The discipline of Egyptology has been criticised for being too insular,with little awareness of the development of archaeologies elsewhere. It has remained theoretically underdeveloped. For example the role of Ancient Egypt within Africa has rarely been considered jointly by Egyptologists and Africanists. Egypt's own view of itself has been neglected; views of it in the ancient past, in more recent times and today have remained underexposed. Encounters with Ancient Egypt is a series of eight books which addresses these issues. The books interrelate, inform and illuminate one another and will appeal to a wide market including academics, students and the general public interested in Archaeology, Egyptology, Anthropology, Architecture, Design and History. Mysterious Lands covers two kinds of encounters. First, encounters which actually occurred between Egypt and specific foreign lands, and second, those the Egyptians created by inventing imaginary lands. Some of the actual foreign lands are mysterious, in that we know of them only through Egyptian sources, both written and pictorial, and the actual locations of such lands remain unknown.
These encounters led to reciprocal influences of varying intensity. The Egyptians also created imaginary lands (pseudo-geographic entities with distinctive inhabitants and cultures) in order to meet religious, intellectual and emotional needs. Scholars disagree, sometimes vehemently, about the locations and cultures of some important but unlocated actual lands. As for imaginary lands, they continually need to be re-explored as our understanding of Egyptian religion and literature deepens. Mysterious Lands provides a clear account of this subject and will be a stimulating read for scholars, students or the interested public.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Mapping the Unknown in Ancient Egypt; The Egyptian Concept of the World; Travel and Fiction in Egyptian Literature; Locating Punt; Interpreting Punt: Geographic,Cultural and Artistic Landscapes; The Emergence of Libya on the Horizon of Egypt; The Mystery of the 'Sea Peoples'; 'As for them who know them, they shall find their paths': Speculations on Ritual Landscapes in the 'Book of the Two Ways'; Measuring the Underworld; The Book of the Fayum: Mystery in a Known Landscape; Mysterious Lands - The Wider Context.
David O'Connor is Professor in Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, and Curator Emeritus of the Egyptian Section of its Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Stephen Quirke is Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, and a Lecturer in Egyptology at its Institute of Archaeology.