Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids
Translated by David Lorton
The Golden Age of Ancient Egypt comes alive as Guillemette Andreu recreates the details of daily life. Construction sites teem with workers building the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Administrators bustle to and fro, handling their assignments from the pharaoh's court. Scribes train themselves to draft a variety of letters. Andreu describes the Egyptians as they spend a day in the marshes with family and friends. They glide on light skiffs through the papyrus plants, stopping occasionally to marvel at the marsh creatures: frogs, butterflies, kingfishers, ibises, herons, lapwings, weasels, and mongooses. Because the marshes also shelter crocodiles and hippopotami, the day is not without its perils. In her vivid representation of Egyptian life, Andreu makes use of letters from family archives, full of household instructions from travelers and nostalgic greetings from grown children living away from their parents. The principal source of evidence for Egyptian life-styles between 2650 and 1750 B.C. are the scenes carved or painted on the walls of tombs. Short hieroglyphic inscriptions accompany these images, recording what might have been said by the men and women pictured. Andreu's book is amply illustrated and supplemented by a bibliography. It will delight tourists planning to visit Egypt, museum goers, as well as students.