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Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1856-9
256 pages
December 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (1405118563) cover image
Using the life of a young girl and her family as a model, this book recreates the daily life of the middle-class residents of the ancient town of Lahun during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom period. This perfect snapshot in time has been painstakingly recreated using recently published textual data and archaeological findings.
  • Provides an illuminating and engaging re-construction of what daily life was like in ancient Egypt
  • Describes the main issues of everyday life in the town - from education, work, and food preparation to religious rituals, healing techniques, marriages, births, and deaths
  • Authentically recreated through the use of recently published textual data and archaeological findings directly from the settlement of Lahun and other sites
  • Includes photographs and illustrations of actual artifacts from the settlement of Lahun
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List of Illustrations.

Preface.

Acknowledgements.

1 The Setting.

2 Birth.

3 Close to Home.

4 The Stuff of Life.

5 Crafts and Trades.

6 Learning Earning and Leisure.

7 Religion.

8 Sickness.

9 Death.

10 Love.

Bibliography

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Kasia Szpakowska is an Egyptologist in the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology, and a member of the Centre for Egyptology and Mediterranean Archaeology (CEMA) at the University of Wales, Swansea. She is the author of Behind Closed Eyes: Dreams and Nightmares in Ancient Egypt, and editor of Through a Glass Darkly: Magic, Dreams, and Prophecy in Ancient Egypt. Her current research focuses on gender and daily life in the Late Middle Kingdom as well as private religious practice in Egypt through the New Kingdom.
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  • Provides an illuminating and engaging re-construction of what daily life was like in ancient Egypt
  • Narrates the story of a young girl and her family to recreate the daily life of the middle-class residents of the ancient town of Lahun during Egypt’s Classical Age
  • Describes the main issues of everyday life in the town - from education, work, and food preparation to religious rituals, healing techniques, marriages, births, and deaths
  • Authentically recreated through the use of recently published textual data and archaeological findings directly from the settlement of Lahun and other sites
  • Includes photographs and illustrations of actual artifacts from the settlement of Lahun
See More
"This volume breaks new ground in how we need to examine Egyptian culture." (Journal of World History, March 2010)

"The author brings a contemporary academic understanding of ancient Egyptian society and culture to a general audience, successfully overturning widely-held preconceptions and offering new research and methodologies in an accessible and lucid manner. As such, it will serve both general interest readers and students of the subject." (Egyptian Archaeology, Spring 2009)

"The book will be attractive to anyone who wishes to read an appealing and original introduction to the Egyptian mind." (Scholia Reviews, 2009)

"Books dealing with the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians abound ... .I'd not gotten far into Szpakowska's contribution when I realized that hers was something special, and needful. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction ... which the author fleshes out with a highly detailed and readable survey. This approach brings the mundane world ... to life in a way real and vital, and is sure to appeal to Szpakowska's intended audience: university students, the general public, and scholars. Daily Life is at once a good read and an excellent reference book." (KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, December 2008)

"In this interesting addition to the growing body of scholarship on the social and cultural history of ancient Egypt, Szapkowska treats in succession birth, home life, personal possessions, crafts and trades, learning and related topics, religion, sickness, death, and love. What sets her book apart from other similar works is its restriction to the Middle Kingdom town of Lahun and the author's reliance primarily on material from that site. The focus on Middle Kingdom Lahun ... does allow readers to get a clearer sense of life in a particular place than other similarly titled works provide. Recommended." (CHOICE, December 2008)

"Szpakowska's book is well-written, and a valuable addition to books on the topic of daily life in ancient Egypt. It tells a wonderful story of life in an ancient Egyptian town." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, September 2008) 

"A magnificent undergraduate textbook, because of the focus on the actual record." (Times Higher Education Supplement)

“Szpakowska’s lively, well-crafted account not only gives a sense of the lives of the people behind the ancient texts and representations, but shows the reader how to construct a narrative which is both engaging and scholarly.”
Deborah Sweeney, Tel Aviv University

“Kasia Szpakowska’s engaging, localized account of life during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom draws upon the material culture and inscriptions produced by the people of Lahun to produce a rich portrait that will interest general readers, students, and Egyptologists alike.”
Ellen Morris, Columbia University

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