Daily Life In Ancient Egypt - Review
By Jeremy P. Thompson
This article is a review of Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz (the audio version). I will give my thoughts on the author, a brief overview of the contents and an overall evaluation.
I had just finished listening to Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs by the same author and was impressed with Mertz's writing. So, I decided to give Daily Life in Ancient Egypt a chance (anyone who has searched knows there are not a lot of audio books on Ancient Egypt available for download). It is easy to tell that she writes from experience and does so with a great deal of humor. She talks about her time at the Oriental Institute and of her many trips to Egypt. This certainly makes you
feel that the author is competent to speak about her subject matter.
The contents of the book are not technical so this makes the book accessible to anyone. It covers topics ranging from geography to religion to love to clothing. One might think that something like Egyptian clothing would not be very interesting, but I think any reader/listener will be surprised at the depth of the subject. The book also contains a good number of extended stories from authentic Egyptian texts.
As an overall appraisal, this text is absolutely fantastic. I listen to a lot of audio books because I commute. And admittedly, I do not finish a number of them because either the material is boring or the reader is terrible. Neither of these is the case for this text. Mertz really makes Daily Life in Ancient Egypt come alive. Other texts on ancient history explain how remote and different people of the past were; however, one finishes this text feeling that the Ancient Egyptians were real people with many of the same concerns that we in the modern world have. Mertz uses an excellent illustration in that we view the Ancient Egyptians like the mummies that we see in museums. Yet she takes these mummies and puts the flesh and bones back on them. This really is an enjoyable book on Ancient Egypt.
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