The Ptolemies: Rise of a Dynasty – Ptolemaic Egypt in 330-246 BC

REVIEW BY SG This is the first of three planned books on the last of Egypt’s dynasties, written not by an Egyptologist, but by a specialist in Classical and Hellenistic Greek history. This initial volume, covering the reigns of the first two Ptolemies, focuses more on military activities across the…

Women in Ancient Egypt: Revisiting Power, Agency,  and Autonomy

REVIEW BY HILARY WILSON This collection of papers from a 2019 Cairo conference represents current research into the life of women in ancient Egypt. By applying contemporary social values and gender assumptions, late 19th- and early 20th-century scholarship tended to omit women from historical investigation. Evidence for female participation in…

A Gift of Geology: Ancient Egyptian Landscapes and Monuments

REVIEW BY JPP Colin Reader is a geologist who has combined his professional knowledge with his passion for Egyptology to produce a fascinating geological history of the country. The title of his book derives from Herodotus’ assertion that the ancient Egyptian civilisation was ‘a gift of the river [Nile]’. Reader…

Nubia: Lost Civilizations

REVIEW BY ANNA GARNETT Studies of the ancient Nile Valley have traditionally focused on Egypt as the predominant political and cultural power in the region, with relatively limited work in the Upper Nile region (until the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the associated Nubian Rescue Campaign in the…

What Killed King Tutankhamum, Autopsy #4, the Hippo Heresy

REVIEW BY ROGER FORSHAW This brief book by W Benson Harer discusses the controversial question of what caused the death of Tutankhamun, with the author strongly supporting the view that the king was killed by a hippopotamus. Within the publication is a chapter by Peter Sheldrick, a physician who has…

Ancient Egyptian Architecture In 15 Monuments

REVIEW BY JPP This relatively slim volume (with only 109 pages) is full of insightful analysis, tracing the development of architecture throughout the entire span of ancient Egyptian civilisation, from the Predynastic Period to the Graeco-Roman era. The author has selected 15 examples of buildings to illustrate major changesin architectural…

Walking Among Pharaohs: George Reisner and the dawn of modern egyptology

REVIEW BY CATHIE BRYAN Harvard-based Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian examines the life, career, and legacy of George Reisner (1867-1942), and considers his place in Egyptological and archaeological history. He argues that Reisner’s contribution ‘cannot be overstated’, and is not sufficiently acknowledged in discussions of the ‘founding figures’ of archaeology. This…

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