The ancient Egyptians are an enduring source of fascination - mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured our imaginations for generations. We all have a mental picture of ancient Egypt, but is it the right one? How much do we really know about this once great civilization?
In this absorbing introduction, Ian Shaw, one of the foremost authorities on Ancient Egypt, describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses. He also explores the changing influences on our responses to these finds, by examining the impact of Egyptology on various aspects of popular culture such as literature, cinema, opera, and contemporary art. He considers all aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, from tombs and mummies to the discovery of artefacts and the decipherment of hieroglyphs, and from despotic pharaohs to animal-headed gods.
From the general listener interested in Ancient Egypt, to students and teachers of ancient history and archaeology, to museum-goers, this Very Short Introduction will not disappoint.
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©2004 Ian Shaw (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
An enlightened ascetic who loves language and learning.
Ian Shaw unfortunately affords extreme Afrocentrists ample ammunition in their allegations against Eurocentric Egyptologists. While it is proper to desire a post-prejudicial society, a post-racial society is neither requisite nor warranted as intellectual ideal. Race remains a meaningful concept and constitutes a legitimate (though betimes imprecise) way of crudely classifying peoples, if classify we must. It is neither irrational nor immoral to inquire into the racial composition of an ancient peoples such as the Egyptians. The accumulated evidence unambiguously indicates that the substratum of the populace was Black-African and that the civilization bore many elements aligning it with other African cultures (as well as influences from and “effluences” to the Levant). To this Africoid substratum would eventually be added Asiatic and Mediterranean peoples as well as other Africans from northerly (Libyan) and southerly (Nubian, Cushite)) regions. Despite this admixture, the ancient Egyptians must still have appeared distinctively “Black” for this was the observation of “the Father of History”, Herodotus, the 5th century BCE traveler who observed and dwelt with the Egyptian priests principally. To deny the simple (though substantive) supposition that the Ancient Egyptians were basically Black suggests the unconscious operation of an obscurantist ideology. Scholars such as Shaw may mean well by presuming to put race behind us but all efforts to alter or embellish the truth are ultimately abortive in the eyes of the informed and enlightened.
I did not enjoy this audio book, i am moving to Egypt, I just thought i'd do a bit of reading, not worth your time.
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