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The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt

Edited by Ian Shaw

Publication Date - June 2002

ISBN: 9780192802934

552 pages

In Stock

The only book available providing detailed historical coverage of Egypt from the early Stone Age to its incorporation into the Roman Empire.


The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt is the only book available providing detailed historical coverage of Egypt from the early Stone Age to its incorporation into the Roman Empire. The lively essays and beautiful illustrations portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians covering the period from 700,000 BC to AD 311.

Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this book also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature. The pace of change in such aspects of Egyptian culture as monumental architecture, funerary beliefs, and ethnicity was not necessarily tied to the rate of political change. Each of the authors--working at the cutting edge of their particular fields--has therefore set out to elucidate, in both words and pictures, the underlying patterns of social and political change, and to describe the changing face of ancient Egypt, from the biographical details of individuals to the social and economic factors that shaped the lives of the population as a whole.


  • Subject of enormous general interest
  • The contributors are well known and respected scholars
  • Provides detailed historical coverage through from the early Stone Age to the time of the Romans
  • Includes the most detailed examinations of the three so-called 'intermediate periods' in Egyptian history, which were previously regarded as 'dark ages' but are now beginning to be better understood
  • Combination of quality illustrations and writing, together with the fact that all of the contributors are specialists working at the cutting edge of the subject.

About the Author(s)

Ian Shaw studied Archaeology and Egyptology at Cambridge University, gaining a PhD on the archaeological remains at Tell el-Amarna. He later undertook research into Egyptian quarrying and mining sites as a British Academy Research Fellow at New Hall, Cambridge. His other publications include Ancient Egyptian Warfare and Weapons (1992), The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (1995), The Dictionary of Archaeology (1999), and Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (2000)


Review from previous edition "The approach combines traditional chronological history with cultural and social historical material to produce a well rounded picture...chapters covering prehistory and the intermediate periods are particularly good, with Seidlmayer on the First Intermediate Period and Bourriau on the Second Intermediate Period outstanding. Bryan's chapter on the 18th Dynasty before the Amarna Period is also particularly good."--Antiquity

"If you only want to read one book on Egypt, then read this one...even people who consider themselves as experts on Ancient Egypt will find much to set them thinking: And while such Egyptologists will have a field day, the casual reader will find plenty to arouse their interest, ranging from the story of the world's first strike ... to the revelation that Scotland Yard possesses a print taken from the hand of a mummy."--The Northern Echo

"brimming with...intriguing facts ...also provides a first-rate overview of - le progress Egyptien - from the period when Homo erectus first stalked the land right up to Octavian's triumphant entry into Egypt in 30 BC."--Douglas Kennedy, The Times

Table of Contents

    List of Plates; List of Maps; Acknowledgements
    Prehistory: Palaeolithic and Neolithic
    Predynastic Period
    Late Predynastic and Early Dynastic
    The Rise of Eqyptian Civilization
    The Old Kingdom
    The First Intermediate Period
    The Middle Kingdom
    The Second Intermediate Period
    The New Kingdom: Pre-Amarna
    The New Kingdom: Amarna and Post-Amarna
    Egypt and the Outside World
    The Third Intermediate Period
    The Late Period
    The Ptolemaic Period
    The Roman Period
    Further Reading; Chronological Tables; Acknowledgement of Sources; Index