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Village Life in Ancient Egypt : Laundry Lists and Love Songs - A. G. McDowell

Village Life in Ancient Egypt

Laundry Lists and Love Songs

Hardcover Published: 1st March 1999
ISBN: 9780198149989
Number Of Pages: 304

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Deir el-Medina, the village of the workmen who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, is a uniquely rich source of information about life in Egypt between 1539 and 1075 BC. The abundant archaeological remains are complemented by tens of thousands of texts documenting the thoughts and activities of the villagers. Many of the texts are written on papyrus but most are on flakes of limestone which, being free and readily available, were used for even the most casual and temporary of records. They include private letters, administrative accounts, magic spells, records of purchases, last wills and testaments, laundry lists, and love songs. The value of these rare glimpses of daily life is greatly enhanced by the concentration of texts in one time and place. This book combines translations of over 200 of these texts spanning the entire range of preserved genres with stunning illustrations. The reader will, therefore, be able to experience the life of the villagers through their own words whilst viewing places known to each individual writer. Each text is introduced by a commentary that provides the context and explains the contribution each text makes to our understanding of Egyptian society at this period.

`Village Life is a good way to make a first acquaintance of a key source population.' Barry Kemp, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Vol.11, No.1, April 2001 `This is one of the best volumes on Deir El Medina, and is an outstanding scholarly achievement, certain to prove useful to Egyptologist and historian alike.' M. Bontty, Ph.D., BMCR, 00/08/21. `The volume gets off to an impressive start with an informative introduction.' M. Bontty, Ph.D., BMCR, 00/08/21. `It is most welcome that a scholar witha combined background in Egyptologya and law has presented legal material ... The reader is provided with a wealth of information on this fascinating aspect of human activity ... in the future legal historians with no knowledge of Egyptian will have no difficulty using the texts.' M. Bontty, Ph.D., BMCR, 00/08/21. `As Egypt became weaker ... so too did the prosperity of the workmen in the village. This period ... is brilliantly illustrated textually by her chosen material. Village Life will be a standard work for years to come and is a valuable addition to books on Deir El Medina and the topic of daily life. It is well written, complete, extremely user friendly and provides refereshing and modern translations of known texts in addition to much welcome unpublished material. Its main advantage will be its use to scholars from other areas researching daily life in antiquity. We owe our thanks to the author for this wonderful volume.' M. Bontty, Ph.D., BMCR, 00/08/21. `The results of painstaking and meticulous research do not always make thrilling reading for the non-academic. The documentary evidence that provides the basis for this book, however, is by turns amusing and enlightening, and always entertaining. Those who already have some knowledge of the lives of the workmen of Deir el-Medina will enjoy further detailed insights provided by this book. Those who are new to the subject will benefit from the well-written and illustrated introduction and enjoy the lively commentaries.' Ancient Egypt Vol.1 No.1

List of Figures
Introductionp. 1
Family and Friendsp. 28
Daily Lifep. 53
Religionp. 91
Education, Learning, and Literaturep. 127
Lawp. 165
Work on the Royal Tombp. 201
Epilogue: The Royal Tombs Stand Openp. 241
Notesp. 244
Glossaryp. 267
Index of Textsp. 269
Index of Namesp. 272
General Indexp. 276
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198149989
ISBN-10: 0198149980
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st March 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.0 x 14.99  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.46