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Help me im a complete newbie!!!
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Shanez
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:33 pm    Post subject: Help me im a complete newbie!!! Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

Ive always liked ancient Egypt but i know little or nothing about it lol, i want to buy a book but because there must be tons im not sure which one to get. I want to know everything but i know nothing, so this is why im here, i need advise Smile

So what book should i buy on ancient Egypt?, id also like to learn hieroglyphics

Any advise is good advise Wink

Cheers

Shane
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Gerard.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look to Ian SHAW 2002 The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University

To learn the language, Mark Collier/Bill Manley 1998 published by the British Museum Press is a good start.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first two books on ancient Egypt were:

The Civilization of Ancient Egypt - by Paul Johnson

and

The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt - by Bill Manley

Also, for an introduction to hierogyphs:

The Little Book of Egyptian Hieroglyphs - by Roy A. Adkins and Lesley Adkins
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I f you live in the USA then find the nearest Barnes and Nobles. They almost always have some deal on very nice books about Egypt.

Besides that I do recommend Shaw (Gerard mentioned that book).
Lehner's book about pyramids is available is most good bookstores I think? That one is a very nice book as well.
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Gerard.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark LEHNER 1997 The Complete Pyramids, Thames & Hudson

From my experience, in the same collection "The Complete ......" books are very good. I have the one about Gods & Goddesses, Temples, Valley of the kings.
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Ankhesenamun
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I have the complete set of The Complete.... books.

Also the British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by aforementioned Ian Shaw is useful.

The Great Discoveries by Nicholas Reeves goes through all the Egyptology discoveries in date order.

The Lost Tomb by Kent Weeks is great and can be read in about a day.

I also have some of the others mentioned above along with about 60 others.

Good luck and welcome.
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Seshat
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, for learning hieroglyphs, I'd have a look at

How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs:A Step by Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition. by Mark Collier and Bill Manley.

This is kind of like a "common phrasebook" for ancient egyptian...like the ones you buy for french or japanese that tell you how to say important phrases that commonly occur: "How much is that?" "Where's the bathroom?" Except that this book will teach you offering formulae and common epithets that get repeated over and over again on egyptian monuments. It's a good intro and will give you a sense of accomplishment early on. If you want to go ahead and learn how to read the language, grammar and all, first check out:

Fundamentals of Egyptian Grammar: Elements by Leo Depuydt

If you can find it. It's out of print. It's a very concise and detailed introduction to the language. It was also the intro to the parts of speech that I never got in junior high as well!

And if you're feeling really hardcore after the above,
Egyptian Grammar by Sir Alan Gardiner
Has in-depth coverage of verb conjugation, which is probably the hardest part of the language IMHO.
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BobManske
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Collier and Manley is very good. It is an introduction, however, not intended to be a complete grammar.

Depuydt is also very good but also incomplete. The promised second volume is long overdue and apparently not forthcoming. Is volume I out of print? I was able to acquire a copy two years ago.

Gardiner is the old master, of course, and I treasure my copy. But it was intended to be used in a classroom situation with a knowledgeable mentor at hand. There is no key to the exercises. He wrote the book more than 80 years ago, his style is more appropriate to that time. Some important advances in our understanding of the language have been made since then. All that having been said, if you can work your way through Gardiner, you will produce very excellent translations of Ancient Egyptian and will have learned from the Great One.

Two other (but by no means the only) grammars in English these days are James E. Hoch, Middle Egyptian Grammar and James P. Allen, Middle Egyptian. They present different views of the grammar.

For Late Egyptian there is Friedrich Junge's Late Egyptian Grammar, translated from the German by David Warburton. Late Egyptian is probably better tackled after a thorough grounding in Middle Egyptian.

Bob
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a beginner, lighter reading may be more attractive. Not anything childish, but quite readable and enjoyable (in my opinion), try Barbara Mertz' "Red Land, Black Land", and John Romer's "Valley of the Kings" leap to mind. Anything by Bob Brier, whose known as the "Mummy Man", and a copy of Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen is very interesting.
I'm sure there are many others. The subject of Egypt has been fascinating for a long, long time. As your interest grows, you may want to zero in one on particular field, as many of us here do. Good luck, and good reading!
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Isis 2
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya Shanez

To start with, if you live in UK, London, go the British Musuem, and have a look at there bookshop, you may be able to get them on line, they are small books, and specialise in different subjects, but easy to understand and it will give you a good general feel on each of the subjects that it covers, it does not go into technical details, just bare facts, but interesting and then once you have read some of them, you may decide to want to learn more about this one or that one, then try Amazon, but buy from the "market place" you can get them a lot cheaper on there.

Hope the above helps
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Shanez
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Hi All,

Thanks for the advise well appreciated

Shane Very Happy Smile
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are all great suggestions and I don't know if I saw it but I'd also add Ian Shaw and Paul Nicholson's The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. I consider this one of my most valuable references for looking up basic facts. My copy is well-thumbed and I love it so much I sleep with it like a teddy bear. Okay, that's not true, but it's a great book.

I wholly agree with Ankhesenamun's recommendation for The Complete series (e.g., The Complete Pyramids, The Complete Valley of the Kings, The Complete Tutankhamun). They're terrific introductory books. I'd also highly recommend Miroslav Verner's The Pyramids, which is a touch more advanced but I think still "digestible" for most beginners. Would you other folks agree with that?

I also agree with Gerard's recommendation for Collier and Manley's How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs, which I personally think is the single-best book for a beginner-level student. I also found it to be a hell of a lot of fun. However, another good one is Hieroglyphs Without Mystery, by Karl-Theodor Zauzich, which is also an instructive and enjoyable book for beginners.

A number of us here at ED are really into the ancient hieroglyphic script and BobManske is right that such books as Collier and Manley's aren't meant as actual grammars, so if you want to go on with your studies of the language you'll need to turn to more advanced texts, but for now the basics will get you going.

I personally would not recommend Gardiner's grammar. It is a venerable old tome and very useful, but fewer and fewer universities are using it nowadays. It is cumbersome and outdated. You're better off with the grammars written by Allen and/or Hoch.

To know all of the facts, you simply have to invest in Mustafa Gadalla's Pyramid Handbook. This is the book by which Daughter_Of_SETI swears, and the only one she now reads.

Please know that I am completely kidding about that last one! Laughing Daughter_Of_SETI is now going to kick my butt for using her like that, but it's kind of a fun reminder that along with ample amounts of great books, there is an abundance of complete garbage out there that leads people astray (pretty much anything and everything written by Gadalla, Zecharia Sitchin, Graham Hancock, Robert Schoch, and others of their addled ilk). Both Daughter_Of_SETI and I have read Gadalla's book, and if nothing else it gave us a hearty laugh. Razz

Anneke had a good idea about going to Barnes & Noble. Borders is one I haunt. However, I would avoid buying anything by Wallis Budge. You will nearly always find some of his books at popular book stores. I'm not saying that his prolific body of work is worthless because it really isn't, but a lot of it is terrifically outdated and just plain error-filled. His books are tempting because they're so cheap, but don't be tempted! Stay away!

Most of all, happy reading, Shanez. Wink
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Isis 2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trouble with Wallis Budge books, is that things have moved on so much since he wrote his books, I have a couple of them indoors, and it does make interesting reading on what they throught at the time about ancident Egypt, some of it can be really funny Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it, Budge wrote prolifically but rarely allowed colleagues to edit his material before it went to press. That's an invitation for disaster. I don't mean to say that nothing Budge wrote is worthwhile, but when reading something of his, I'd suggest always check additional and more modern materials for corroboration of facts.

I'm always reminded of the original, feature film Stargate, the movie that launched the popular TV series and its Disney Land spin-off. Early in the movie Daniel Jackson is reviewing the translation of the gate that someone had done before he came along, and he says something like, "Someone used Budge. Why do they keep printing his books?" LOL That kind of sums it up.
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BobManske
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
"Someone used Budge. Why do they keep printing his books?"


Because he presents texts and the reprints are inexpensive. I love him for that. Many of these texts aren't available to people who don't have access to the publications in specialist libraries or the funds necessary to purchase their own copies. Are the texts always accurate? Sometimes not, and sometimes it's a matter of opinion. At any rate, they are texts, they're mostly fine, and you can practice on them. And if you're a beginner you can use his translations as guides. Someone will say they're not reliable, well, they usually get you pretty close or in the area, and that's even better, in my opinion, because then the comparison can help you judge the rest for yourself. Yes, his transliterations do not follow the scheme that has become standard, but you know what? You can get used to it. It ain't hard. It just involves a little effort.

When I use Budge, I couldn't care less about the quality of the scholarship. His main aim, and he was successful at it, was to popularize ancient Egypt. To do that, he bombarded the bookshelves, the more tomes, the merrier. It's often easier to find information there than elsewhere, and sometimes it's the only easy place, and I'm pretty good at judging the reliability of the information I find there. So are you, Kmt_Sesh, you also are very good at making that kind of determination and so are quite a lot of the other people on this board. The level of knowledge around here is quite high. Even for beginners that task is not very difficult.

And Budge wasn't a nut case. Sure, some of his stuff was inaccurate and some has been superseded, but he didn't find references to CD's in ancient Egyptian texts, nor did he find any helicopters (I know neither had been invented then, but the idea is: he didn't go around finding Victorian or early 20th century technology in ancient Egypt), and didn't waste his time wondering where the paraphernalia or the bodies of those killed in ancient battles had gone, he didn't attempt to pass off Velikovskian style revisions of AE history, or foist other pet ideas upon the public. He was fairly main-stream for that time. On the other hand, he was a man of his times and of his culture, and you have to read him with that understanding, which actually makes it even more enjoyable.

So go ahead, rag on, but I ain't throwing him out.

I understand, in most cases, where his detractors are coming from, and to some extent I sympathize with them. But I think he is criticized unfairly because scholarship wasn't his aim. If his scheme had been to produce say, only five or so popularizing books, and the level of accuracy and reliability were not there, then I would criticize him, or at least not buy him. But his aim was to increase the awareness of AE, to get people to come to his museum, and he did that by flooding the market. I think in that he seems to have been successful.

So, again, go ahead, rag on, say what you will, but I ain't throwing him out. Them's my thoughts and I'm sticking to 'em.

Bob
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