Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The World of the Pharaoh's, A Complete Guide to Ancient Egypt

Christine Hobson
Thames & Hudson
New York
ISBN: 0-500-27560-2

The author starts out strong in its introduction with an interesting overview of Pharaonic history leading into the archaeologists who discovered the various epochs of Egypt's long reign of the Pharaoh's. The lists of Archaeologist and their contribution made the science of today from men like Walter Emery to Amelia Edwards as well as the stars of the field like Belzoni and Champollion.

Chapter three is a bright description of the history of royal tombs focusing mainly on the successive known Kings who created the pyramids of the Old Kingdom. As addicting as the text is the photos are of standard fair though there are some gems like the relief from the tomb of Ankmahor.

The author has a pleasant voice with the simplicity of words that make tough subjects like the Pantheon of gods easy to understand though I must say that there were a number of inaccuracies, Mentuhotep II was not the first king of the 12th Dynasty.

These inaccuracies did not outweigh my interest in the book and the pictures became more interesting as the book went along. The last chapter was as well written completely with a good introduction as to how to read hieroglyphs and the rescue of the Nubian monuments from the raising of the Aswan dam.

But still there were more mistakes in the archaeology and I wondered how many mistakes that had gone over my head. It is hard to criticize a book I liked but the facts go astray while the obvious talent of the author takes away only a little of the books glimmer to me.

I am glad I read this book, I think!

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