Thursday, January 28, 2010

Abydos - The Most Sacred of Cities

Originally published January 28, 2010 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Jill Kamil | A review of David O'Connor's Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris. Here's an excerpt of Jill's take on it:

Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris gives us new insights into the origins of kingship in Egypt and the organisation of early state. It reveals that writing has been found here that rivals in antiquity that of Mesopotamia. And it explores the significance of a fleet of boats, the earliest surviving in the world, unearthed at Abydos. "Each discovery raises new questions and issues, and indicates that further mysteries remain to be explored and resolved," writes O'Connor, and adds: "Abydos will continue to intrigue archaeologists, Egyptologists and lay enthusiasts for many generations to come."

Let me, however, hasten to add that this is not a book for the general reader who expects a publication described as: "The definitive account of one of Egypt's most important ancient sites, written by a world authority", to be a guidebook to the site. Abydos is most definitely a book by a scholar, for scholars, and for those enthusiasts who have some background in archaeology.

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