Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Book Review: After the Pyramids

After the Pyramids: The Valley of the Kings and BeyondAfter the Pyramids: The Valley of the Kings and Beyond by Aidan Dodson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book looks at the development of royal tombs from the little-studied final pyramids through the Valley of the Kings and on to the final above-ground tombs in the Nile Delta. The Greco-Roman period is only treated very lightly but the rest of this vast time span is covered in detail. I especially like the detail given to the complicated Intermediate Periods, which some other writers tend to gloss over.

One of the best features of this book are the many photos and floor plans of the tombs, giving the reader a good idea of how they were laid out. The text is very detailed and clearly written.

This is not a book for the novice. It assumes some knowledge, such as what a rishi coffin is, and there is no general map of Egypt. Any archaeology buff or amateur Egyptologist will have no problem, however, and it is this audience that Dodson seems to be targeting.

My only criticism is that the dates and number of regnal years for some pharaohs cited in the text disagree with the chronology in the back. I understand that these are a matter of some controversy, but they should at least be consistent in a single book.

I recommend this book for anyone with a deep interest and some knowledge of Ancient Egypt.

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