Proud to be a tea-sippin' nerd of a mommy!
Proud to be a tea-sippin' nerd of a mommy!

Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

by Barbara Mertz

Their civilization has inspired myriad films, books, pieces of art, myths, and dreams, and they built grand monuments that still stagger the imagination five thousand years later. But who were these people? Mertz ushers us into their homes, workplaces, temples, and palaces to give us an intimate view of the everyday worlds of royals and commoners alike.

"Its an ironic fact that when magic works, it is no longer magic but science."


What I love about this book is its excellent prose thanks to an experienced and talented fiction writer. The narrative is engaging and so unlike any other history book -- its not dry!!! While the author clearly presents her own point of view, this does not limit her presentation of the material, and she eloquently presents numerous schools of thought. She also includes fun side stories pertaining to Egypt's archeological pursuits.

The author gets into the mindset of the time period and really brings out the society's intelligence and innovations. They are not treated as "primitive" peoples and are not limited to definitions created by modern peoples as many books do to the Ancient Egyptians. Her explanations are intuitive and make you think. The only section I found confusing was the one about mathematics -- go figure.

Of course, the landscape of knowledge is constantly changing thanks to new techologies and discoveries. This book is extremely up to date and only suffers from recent DNA typing of King Tut's family. The author is not a big fan of DNA research, but it was still quite new at the book's publication.

This is an excellent resource that never takes itself too seriously. Its a book not about the things/artifacts but about the people, their context and perspective, and about life -- a celebration of life! Mertz has a fantastic wit which really personalizes the material. It says, "heck, its okay to find this tradition a little weird, you're not alone!" Mertz has created a detailed and beautifully descriptive resource. I think this book could peak the interest of anyone out there into Egyptology! I feel as if I have a better appreciation and understanding for the people of ancient times -- a more sympathetic view of their way of thinking. Thank you, Ms. Mertz!  
An excellent work of nonfiction -- I highly recommend! 


"...perhaps we will not find the painted mummy cases and weird amulets so bizarre if we see, beneath the extravagance, a common human terror and a common hope."

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Comments

  • Cass (Friday, May 15 15 07:01 am EDT)

    Yeah, that's the titkce, sir or ma'am

  • Alyn (Wednesday, May 20 15 03:22 am EDT)

    You got to push it-this esnaitsel info that is!

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Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"

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