egypt, covering the period from roughly 5000 BCE to the beginning of the Greco-Roman Period in 320 BCE. At the front of the work, a timeline provides a quick look at the major events in Egyptian history, and an introduction surveys ancient Egypt’s physical geography and history. Alphabetically arranged reference entries written by expert contributors then provide fundamental information about the buildings, jewelry, social practices, and other topics related to the material culture and institutions that made up the Egyptian world. Excerpts from primary source historical documents provide evidence for what we know about ancient Egyptian culture, and suggestions for further reading direct users to additional sources of information.”

A Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt

Edited by Katelijn Vandorpe

Wiley-Blackwell (ISBN: 9781118428474) – Cost: C$ 252

Publisher’s summary:

“With contributions from noted authorities in the field, A Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt offers a comprehensive resource that covers almost 1000 years of Egyptian history, starting with the liberation of Egypt from Persian rule by Alexander the Great in 332 BC and ending in AD 642, when Arab rule started in the Nile country.

The Companion takes a largely sociological perspective and includes a section on life portraits at the end of each part. The theme of identity in a multicultural environment and a chapter on the quality of life of Egypt’s inhabitants clearly illustrate this objective. The authors put the emphasis on the changes that occurred in the Greco-Roman and Late Antique periods, as illustrated by such topics as: Traditional religious life challenged; Governing a country with a past: between tradition and innovation; and Creative minds in theory and praxis. This important resource:

  • Discusses how Egypt became part of a globalizing world in Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times
  • Explores notable innovations by the Ptolemies and Romans
  • Puts the focus on the longue durée development
  • Offers a thematic and multidisciplinary approach to the subject, bringing together scholars of different disciplines
  • Contains life portraits in which various aspects and themes of people’s daily life in Egypt are discussed

Written for academics and students of the Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt period, this Companion offers a guide that is useful for students in the areas of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and New Testament studies.”

Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries. Papers presented at the conference held on December 13–15 2017 at Acropolis Museum, Athens

Edited by Christos S. Zerefos and Marianna V. Vardinoyannis

Archaeopress (ISBN: 9781789690668) – Cost: GB£ 68

Publisher’s summary:

Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries presents the proceedings of a conference held at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, on December 13–15, 2017, and includes high-level dialogues and philosophical discussions between international experts on Hellenistic Alexandria. The goal was to celebrate the 24 centuries which have elapsed since its foundation and the beginning of the Library and the Museum of Alexandria. The conference was divided into two parts, to include in the first part archaeology, history, philosophy, literature, art, culture and legal issues and in the second part science, medicine, technology and environment. A total of 28 original and peer-reviewed articles point to the importance of the brilliantly-original ideas that emerged during the Hellenistic age and the curious modernity of the whole atmosphere of the time. The range of presented topics covers a variety of new data on the foundation of Alexandria to comparison between Ptolemaic Alexandria and Ptolemaic Greece through philosophy, culture and drama to the forgotten revolution of science, medicine and the prevailing climatological and geophysical conditions throughout the Hellenistic Period. The conference and its proceedings were co-sponsored by the Μarianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation, the Acropolis Museum, the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies at Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences. The Publication also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, a joint collaboration between the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Vardinoyannis Foundation and the University of Alexandria. Scholars from around the world follow the Center’s programme in various specialisations, ranging from historyliterature- art, to archaeology and architecture-philosophy, and science.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *