Readers Guide: General Accounts of Ancient Egypt

  • Immortal Egypt. Invited Lectures on the Middle East at the University of Texas at Austin. Denise Schmandt-Bessart, ed. Undena Publications: Malibu, California, 1978.
  • Pharaohs and Mortals. Torgny Säve-Söderbergh. Trans. By Richard E. Oldenburg. Barnes & Noble: New York, 1958.
  • Discovering Ancient Egypt. Rosalie David. New York, N.Y.: Facts on File Publications, 1993. 192 pages, illustrated. Includes sections on "the discoverers" and "outline of Egyptian history."
  • Old World Civilizations. The Rise of Cities and States. Goran Burenhult, ed. Harper Collins, 1994. 239 p. Many professional contributors. Through European iron age. 21 pages on ancient Egypt.
  • Cradles of Civilization: Egypt. Jaromir Malek, ed. Univ. Oklahoma, 1993. 192 p. 324 color illus., 61 black-and-white photos, 9 maps. Ancient to modern period.
  • The British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt. Stephen Quirke and Jeffrey Spenser. Thames and Hudson, 1992. 240 p. "excellent" "profusely illustrated"
  • Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs. Lost Civilizations series. Alexandria Virginia: Time-Life, 1992. 168 p. 186 illus. From a series of books about archaeology. Well done; a good starting point for the beginner. Good review of past work and also up-to-date; well produced; good photographs. One of best introductory books for a complete beginner. [DMNS Lib.]
  • The World of the Pharaohs. Christine Hobson. Thames & Hudson, 1987. Many photos and diagrams; special sections on hieroglyphs, temples, site descriptions, what to see in Egypt, short biographies of Egyptologists, and much else. A good introduction.
  • The Egyptians. Cyril Aldred. Thames & Hudson, 1984 revision. Another good introduction. Rather intellectual British vocabulary. Not quite as excellent as Aldred's book on art. Does not describe field work or archaeologists. [DMNS Lib.]
  • Atlas of Ancient Egypt. John Baines and Jaromir Malek. New York, N.Y.: Facts on File Publications, 1980. 240 p. illus. Lots of detail, organized by locations, with maps, diagrams, photos, etc. One of the best references, but not an introduction or narrative history.
  • An Introduction to Ancient Egypt. T.G.H. James. British Museum, 1979; Harper and Row 1990. 287 p. James is an excellent writer and knowledgeable in all aspects of ancient Egypt.
  • Ancient Egypt Discovering its Splendors. Karl W. Butzer et al. Washington: National Geographic Society, 1978. 256 p. Excellent photos & diagrams. Chapters by I.E.S. Edwards, W. K. Simpson, Barbara Mertz, and others. Came with an actual piece of modern papyrus.
  • The First Great Civilizations: Life in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Egypt. Jacquetta Hawkes. NY: Knopf, 1973. 465 p. 92 illus. A "beautifully written" introduction.
  • The Pyramids and Sphinx. Desmond Stewart. Newsweek, 1971. 172 p. Actually a fine short history of Egypt. Includes some history since ancient times, and special section "The Pyramids and Sphinx in Literature" with extensive quotes from Herodotus to G. B. Shaw, some very entertaining.
  • Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt. Barbara Mertz. Coward-McCann 1964; Bendick 1990. 349 p. Easy reading; has freshness and enthusiasm. More inspirational than comprehensive.
  • The Splendor that was Egypt. Margaret Murray. London 1964; rev. ed., New York: Praeger, 1969.
  • Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction. Sir Alan Gardiner. Oxford 1960; 1966. 460p. Detailed and a little serious, but by an expert on ancient Egypt and its language. "classic authoritative work." Includes translations of several important texts.
  • The Horizon Book of Lost Worlds. Leonard Cottrell. New York: American Heritage, 1962. 431 p. Large size, and a good selection of color photos. Good summary of Egyptian history. Includes Egypt, Sumer, Babylon, Crete, and others. Good introduction for a complete beginner.
  • Tombs, Temples & Ancient Art. Joseph Lindon Smith. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1956.
  • The Glory of Egypt. Samivel. translated by J. E. Manchip White. NY: Vanguard, 1956. Photos by Michel Audrain. 229 p. 115 photographs. A "lovely book" of photographs.