2012 American Publishers (PROSE) Awards winner for Best Archaeology & Anthropology Book
For most of the modern world, ancient Nubia seems an unknown and enigmatic land. Only a handful of archaeologists have studied its history or unearthed the Nubian cities, temples, and cemeteries that once dotted the landscape of southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Nubia's remote setting in the midst of an inhospitable desert, with access by river blocked by impassable rapids, has lent it not only an air of mystery, but also isolated it from exploration. Over the past century, particularly during this last generation, scholars have begun to focus more attention on the fascinating cultures of ancient Nubia, ironically prompted by the construction of large dams that have flooded vast tracts of the ancient land.
This book attempts to document some of what has recently been discovered about ancient Nubia, with its remarkable history, architecture, and culture, and thereby to give us a picture of this rich, but unfamiliar, African legacy.
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Marjorie M. Fisher is adjunct professor of Egyptology at the University of Michigan.
Peter Lacovara is senior curator of ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University.
Sue D'Auria is a former assistant curator at the Huntington Museum of Art, and has edited several books on Egyptology.
Salima Ikram is professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, and has published extensively on a variety of subjects in Egyptology.
Chester Higgins Jr is a world-renowned photographer and author of six books of photography whose work has appeared in ART- news, Essence, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Zahi Hawass is the former Minister of State for Antiquities, and the author of many books on ancient Egypt.
This large, scholarly work brings the ancient unknown kingdom of Nubia alive through essays and beautiful photos. Part 1 opens with maps and a chronology as well as a list of Kushite rulers. In 18 essays, contributors from around the globe provide facts and insights on the architecture, culture, customs, geography, and general history of the region, which stretched from Sudan through northern Egypt. Black-and-white photos of early-twentieth-century excavations—along with stunning color photos (some covering two pages) of tomb paintings, sculptures, temples, and precious objects—convey different eras. Extensive bibliographies after each essay will enable researchers to pursue a specific topic and period further, often through scholarly journal articles as recent as 2010. Part 2 is a gazetteer of 48 excavated archaeological sites, with illustrations and narratives offering a thorough description. There are numerous color maps and charts throughout the work and a detailed index. While public library patrons may enjoy browsing through the book, it will likely be used more in an academic setting, due to the dense and highly scholarly text. However, the unique and thorough information, the sheer beauty of the book, and the price make this a solid recommendation for most libraries. --Arthur Meyers
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