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That said, I found this to be a really engaging read. The author touches upon not At about the midway point I thought Goodreads ate my comments The author touches upon not only the names of the kings and descriptions of their tombs and temples; but on the political and religious climates of different periods, archaeologists and their discoveries, and charming stories and writing straight from Ancient Egypt itself.

Key characters are introduced throughout and their stories, as much as is known, are told in a lively and personal manner.

Temples Tombs and Hieroglyphs a Brief History of Ancient Egypt Bri 1849012806

She wraps up the book by talking about how "we look into the mind of a man three millennia dead and call him 'brother'. Apr 03, Bill Telfer rated it it was amazing. You say you've always been curious about the subject of "ancient Egypt" but the topic is just too huge and sprawling that you have no idea how the Pyramids of Giza relate to King Tut, or what the Sphinx can possibly have to do with Cleopatra --and everything in between?

Well, let Barbara Mertz the amazing late author of the Amelia Peabody mysteries under the pen name "Elizabeth Peters" put it all in lovely, concise, and, yes, even humorous perspective for you. I listened to this o What's that? I listened to this one in audiobook form, and, I'll tell you, it's one of those books that, upon its completion, I feel as though I have taken an entire course in Egyptology.

By Barbara Mertz

My head is full of knowledge now. Dec 02, Simon rated it it was amazing. If you are seriously interested in the minutiae of Egyptian scholarship then this book is probably going to seem pretty once-over-lightly. If you are like me, and know the basic outlines, this is going to be just your dish. It was for me. But because she was also a first-rate writer, she introduces the reader to the basic o If you are seriously interested in the minutiae of Egyptian scholarship then this book is probably going to seem pretty once-over-lightly.

But because she was also a first-rate writer, she introduces the reader to the basic outline of ancient Egyptian history in wonderful prose. I loved reading this. Jul 23, Cheryl rated it really liked it. An in-depth look at all of the rulers of Egypt, with a fair amount of sass and sarcasm.

It did drag at times and eventually the names started to blur together, but overall it was one of the most entertaining books on history I've read. Apr 24, Shane Phillips rated it really liked it.

Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

Told with personality and enthusiasm. This book covers the span of, what, thirty centuries, give or take a few either way, in odd pages. It must have taken years to write this book, not only because of the sheer amount of research that would have had to be done, but also because of the amount of text, of passages that the author no doubt would have had to cut. If the author is anything like me, she would have devoted a lot of her daytime hours — and maybe even some of her night-time hours — with her finger hovering in agony abov This book covers the span of, what, thirty centuries, give or take a few either way, in odd pages.

When a reader finishes a book or, at least, when I finish a book , he or she generally forget all the cold hard facts they have just read within the first ten minutes.

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Ask me now to name any Pharaoh who lived within the first fifteen dynasties, all you will get is a blank stare — unless, of course, I have Google beside me, in which case you will see me searching up the answer for you. This book made Egyptian history come alive for me, however fleeting though it may have been, and, intermixed with witticisms and lively anecdotes and dry comments from the author, it has served to give me a far greater understanding of Egyptian history, as well as a far better knowledge of famous archaeologists and their quirks.

May 28, Andrea rated it it was amazing Shelves: Everyone in this book died. I only mention this because I had no idea who Barbara Mertz was when I was checking the book out of the library. It's a small world indeed. Barbara had a certain spunk that made her writing very approachable and just plain entertaining. The historical figures in this book are vibrant individu - Spoiler!

10 Secrets Of Ancient Egypt

The historical figures in this book are vibrant individuals. I had no problem keeping track of multiple dynasties, and that says a lot considering there were like three Amenhoteps and about eleven Ramseses. Barbara also didn't hesitate to let us know her feelings towards certain subjects and theories. I absolutely loved her take on Ramses II and his "valour" in battle.

Also, I do know how she would have done away with King Tut, if she was an ancient Egyptian dead set against him. Absolutely amazing, hilarious lady! Barbara also openly admitted to favour some dynasties over others, thus spending more time on certain events, but the book was her playground, so I can hardly hold it against her. For anybody really interested in the later part of Egyptian history, you will not find much info here on Cleopatra and her liaisons. Third intermediate period saw Egypt torn apart by foreign invaders like Lybians, Cushites, etc.

The late period marked the rule of Persian empire interlaced with some short-lived attempts by Egyptian pharaohs to return to power. Later on it was conquered by Alexander the Great and ceased to exist as true Egyptian kingdom altogether. Barbara Mertz focused primarily on true Egyptian history, so most of her extensive information ended with the fall of the New Kingdom.

View all 6 comments. Nov 07, Kiri rated it it was amazing. A wonderful, entertaining read. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in learning an overview about ancient Egypt. This is not an art history tome. The narrative reads as a story told by a storyteller or oral historian who brings the culture, customs and the era to life.

There are even photographs and sketches of the artifacts and of the tombs as well as maps and diagrams.

Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt

While reading the book I found it helpful to look up the sites and tombs on Google images as a reference to he A wonderful, entertaining read. While reading the book I found it helpful to look up the sites and tombs on Google images as a reference to help visualize them even though Ms. Unfortunately, I understand the book is out of print. Thanks to Goodreads friend, Christopher Needham, who had a copy, I was able to enjoy this book and put it on my shelf.

Jul 27, Joan rated it really liked it. A lively, gossipy overview of Ancient Egyptian history and the archaeological adventure and discoveries that uncovered it. Mertz writes like a favorite professor: She admits her biases freely and acknowledges that so much of what we "know" about Egyptian history is based on scholarly and non-scholarly speculation.

This book covers mor A lively, gossipy overview of Ancient Egyptian history and the archaeological adventure and discoveries that uncovered it. This book covers more of the traditional history of rulers including a tantalizing look into the life of Queen Hatshepsut. May 10, Louise rated it really liked it Shelves: When I visited these areas the tour guide spoke with great certainty about everything. Come to find out almost everything is subject to question. Mertz is clear on what has been established, and what is theory. The time, energy and research put into Egyptian archaeology opens new avenues of doubt and make facts more and more elusive.

Mertz warns at the beginning that this is not a text nor a complete history. She says it is an collection material that she finds interesting. The first part was a l When I visited these areas the tour guide spoke with great certainty about everything. The first part was a little TOO informal for me. Mertz hits her stride with Hatshepsut and keeps the narrative strong through the end.

Jul 05, Sandy rated it it was amazing. This is another revamped recently and re-released non fiction by Barbara Mertz. This one is more about the ruling history and rulers of ancient Egypt. I read it about 6 months ago or so and really enjoyed it. In typical Barbara Mertz style she writes about ancient Egypt with much knowledge and humor.

I would again recommend this book to anyone who has even the vaguest interest in Ancient Egypt. I may even re-r This is another revamped recently and re-released non fiction by Barbara Mertz. I may even re-read it in preparation for my big trip in November. Nov 08, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: Mertz, more recognizable under her nom de plumes Elizabeth Peters or Barbara Michaels, offers up a gossipy, fascinating history of Egypt.


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Don't let the tone fool you - she's got the Ph. She's set herself a monumental task, attempting to cover five millennia of history in just over pages, but she attacks it with relish and wit, and has the grace to admit when she's being particularly Mertz, more recognizable under her nom de plumes Elizabeth Peters or Barbara Michaels, offers up a gossipy, fascinating history of Egypt.

She's set herself a monumental task, attempting to cover five millennia of history in just over pages, but she attacks it with relish and wit, and has the grace to admit when she's being particularly spotty.

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An entertaining read for history buffs, those fascinated with things Egyptian, or casual fans of her Amelia Peabody series. Jul 25, Bondama rated it it was amazing. Barbara Mertz, long known for her thrillers under the two pseudonyms Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters, has finally come out with a non-fiction book on her speciality, Egyptology. This is an imminently readable work, taking the reader through a history of all the dynasties and Kingdoms that are thousands of years old. This is an incredible book -- and extremely accessible to virtually anyone with an interest in the Ancient Egyptians.

Feb 22, Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was published roughly four years before she ventured into fiction writing but her sense of humor and skills as a writer show through in this non-fiction over-view of Egyptian history. It would be another ten years before she would publish her first Amelia Peabody mystery but this book shows a lot of sources of inspiration for the series.


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This is a fine introduction to ancient Egypt from pre-history to the Roman conquest and to Egyptology by a University of Chicago Egyptologist also known, under the pseudonyms Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, as a novelist. Is it possible to write a breezy, downright gossipy, yet highly informative history of ancient Egypt? It must be, because Dr. Maybe it's because I "read" this one on Audible -- with a narrator whose voice reminded me of Amelia Peabody -- or maybe it's because I've been feeling guilty about owning the print edition for years without reading it.

Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with this book. I've read qu Question: Sep 08, Redsteve rated it it was ok Shelves: The author jumps back and forth between the two as if she can't decide which - with occasional digressions about science, trends in modern historiography, linguistics, the personal lives of archaeologists, and advice for tourists. Her attempts to be "folksy" are interspersed with French and German phrases and mostly come off as trying to hard. She obviously does know her material; I just found her delivery off-putting. Most of her humor felt labored as well, although her account of the well-documented mis adventures of Wenamon, a priestly messenger, was amusing.

Aug 29, Julian Abagond rated it really liked it. Hangs Egyptian history on the story of its rulers and, for the most part, avoids turning it into a story of archaeological digs. She does, though, cover some of the wrangling between scholars to make the point of how much guesswork and uncertainty goes into what we think we know.

She covers 5, years of history in pages, all the way up to Cleopatra, but half of it is about three centuries: I loved her description of the Battle o Very readable. I loved her description of the Battle of Kadesh But she zooms through the last thousand years in just 26 pages: You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time.

Specialty Booksellers Interest-specific online venues will often provide a book buying opportunity. International Customers If you are located outside the U. About Product Details World-renowned Egyptologist Barbara Mertz explores the reality behind the bestselling fiction she writes as Elizabeth Peters and casts a dazzling light on a remarkable civilization. William Morrow Paperbacks On Sale: The Exodus by Richard Elliott Friedman.

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