User:Vuara/Origins of ancient Egypt
Call number 932 WIL Author Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Title Genesis of the pharaohs: dramatic new discoveries that rewrite the origins of ancient Egypt / Toby Wilkinson. Publication info New York : Thames & Hudson, c2003. Physical descrip 208 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 25 cm. Bibliography note Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-204) and index. Subject term Prehistoric peoples--Egypt--Eastern Desert. Subject term Petroglyphs--Egypt--Eastern Desert. Geographic term Eastern Desert (Egypt)--Antiquities. Geographic term Egypt--Civilization--To 332 B.C.
Summary PharaohsU distant ancestors left a stunning legacy that has remained hidden for 6,000 years: hundreds of intricate rock carvings that tell about their lifestyle and their deepest beliefs. "Genesis of the Pharaohs" traces the discovery of these ancient records, and discovers the answer to the question of where, when, and how ancient Egypt began. 88 illustrations. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Review Modern scholars have tended to accept that the brilliant civilization of the pharaohs is the product of the rich agricultural surpluses of the Nile floodplain. But ancient rock carvings tell a different story, according to this illustrated treatise on ancient Egypt. Archaeologist Wilkinson specializes in rock art in the region between the Nile and the Red Sea dating from the 5th millennium B. C., when this now-desert area was verdant grassland. These pre-Pharaonic carvings, he argues, are a complex mixture of motifs, depicting crocodiles, hippos and boats from the Nile alongside ostriches and giraffes from the savannah, and suffused with cattle imagery and the religious symbolism that would characterize classical Egyptian art. This evidence, he asserts, shows that pre-Pharaonic Egyptians were not settled flood-plain farmers, but semi-nomadic herders who drove their cattle in between the lush riverbanks and the drier grasslands-a legacy evident, for example, in the Egyptian royal sceptre, which looks like a shepherd's crook. Wilkinson argues for Egyptian civilization's deep roots in a distinctive African landscape. His theory tacitly challenges an orthodoxy that holds that civilization sprang from efforts to irrigate land around the great rivers of Egypt, Mesopotamia and China; "cultural complexity," he writes, "was not borne of an easy agricultural lifestyle by the banks of the river, but of the fight for survival in more difficult terrain." Wilkinson wears his erudition lightly and provides an engaging and clearly written guide to the arcana of pre-historic Egyptology. His book is an invigorating contribution to a vital historiographical debate. 87 illustrations, 25 in color. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Appeared in: Publishers Weekly, May 15, 2003 (c) Copyright 2003, Cahners Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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