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TitleBREWER, Douglas - Ancient Egypt - Foundations of a Civilization
TagsAncient Egypt Archaeology Egyptology Anthropology Radiocarbon Dating
File Size11.2 MB
Total Pages232
Table of Contents
                            Cover
Ancient Egypt: Foundations of a Civilization
Contents
List of figures, boxes and plates
Acknowledgements
Publisher’s acknowledgements
Introduction
1 Archaeology, Egyptology and prehistory: How we know what we know
2 Archaeology and Egyptian prehistory
3 Environmental reflection
4 The Paleolithic: A desert in bloom
5 The Neolithic: An agricultural revolution and new way of life
6 The Predynastic Period: Egypt in its infancy
7 The Late Predynastic: Naqada III and the quest for power
8 In search of Egypt’s first Pharao
9 Early Dynastic life
10 New horizons
Bibliography
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

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“…this is a most welcome book, which will fill a gap in the study of early Egypt…
The author…has sprinkled his narrative with anecdotes from his own archaeo-
logical expeditions making the text lively and entertaining, elevating his book from
mere description to a highly personal and approachable account. This is a skillful
survey that will benefit many different kinds of readers. I highly recommend it.”

Ronald J. Leprohon, Professor of Egyptology, University of Toronto

Have you ever wondered who built the pyramids and why? What life was like for
the earliest Egyptians? When and how hieroglyphic writing developed? How
Egyptian civilization changed through time? What religion the ancient
Egyptians practiced? The answers to all these questions lie deep in Egypt’s past.
In Ancient Egypt: Foundations of a Civilization Douglas J. Brewer traces Egypt’s
history from the Nile Valley’s earliest inhabitants through to the building of the
first pyramids. Beautiful illustrations of architecture, hieroglyphs and artifacts
bring the story to life and make this a fascinating account of the formative era
of Egyptian civilization.

Some of the most fundamental and
fascinating aspects of later Egyptian
civilization can only be understood by
looking deep into Egypt’s past. All the
hallmarks of Egyptian culture –
Pyramids, hieroglyphic writing, belief in
the afterlife and fervent nationalism –
can be traced in an unbroken line back
to Egypt’s earliest peoples. In this
beautifully illustrated account of the
origins of ancient Egypt, Douglas J.
Brewer shows why an awareness of the
earliest phase of Egyptian history is
crucial to our understanding of later
Egyptian culture. Beginning with a
quick review of the fields of Egyptology
and archaeology, Ancient Egypt:
Foundations of a Civilization takes the
reader on a compelling survey of Egypt’s
prehistoric past. The book tours the Nile
Valley to explore its impact on all
aspects of life, from day-to-day living to
regional politics, and introduces the
reader to the Nile Valley’s earliest
inhabitants and the very first
“Egyptians”. A look at artistic motifs
and artifacts shows how these evolved
into the familiar symbols and material
culture of the Egyptian civilization that
followed. Coverage of the latest research
sheds light on how Egypt became a
unified nation and on the search for the
identity of the first pharaoh. This is
followed by a look at everyday life in the
nation-state. The book culminates with
the crowning achievement of early
formative Egypt – the building of
the first pyramids.

Douglas J. Brewer is Professor of
Anthropology at the University of
Illinois and Director of the Spurlock
Museum. He has spent 20 years involved
in fieldwork projects in Egypt, including
research on the natural history of the
Eastern Desert, the Palaeolithic/Neolithic
transition in the Fayum and excavations
concerned with the Predynastic/Dynastic
transition in the Delta and Egyptian Nile
Valley. He has also written numerous
books and articles on Egypt, including
the bestselling Egypt and the Egyptians
(1999).

Also available from Longman:

Death and Burial in Ancient Egypt
Salima Ikram

The Last Queens of Egypt:
Cleopatra’s Royal House
Sally-Ann Ashton

www.pearson-books.com£19.99

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Cover image @ akg-images/Erich Lessing

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ANCIENT EGYPT
FOUNDATIONS OF A CIVILIZATION

ANCIENT
EGYPT
FOUNDATIONS OF A CIVILIZATION

DOUGLAS J. BREWER

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Ancient Egypt:
Foundations of a

Civilization

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6 u The Predynast ic Period: Egypt in i ts infancy

FIGURE 6.20 u Grey-green ware with the wavy-handle lug (a) and the later
decorative wavy design (b). Source: Courtesy of the Spurlock Museum,

University of Illinois

The high temperature-fired vessels often took the form of the wavy-

handled jars made famous by Petrie’s classification system (Fig. 6.20).

Wavy-handled vessels were first introduced into Egypt from Palestine;

the form was then adopted and made locally. Wavy-handled jars were

initially globular in shape with pronounced functional handles, but even-

tually evolved into a cylindrical shape with decorative, non-functional

handles. The cylindrical jar with a painted rather than moulded wavy

line around the middle became the most characteristic ceramic type of

the succeeding Naqada III Period.

The Naqada II Period saw considerable advancement in stone work-

ing. Limestone, calcites and marble, as well as harder stone like basalt,

gneiss and diorite, were used to make a variety of objects, including

fine vessels resembling those previously fashioned out of clay (Fig. 6.21a

and Plate 22). Given the skill and time needed to create one of these

vessels, they probably were not for everyday use but were instead

receptacles for exotic goods. Zoomorphic cosmetic palettes, a hallmark of

Naqada I, had by this time become less common, the styles now leaning

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A N C I E N T E G Y P T : T H E O R I G I N S

· 9 8 ·

FIGURE 6.21 u Naqada II stone vessels which, unlike earlier periods, are made
from harder stones such as basalt.

Sources: © Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London

more to rhomboidal shapes often surmounted by two confronting animal

heads (Fig. 6.22).

The disc-shaped mace heads of the Naqada I Period were replaced by

pear-shaped mace heads (Fig. 6.23). Mystery still surrounds the adoption

of the pear-shaped mace and how it became a symbol of power that lasted

throughout Egyptian history: the motif can be seen in virtually all poses

of the king smiting an enemy, from the beginning of Dynasty 1 to the end

of the last dynasty (Fig. 6.24).

In the Naqada II Period the copper industry began to flourish. Copper

artefacts such as blades, axes, bracelets and rings became more common,

as did gold and silver objects (Fig. 6.25). We know nothing about which

sector of society made the objects or of their smelting and casting

processes. The production of metal tools, however, does indicate a level

of hierarchical production previously not known in Egypt: first the ore

was mined, then it had to be transported to the smelting area, then

reduced and finally the objects were cast and the finished product was

marketed. Even with its growing availability, copper was still deemed

highly valuable, and tomb robbery was undertaken to recover it. Copper

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Pelusiac (branch of Nile) 32
per-hery-wedjeb 150
per-shena 150
Petrie, William Flinders 5, 18–22, 24,

73, 75
Pharaoh 1, 2, 100, 109, 125, 137, 138,

141
defined 125

Plutarch 146, 147
portcullis 182, 186
pot-marks see pottery
pottery 6, 13, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 73, 75,

77, 78, 81, 84, 86, 87, 94, 96, 102,
103, 105, 106, 119, 123, 131, 144,
155, 156, 169

black-topped red-ware 84, 103
combed (rippled) 81, 84
decorative motifs 95, 96, 102, 119
marks 85, 105
red polished 84, 86
wavy-handled 21, 75, 97, 105, 106
white-crossed (painted) 86

Predynastic (period) 72–108, 109–24
sequence 22

prehistory 44–60, 61–71, 72–108,
109–24

Principles of Geology 5
Protodynastic 2, 22, 109, 117, 120, 145

see also Dynasty 0
Protonile 46
Ptah 153
Ptolemy 8, 100
Ptolemy II Philadelphus 8
Pyramid Age 27, 108, 174, 186, 203
pyramids 1, 2, 17, 18, 20, 26, 27, 94, 108,

129, 146, 174, 182, 184, 186, 187,
190, 191–202

Qadan (culture) 45, 53, 54–7
Qarunian (Fayyum B culture) 45, 58–60
Qena Bend 34

radiocarbon date see Carbon 14
Re 153
rebus principal 122
Red Land 35, 43
redistribution (house of) 150

A N C I E N T E G Y P T : T H E O R I G I N S

· 2 1 2 ·

renaissance 4
rock art 38, 64–9, 70
Rosetta (branch of Nile) 32, 106
Rosetta Stone 7

Sais 137
Saqqara Pyramid (Step Pyramid) 26, 27,

129, 146, 184, 186, 190, 191–8, 200,
201, 202

Sebennytic (branch of Nile) 32
Scorpion (king) 9, 113–14, 136, 140–1

Mace 113, 114, 140, 141
Sed (jubilee) 193, 194, 195, 196

court 193, 196
festival 194, 195

Sekhemkhet (king) 9, 198
Pyramid 198

sepat 150–1, 152, 153 see also nome
serekh 128–9, 134–6, 137, 139, 149, 190
Seshet 153
sequence dating 5, 13–14, 20–1, 75
seriation typology 5, 13, 14, 21, 24
Seth 147–8, 153, 189, 190
Shamarkian 45, 58
shrine see temple
Shu 146
Sinai 83, 103
Somme Valley 5
Sothic date 12–13
Sothis (Sirius) 20, 21
Soul 161, 176, 177, 194, 203

akh 176, 194
ba 176, 198
ka 176, 198

Step Pyramid see Saqqara Pyramid
stone tools 5, 6, 13, 15, 46, 47, 48, 88
stone vessels 98, 105, 190, 191, 196
subsidiary burials 182
superposition (law of) 13

tag see label
taxes 16, 119, 124, 150, 152, 200
temple (shrine) 23, 28, 29, 40, 105, 106,

107, 117, 127, 128, 131, 153, 155,
158, 159, 182, 189, 191

Thebes 118
thermoluminescence (TL dating) 14, 16

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Thinite 126
nome 126
rulers 125

This 125, 136
tombs 20, 75, 83, 87, 95, 102, 107, 108,

126, 127, 128, 134, 136, 142, 144,
150, 152, 161, 163, 164, 166, 168,
175, 176, 177–8

robbery 98, 196
Tomb 100 (Painted Tomb) 102, 107,

181–2, 186, 189, 190, 191, 193,
197–8, 200, 202, 203

town 22, 34, 110, 115, 117–9, 138, 155,
173, 191

trade 110, 117, 122, 123, 124, 142, 152,
155, 174

treasury 134, 140, 150
Turin List 27, 73, 190

Umm Shagir 44, 45
unification (geo-political) 2, 25, 72, 108,

109–10, 123–4, 134, 137, 141–2,
148, 153

Upper Egypt(ian) 22, 32, 38, 43, 53, 72,
73, 75, 77, 101, 103, 105, 106–8,
110, 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 125,

Index

· 2 1 3 ·

126, 138, 140, 142, 145, 148, 149,
150, 181, 190, 195, 196

village 33, 34, 40, 41, 60, 61, 71, 72, 81,
91, 92, 101, 103, 110, 115–17, 118,
119, 155, 161

vizier 175 see also chaty

Wadi Hammamat 77, 83, 101, 117
Wadi Kubbaniya 84
Water of

Amun 32
Pre 32
Ptah 32

weapons 50, 66, 87, 152, 178
Wepwawet 147, 153
Western Desert 30, 32, 35, 37, 38, 45, 50,

51, 64, 68, 69, 70, 77, 119
wheat 60, 63, 64, 81, 83, 88, 92, 115,

157, 173
White Nile 30, 32
wine 106, 110, 169, 171, 174
writing 1, 2, 28, 108, 119, 122, 123, 134,

158, 186, 203 see also Hieroglyphs

Zawiyet el-Aryan Pyramid 198

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