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. Egypts 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. Never Had the Like Occurred examines Ancient Egypts own multifaceted encounters with its past. As Egyptian culture constantly changed and evolved, this book follows a chronological arrangement, from early Egypt to the attitudes of the Coptic population in the Byzantine Period.
Within this framework, it asks what access the Egyptians had to information about the past, whether deliberately or accidentally acquired; what use was made of the past; what were the Egyptians attitudes to the past; what sense of past time did the Egyptians have; and what kinds of reverence for the past did they entertain? This is the first book dedicated to the whole range of these themes. It provides an explanatory context for the numerous previous studies that have dealt with particular sets of evidence, particular periods, or particular issues. It provides a case study of how civilizations may view and utilize their past.
Table of Contents
Introduction: 'since the time of the God'; The Ancient Egyptian View of World History; Archaism and Modernism in the Reliefs of Hesy-Ra; Looking Back into the Future: The Middle Kingdom as a Bridge to the Past; Archaism and Innovation in Art from the New Kingdom to the twenty-sixth Dynasty; Literature as a Construction of the Past in the Middle Kingdom; Representations of the Past in New Kingdom Literature; Views of the Past in Egypt During the First Millennium BC; Egypt's Views of 'Others'; Foreigners at Memphis? Petrie's Racial Types; All in the Family? Heirlooms in Ancient Egypt; The Ptolemaic Royal Image and the Egyptian Tradition.
John Tait is Edwards Professor of Egyptology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.