Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review: Egyptian Dawn

Al Ahram Weekly (Gamal Nkrumah)

Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth Behind Ancient Egypt by Robert Temple (2010). Century, Random House, London

I have to say that even though I haven't seen, never mind read this book, the title sets my teeth on edge instantly - the "real truth"??

Professor Robert Temple has written a persuasive scientific paean to the antiquity of pyramids in ancient Egypt for the uninitiated amateurish Egyptologist. This book, however, will horrify professional Egyptologists. Like Thucydides or Tacitus, Temple combines perspicacity and an eye for telling detail with an ear for ringing.

Re-dating key monuments is a topic that tires Egyptologists, though. They have heard it all before and are not in the least convinced of its relevance to their labours. Yet these aspects are precisely part of Temple's saga's compelling readability for the gullible and ingenious unprofessional Egyptologist. The monarchs given most attention are the confusing kings Khasekhem (alias Hedjefa) and Khasekhemui (alias Bebti) as well as the equally confounding Khufus -- Khufu conventionally known as Cheops of the Great Pyramid, and the lesser known and rather mysterious Khnumu-Khufu, also associated with the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Such mystification is a vital part of Temple's narrative.

1 comment:

Jemma J. said...

Don't worry those books set me on edge as well! Especially when they start the theories about the Great Pyramids.... they're insane!