Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Book: The Archaeology of Early Egypt
Thanks to Geoffrey Tassie for the information that a new book on early Egypt is forthcoming: The Archaeology of Early Egypt: Social Transformations in North East Africa, 10,000 to 2650 BC by David Wengrow (Cambridge World Archaeology S.). It is due for release on April 30th 2006. The summary on the Cambridge University Press website reads: "In this fresh, authoritative and compelling survey of the archaeology of early Egypt, David Wengrow offers a new interpretation of the emergence of farming economies and the dynastic state, c.10,000 to 2,650 BC. Exploring key themes such as the nature of state power, kingship and the inception of writing, Wengrow illuminates prehistoric social development along the Nile through comparison with neighbouring regions. Detailed analysis of the archaeological record reveals the interplay between large-scale processes of economic and political change and intimate material practices through which social identities were transformed, focussing upon ritual treatments of the dead. Employing rich empirical data and engaging critically with anthropological theory and the history of archaeological thought, Wengrow's work challenges the current theoretical isolation of Egyptian prehistory and breaches the methodological boundaries that separate prehistory from Egyptology. It is essential reading for anybody with an interest in ancient Egyptian civilisation or early state formation."
For a listing of the contents, see the above web page.

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