Ancient Egypt

Great Lives Lecture Series: Cleopatra

Cleopatra: A Biography by Duane W. Roller

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Tuesday, January 29, with a lecture on Cleopatra by Duane W. Roller author of Cleopatra: A Biography:

Few personalities from classical antiquity are more famous-yet more poorly understood-than Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt. In the centuries since her death in 30 BC, she has been endlessly portrayed in the arts and popular culture, from Shakespearean tragedy to paintings, opera, and movies. Despite the queen's enduring celebrity, however, many have dismissed her as a mere seductress. In this major new biography, Duane Roller reveals that Cleopatra was in fact a learned and visionary leader whose overarching goal was always the preservation of her dynasty and kingdom. Roller's authoritative account is the first to be based solely on primary materials from the Greco-Roman period: literary sources, Egyptian documents (Cleopatra's own writings), and representations in art and coinage produced while she was alive. His compelling portrait of the queen illuminates her prowess as a royal administrator who managed a large and diverse kingdom extending from Asia Minor to the interior of Egypt, as a naval commander who led her own fleet in battle, and as a scholar and supporter of the arts. Even her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius-the source of her reputation as a supreme seductress who drove men to their doom-were carefully crafted state policies: she chose these partners to insure the procreation of successors who would be worthy of her distinguished dynasty.

Find out more about this lecture on Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

Her wit is as dry as a whisper in a mummy’s tomb when she describes the life of a citizen of old Egypt from the squalling dawn of his existence to his final preparation for the afterlife.  But for all her panache, in penning Red Land, Black Land Barbara Mertz has created no gripping historical romantic suspense novel—although she’s written many of those, too.

You may know this author better as Elizabeth Peters, she of the Amelia Peabody mystery series, or by her other nom de plume--Barbara Michaels. Yet Barbara Mertz is her real name, and it’s under that identity that she earned a doctorate in Egyptology from Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute some decades ago.

The Search for Nefertiti

By Joann Fletcher

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Dr. Fletcher investigates a mummy believed to be of little importance and discovers that it is the remains of Queen Nefertiti. She documents the 13 years she spent studying Nefertiti’s life and examines how the kings and queens of Egypt are viewed in popular culture, while explaining how modern technology and forensics have changed archaeology.

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Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself

By Carmella Van Vleet

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"From reed boats, papyrus, and amulets to pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies, this interactive activity book explores the fascinating lives of ancient Egyptians with more than two dozen hands-on projects. The text covers ancient Egyptian food and housing, games and toys, farming, medicine, clothing and jewelry, as well as gods, pharaohs, hieroglyphs, pyramids, temples, and mummies.

"Engaging projects that use easily obtainable materials and require little adult supervision build on what is taught in each section and include building a shaduf, making a 1:1,000 scale model of the Great Pyramid, cooking flatbread, recreating papyrus, mixing perfume, designing a cartouche using hieroglyphs, and making sandals in the style worn by King Tut."

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Kingfisher Voyages: Ancient Egypt

By Simon Adams

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"Journey along the world's longest river, from the Nile delta to Nubia, with Egyptologist Kent Weeks. Open the panoramic gatefold to discover the magnificence of a pharaoh's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, and then turn the transparent pages to reveal the effects of 3,000 years on a human mummy. Along the way readers will peer inside incredible pyramids and take a journey into the Next World as they learn the secrets of the dead. At the end, intrepid explorers witness how today's scientists are using CAT scans and other cutting-edge technology to uncover the answers to some of ancient Egypt's most intriguing mysteries."
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The Ancient Egyptians: Dress, Eat, Write, and Play Just Like the Egyptians

By Fiona Macdonald

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Step into the world of the ancient Egyptians! Make your own beaded collar, challenge a friend to the ancient game of senet, make papyrus paper, learn to write in hieroglyphs, measure time with a water clock, and paint a life-size pharaoh. Fascinating facts and thirteen easy-to-do activities involve young readers in exploring this ancient civilization and its people.

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The Everything Kids' Mummies, Pharaohs, and Pyramids: Puzzle and Activity Book: Discover the Mysterious Secrets of Ancient Egypt

By Beth L. Blair and Jennifer A. Ericsson

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"Is there is such a thing as a mummy’s curse? How were the ancient pyramids built? What did the pharaohs do all day? All of these questions—and more—will be answered in this fun activity book. Kids will feel like real-life archaeologists when they solve puzzles and try activities about: famous pharaohs like King Tut and Ramses; gods like Osiris and Anubis; what the Egyptians believed about the afterlife; tools and laborers used to build the pyramids; tomb treasures like pottery, paintings, and hieroglyphics; Egypt- and mummy-related Halloween costume ideas; and more!"
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Foods and Cooking in Ancient Egypt

By Clive Gifford

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"The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted from around 3000 BC all the way to 30 BC, and despite being built over 2000 years ago many of their grand structures still stand today. The food that drove this civilization to success was as fiery and spicy as the Egyptians themselves. This book contains easy-to-follow recipes from the ancient Egyptian recipe book such as the flavorful, seed-based Dukkah dip."
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Ancient Egyptian Warfare

By Phyllis G. Jestice

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Worshipping gods. Building temples and pyramids. Learning to defend Egypt from foreign invaders. Developing Bronze Age weapons. Experience life as an Egyptian foot soldier! Learn how ancient Egyptians lived during a 200-year occupation of Lower Egypt by the Hyksos. Discover how the peaceful Egyptians were forced to defend their land with simple weapons. Learn how they adopted the use of the composite bow and more...

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The Egyptians: Life in Ancient Egypt

By Liz Sonneborn

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"The Ancient Egyptians were known for their large stone pyramids, but did you also know that the Egyptians turned some cats into mummies after they died? They also made a strong kind of paper by pressing together layers of a plant, and they performed surgery as early as 4,500 years ago. Find out what life was like in the mighty empire of Ancient Egypt. In this book, you ll learn about people s daily activities, religion, buildings, inventions, and leaders. Photographs and vivid comic-style illustrations help bring this culture to life!"
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