Robert Tanitch reviews two books on Ancient Egypt.
If you are thinking of going to Egypt or have been to Egypt, or have just come back from Egypt, there are two volumes, comprehensive catalogues, richly illustrated with black and white and colour photographs, which will delight and impress
THE COMPLETE TEMPLES OF ANCIENT EGYPT by Richard H Wilkinson (Thames & Hudson £18.95) includes not only the fabulous and unforgettable monuments at Karnak, Luxor, Abu Simbel but every temple along the Nile. They are the largest religious structures the world has ever known and rank amongst the greatest architectural accomplishments in human history. The sheer scale and beauty is awesome. There are detailed descriptions of the function and meaning of each part of the temples, its towers, gates, colossal statues and obelisks plus information on the rise and roles of pharaohs and priests and temple feasts and festivals
THE COMPLETE GODS AND GODDESSES OF ANCIENT EGYPT by Richard Wilkinson (Thames & Hudson £18.95) The Egyptians were more religious than any other people, worshipping hundreds of gods. This volume is a fully illustrated survey of the mythology, iconography and worship of the deities that dominated Egyptian religion from early pharaoh times to the Roman period. Osiris, Amun, Hathor, Isis… there are some 1,500 gods known by name. The pictures of tomb paintings, temple reliefs and statues, once seen, are never forgotten. This volume, particularly rich in colour, will whet your appetite for the real thing.
The two volumes, great to dip into, are absolutely invaluable as reference books.