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Ancient Egypt


  • 102 b/w illus. 48 colour illus.
  • Page extent: 356 pages
  • Size: 253 x 215 mm
  • Weight: 1 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521859073)

Ancient Egypt
Cambridge University Press
9780521859073 - Ancient Egypt - An Introduction - By Salima Ikram

Ancient Egypt: An Introduction

This book provides an introduction to one of the greatest civilisations of all time – ancient Egypt. Beginning with a geographical overview that explains the development of Egyptian belief systems as well as Egypt’s subsequent political development, the book examines Egyptological methodology; the history of the discipline of Egyptology; and Egyptian religion, social organization, urban and rural life, and funerary beliefs. It also discusses how people of all ranks lived in ancient Egypt. Lavishly illustrated, with many photographs of rarely seen sites, this volume is suitable for use in introductory-level courses on ancient Egypt. It offers a variety of student-friendly features, including a glossary, a bibliography, and a list of sources for those who wish to pursue their interest in ancient Egypt.

Salima Ikram is professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. An archaeologist of ancient Egypt, she is the author of several scholarly and popular books, including, most recently, Death and Burial in Ancient Egypt, Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt, and, with A. M. Dodson, The Tomb in Ancient Egypt and The Mummy in Ancient Egypt.

Image not available in HTML version
Agricultural and taxation scenes from the tomb of Nefer at Saqqara. Photo Salima Ikram.

Ancient Egypt

An Introduction

Salima Ikram

American University in Cairo

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Dubai, Tokyo

Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013–2473, USA
Information on this title:

© Cambridge University Press 2009

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2009

Printed in Hong Kong by Golden Cup

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data

Ikram, Salima.
Ancient Egypt : an introduction / Salima Ikram.
 p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978–0-521–85907-3 (hardback) – ISBN 978–0-521–67598-7 (pbk.)
1. Egypt – Civilization – To 332 B.C. 2. Egypt – Social life and customs – To 332 B.C. I. Title.
DT61.I45 2009
932–dc22 2008040753

ISBN 978-0-521-85907-3 Hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-67598-7 Paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

To Barbara Mertz for feeding the heart, mind, imagination, soul, and stomach,


to Aidan Dodson for his constant friendship and support, even at 3:21 am


1     The Black and the Red: Geography and Environment
2     Travellers, Thieves, and Scholars: The History of Egyptology and Egyptomania
3     Re-creating Ancient Egypt: Sources and Methodologies
4     Shadows in the Sand: Egypt’s Past
5     Maintaining Egypt: Religion
6     Kings and Commoners: Egyptian Society and Government
7     Town Life and Country Life
8     From Sunrise to Sunset: Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians
9     The Living and the Dead: Mummies, Tombs, and Mortuary Cults
Further Reading
Egyptological Resources


A book of this sort depends on the work of many, and I am indebted to all my colleagues, past and present, who have contributed to the field and who have made their opinions and discoveries available through the last century and a half. I am also obliged to those who have taught me and whose modes of instruction have influenced me – for the good, I hope. More specifically, I am very grateful to Janet Richards for suggesting that I write this book (and for her invaluable suggestions after reading a draft, above and beyond the call of friendship) and to Beatrice Rehl for encouraging me to do so. I am also grateful to John Swanson, Fayza Haikal, Lisa Sabbahy, Janice Kamrin, Aidan Dodson, Peter Lacovara, and a slew of other colleagues for our discussions about various aspects of ancient Egypt. I am particularly indebted to Janice, Janet, Nicholas Warner, Barbara Mertz, and Dyan Hilton for reading various versions of the manuscript – any mistakes that remain are (sadly) my own.I am very grateful to Meredith Brand for indexing aid. Most of all, I am grateful to all the students whom I have taught for helping me to form what is written in the following pages.

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