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Seller: ancientgifts (4,778) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122865523538 "Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt from the Myers Collection, Eton College and University of Birmingham" by Eurydice Georganteli, Martin Bommas, Michela Luiselli, and Martin Sharp. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket. Publisher: Giles (2010). Pages: 128. Size: Size: 11¼ x 8½ x ¾ inch; 1¾ pounds. Summary: Published on the opening of a dazzling exhibition at the Barber Institute, this volume displays a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian artifacts from the rarely-seen Myers Collection. "Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt from the Myers Collection" highlights over 80 objects, tracing two and a half millennia of life and death in ancient Egypt. The Myers Eton College collection of Egyptian antiquities is not only one of the finest assemblages of ancient Egyptian decorative art worldwide but also a window into the distant world of travelers in 19th-century Egypt and the Middle East. Educated at Eton College and Sandhurst, Major William Joseph Myers (1858-99) started collecting in Egypt in the 1880s. On Myers's untimely death in 1899 Eton College became the beneficiary of his collection, diaries and library. "Sacred and Profane" celebrates this extraordinary bequest discussing statuettes of mortals and gods, mummy masks, jewelry, pottery and papyri in a thematic way alongside Roman and Byzantine coins from the rich Barber Institute of Fine Arts collections. The volume features five essays on travel, archaeology and collecting attitudes in the 19th and early 20th centuries, on travels to the beyond in ancient Egypt, on personal approaches to the sacred in Egyptian art, on papyri in Greco-Roman Egypt, and on the economy and art in Egypt from Alexander to the Arab conquest. Special focus is given to the stunning yet little known and under-researched Eton-Myers blue faience objects. It also contains a bibliography, a map, a timeline and an index. CONDITION: NEW. VERY LARGE new hardcover w/dustjacket. Giles (2010) 128 pages. Still in manufacturer's wraps. Unblemished and pristine in every respect. Pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #9004a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: This volume displays a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian artifacts from the rarely-seen Myers Collection. "Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt" from the Myers Collection highlights over 80 objects, tracing two and a half millennia of life and death in ancient Egypt. The Myers Collection of Egyptian Art at Eton College is widely-regarded as one of the most important, collections of small Egyptian artifacts in the world, yet the cache of about 3,000 statuettes of mortals and gods, mummy masks, jewelry and cosmetics, pottery, papyri and children’s toys has been until now under-researched and unseen. This new volume contributes significantly to the wider scholarship and understanding of this stunning private collection in particular and Egyptian art in general. REVIEW: The Myers Eton College Collection of Egyptian Antiquities is not only one of the most stunning assemblages of ancient Egyptian decorative art worldwide, but also a window into the distant world of travelrs in 19th-century Egypt and the Middle East. Educated at Eton College and Sandhurst, Major William Joseph Myers (1858–1899) started collecting in Egypt in the 1880s. The country was a magnet for painters, novelists, archaeologists, collectors and adventurers, and it was in Cairo that Verdi’s Egyptian-themed Aida opened in 1871. Spectacular archaeological discoveries were regularly made, and throwing mummy-unwrapping parties was fashionable in Europe and America. On Myers’s untimely death in 1899, Eton College became the beneficiary of his collection, diaries and library. "Sacred and Profane" celebrates this extraordinary bequest and launches the University of Birmingham’s partnership with Eton College and Johns Hopkins University, USA. Statuettes of mortals and gods, mummy masks, jewelry, pottery and papyri are displayed next to the Barber Institute’s own Egyptian collection of coins from Roman and Byzantine Alexandria. The exhibition is a collaboration with the University of Birmingham’s College of Arts and Law, and a 3D gallery with highlights of the Myers collection is being created by its Visual and Spatial Technology Centre (VISTA). The exhibition is complemented by the publication the accompanying catalogue "Sacred and Profane". REVIEW: Widely regarded as one of the most important collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world, the Myers Collection of Egyptian Art at Eton College possesses a cache of nearly 3,000 artifacts, including statues, mummy masks, jewelry and cosmetics, pottery, papyri and children's toys that has seldom been exhibited. Accustomed as we are to seeing images of such grandiose spectacles as the pyramids and the Sphinx, it is a revelation to view these objects of everyday life: among the 116 color images here are a figure of Thoth in the form of a baboon, a faience vessel shaped like a fish, a wooden model of a boat found in a tomb, a 3700-year-old wooden head rest, and—from 165 AD—a haunting, surprisingly realistic portrait of a man. REVIEW: Presenting over 100 color plates the volume also contains a bibliography, a map, a timeline and an index by Eurydice Georganteli, Curator of the Coin Collection and Lecturer in Numismatics and Martin Bommas, senior Lecturer in Egyptology. The book contributes significantly to the wider scholarship and understanding of this magnificent collection in particular and Egyptian art in general. REVIEW: Catalogue accompanied an exhibition on display at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham. REVIEW: Eurydice Georganteli is Keeper of Coins & Lecturer at the College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham. Martin Bommas is Senior Lecturer in Egyptology at the College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham. Maria Michela Luiselli is honorary research fellow in Egyptology, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham. Michael Sharp is senior editor in classic and Byzantine Studies, Cambridge University Press . TABLE OF CONTENTS: Forewords by Sir Dominic Cadbury and Lord Waldegrave of North Hill. Preface by Martin Stringer and Ann Sumner. Introduction by Eurydice Georganteli and Martin Bommas. Map of Ancient Egypt. A Visual Chronology of Ancient Egypt. 1. The Myers Eton College Collection of Egyptian Antiquities: Travel, Archaeology and Collecting Attitudes by Eurydice Georganteli. 2. Travels to the Beyond in Ancient Egypt by Martin Bommas. 3. The Personal Approach to the Divine in Ancient Egypt by Maria Michela Luiselli. 4. Papyri in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt by Michael Sharp. 5. Economy and Art in Egypt from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest by Eurydice Georganteli. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The attractive exhibition catalogue under review here shines a bright light on the rich and diverse collection of Egyptian art that is the Myers Collection at Eton College in Windsor, UK, with the added benefit of a chapter featuring coins and other post-pharaonic artifacts from the University of Birmingham. It is not only a welcome addition to previous publications of artifacts from the Myers Collection (e.g., Stephen Spurr, Nicholas Reeves, and Stephen Quirke, Egyptian Art at Eton College: Selections from the Myers Museum, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999), but also a prime example of the kind of high-quality, integrated analysis than can result when several specialists, working in related fields, unite their expertise in one volume. In the introduction, editors Eurydice Georganteli and Martin Bommas explicate the title and aim of the exhibition by summarizing the observations of religious historian Mircea Eliade on the distinction between the sacred and the profane—that is, the divine and the everyday—and by asserting that it is only Egypt’s surviving material culture that enables us to identify the ways in which the ancients “cross[ed] the border between the profane and the sacred”. The editors also distinguish the catalogue by noting that, “Statuettes of mortals and gods, funerary masks, jewellery, pottery and papyri [from the Myers Collection] are discussed for the first time in a thematic way”. The first chapter, “The Myers Eton College Collection of Egyptian Antiquities: Travel, Archaeology and Collecting Attitudes in Nineteenth-century Egypt,” by Georganteli, the Barber Institute Curator of the Coin Collection and Lecturer in Numismatics and Economic History at the University of Birmingham, provides a brief biography of Major W. J. Myers, a graduate of Eton College and a frequent traveler to Egypt in the early and mid-1880s. On his untimely death in 1889, Myers’s collection of Egyptian antiquities, as well as his library and diaries, were bequeathed to his alma mater. Georganteli delightfully includes in the chapter excerpts from Myers’s diaries and correspondence, and discusses the significance of his own object catalogue for our understanding of late nineteenth-century collecting habits. Georganteli further presents an overview of Egypt’s post-pharaonic history and Europe’s fascination with all things Egyptian, focusing in particular on the impact of ancient Egyptian artistic motifs on European and American art and architecture. Quotations from Amelia Edwards’s A Thousand Miles Up the Nile (1877) and illustrations from early Thomas Cook tours to Egypt (figs. 16 and 17) further evoke the setting in which Myers assembled his collection. This chapter also highlights Myers’s foresight in leaving his collection to an educational institution, for in his day and age, the academic study of Egyptian art was only just beginning. The second chapter, “Travels to the Beyond in Ancient Egypt,” by Bommas, Senior Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham, concerns Egyptian afterlife beliefs and their associated material culture. The chapter opens with the obvious but perhaps infrequently noted observation that it was in witnessing or participating in funeral processions that the average Egyptian most often experienced the conjunction of the sacred and the profane. Setting the tone for the academic discussion to follow, Bommas identifies the three stages of a burial in ancient Egypt—preparation of the body, transport to the tomb, and burial—and proceeds to discuss them in detail. Throughout the chapter, Bommas includes translations of Egyptian funerary literature, not only to remind readers of the power of recitation in Egyptian religion, but to also draw out the reasoning behind equipping a tomb with all manner of household and luxury items. Bommas’s chapter delves deeply into the function of Egyptian mortuary liturgies; the accompanying images of burial equipment assist the reader in comprehending these complex rites. Finally, Bommas references the occasionally ambiguous nature of Egyptian funerary goods when discussing an enigmatic flax and faience figurine. Too small to be a toy, and excavated in association with adult-type materials, this “doll” is a perfect illustration of the types of Egyptian artifacts awaiting further research. The third chapter, “The Personal Approach to the Divine in Ancient Egypt,” by Maria Michela Luiselli, Honorary Research Fellow in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham, discusses the visual and textual evidence for popular religion. Utilizing quotations from well-known devotional stelae and literary texts in combination with photographs of votive objects and sites of popular religious activity, Luiselli focuses on the concept of “personal piety,” that is, the feeling that one has a direct relationship with a deity. Particularly welcome in this chapter are the illustrations of the wide variety of faience vessels and amulets present in the Myers Collection. An additional treat is the captivating wooden façade illustrated in figure 63. Though not included in the exhibition, this artifact serves as a reminder that not all Egyptian stelae were freestanding, and that further inscriptional and decorative information was recorded on associated emplacements. Like Bommas, Luiselli also highlights the inherent functional ambiguity of some Egyptian artifacts, but concludes with the heartening remark that while some ancient behaviors can never be fully recovered, modern researchers can still “recognize and reconstruct where and when men and women in ancient Egypt left the Profane to enter the Sacred”. The fourth chapter, “Papyri in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt,” by Michael Sharp, Senior Editor for Classics and Byzantine Studies, Cambridge University Press, concerns the three non-funerary papyri in the Myers Collection. (Two dice bearing Greek letters are also briefly referenced and illustrated [fig. 87] in the chapter.) In a straightforward yet thoroughly engaging presentation, Sharp discusses the scribal craft in general, and situates the Myers papyri within their excavated context (an ancient refuse dump) and their original context of use, as far as can be determined from the texts. All three papyri are written in Greek, date to the early Roman period, and derive from the site of Oxyrhynchus. Unlike the other objects in the collection at Eton College, however, these artifacts were not purchased by Myers, but given to the school by the Egypt Exploration Fund in return for donations. Despite the disparate subjects of the three texts, Sharp expertly teases out aspects of cultural exchange, social interaction, and religious life in Roman Egypt. What is more, Sharp’s chapter constitutes a companion to the first, further elucidating the ways in which collections of Egyptian art were amassed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The fifth and final chapter, “Economy and Art in Egypt from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest,” also by Georganteli, surveys the history of Egypt from the conquest of Alexander to the early Islamic period and considers a group of Greco-Roman and Late Antique artifacts selected for the exhibition from the University of Birmingham’s own collections. Georganteli utilizes her expertise in ancient coinage to explicate the changing nature of the economy in Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique Egypt, and to explore the blended artistic styles of these periods. The chapter is full of astute remarks on iconography, and is accompanied by a number of stunning illustrations, from the full-page image of a painted Roman funerary portrait to the remarkable faience panel of Horus as a young Roman officer on horseback spearing an ibex. As exhibitions and catalogues of Egyptian art do not always feature items dating beyond the Greek or Roman periods, this chapter, which also discusses a nineteenth-century Coptic and Arabic manuscript from Birmingham’s Mingana Collection, is a boon. Thanks to its inclusion, readers can now consider ancient Egyptian art in a broader historical and cultural context. The high quality of the illustrations make the catalogue a pleasure to both browse and read, and their integration with the text is highly valuable. While most of the chapters’ endnotes are geared toward specialists (i.e., references are to academic publications in various languages), the layperson is sure to find much of interest in the select bibliography at the conclusion of the volume. This reviewer might have added a few additional resources to the bibliography, for example, Lesley and Roy Adkins’s "The Keys of Egypt: The Race to Read the Hieroglyphs" (London: HarperCollins, 2000), and the online databases of the Griffith Institute and the Travelers in the Middle East Archive, but this is merely a matter of preference. "Sacred and Profane" is clearly the work of a very dedicated group of contributors, and indeed, all four authors should be thanked for producing such a comprehensive and readable catalogue. There can be little doubt that with increasing worldwide exposure, of which this publication is only a part, the Myers Collection will receive even more attention in the years to come. [UCLA]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Truly a remarkable book with stunning photographs. The artifacts presented are very uncommon, and very significant. Well presented narrative. This is one of the best museum catalogs, a real “sleeper”. Hard to believe it has not gathered more attention. Get it while you still can, this limited printing will disappear before long. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: The artworks of ancient Egypt have fascinated people for thousands of years. The early Greek and later Roman artists were influenced by Egyptian techniques and their art would inspire those of other cultures up to the present day. Many artists are known from later periods but those of Egypt are completely anonymous and for a very interesting reason: their art was functional and created for a practical purpose whereas later art was intended for aesthetic pleasure. Functional art is work-made-for-hire, belonging to the individual who commissioned it, while art created for pleasure - even if commissioned - allows for greater expression of the artist's vision and so recognition of an individual artist. A Greek artist like Phidias (circa 490-430 B.C.) certainly understood the practical purposes in creating a statue of Athena or Zeus but his primary aim would have been to make a visually pleasing piece, to make "art" as people understand that word today, not to create a practical and functional work. All Egyptian art served a practical purpose: a statue held the spirit of the god or the deceased; a tomb painting showed scenes from one's life on earth so one's spirit could remember it or scenes from the paradise one hoped to attain so one would know how to get there; charms and amulets protected one from harm; figurines warded off evil spirits and angry ghosts; hand mirrors, whip-handles, cosmetic cabinets all served practical purposes and ceramics were used for drinking, eating, and storage. Egyptologist Gay Robins notes: "As far as we know, the ancient Egyptians had no word that corresponded exactly to our abstract use of the word `art'. They had words for individual types of monuments that we today regard as examples of Egyptian art - 'statue', 'stela', 'tomb' -but there is no reason to believe that these words necessarily included an aesthetic dimension in their meaning. 'Art for art's sake' was unknown and further, would have probably been incomprehensible to an ancient Egyptian who understood art as functional above all else." Although Egyptian art is highly regarded today and continues to be a great draw for museums featuring exhibits, the ancient Egyptians themselves would never have thought of their work in this same way and certainly would find it strange to have these different types of works displayed out of context in a museum's hall. Statuary was created and placed for a specific reason and the same is true for any other kind of art. The concept of "art for art's sake" was unknown and, further, would have probably been incomprehensible to an ancient Egyptian who understood art as functional above all else. This is not to say the Egyptians had no sense of aesthetic beauty. Even Egyptian hieroglyphics were written with aesthetics in mind. A hieroglyphic sentence could be written left to right or right to left, up to down or down to up, depending entirely on how one's choice affected the beauty of the finished work. Simply put, any work needed to be beautiful but the motivation to create was focused on a practical goal: function. Even so, Egyptian art is consistently admired for its beauty and this is because of the value ancient Egyptians placed on symmetry. The perfect balance in Egyptian art reflects the cultural value of ma'at (harmony) which was central to the civilization. Ma'at was not only universal and social order but the very fabric of creation which came into being when the gods made the ordered universe out of undifferentiated chaos. The concept of unity, of oneness, was this "chaos" but the gods introduced duality - night and day, female and male, dark and light - and this duality was regulated by ma'at. It is for this reason that Egyptian temples, palaces, homes and gardens, statuary and paintings, signet rings and amulets were all created with balance in mind and all reflect the value of symmetry. The Egyptians believed their land had been made in the image of the world of the gods and, when someone died, they went to a paradise they would find quite familiar. When an obelisk was made it was always created and raised with an identical twin and these two obelisks were thought to have divine reflections, made at the same time, in the land of the gods. Temple courtyards were purposefully laid out to reflect creation, ma'at, heka (magic), and the afterlife with the same perfect symmetry the gods had initiated at creation. Art reflected the perfection of the gods while, at the same time, serving a practical purpose on a daily basis. The art of Egypt is the story of the elite, the ruling class. Throughout most of Egypt's historical periods those of more modest means could not afford the luxury of artworks to tell their story and it is largely through Egyptian art that the history of the civilization has come to be known. The tombs, tomb paintings, inscriptions, temples, even most of the literature, is concerned with the lives of the upper class and only by way of telling these stories are those of the lower classes revealed. This paradigm was already set prior to the written history of the culture. Egyptian art begins in the Pre-Dynastic Period (circa 6000-3150 B.C.) through rock drawings and ceramics but is fully realized by the Early Dynastic Period (circa 3150-2613 B.C.) in the famous Narmer Palette. The Narmer Palette (circa 3150 B.C.) is a two-sided ceremonial plate of siltstone intricately carved with scenes of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by King Narmer. The importance of symmetry is evident in the composition which features the heads of four bulls (a symbol of power) at the top of each side and balanced representation of the figures which tell the story. The work is considered a masterpiece of Early Dynastic Period art and shows how advanced Egyptian artists were at the time. The later work of the architect Imhotep (circa 2667-2600 B.C.) on the pyramid of King Djoser (circa 2670 B.C.) reflects how far artworks had advanced since the Narmer Palette. Djoser's pyramid complex is intricately designed with lotus flowers, papyrus plants, and djed symbols in high and low relief and the pyramid itself, of course, is evidence of the Egyptian skill in working in stone on monumental artworks. During the Old Kingdom (circa 2613-2181 B.C.) art became standardized by the elite and figures were produced uniformly to reflect the tastes of the capital at Memphis. Statuary of the late Early Dynastic and early Old Kingdom periods is remarkably similar although other art forms (painting and writing) show more sophistication in the Old Kingdom. The greatest artworks of the Old Kingdom are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza which still stand today but more modest monuments were created with the same precision and beauty. Old Kingdom art and architecture, in fact, was highly valued by Egyptians in later eras. Some rulers and nobles (such as Khaemweset, fourth son of Ramesses II) purposefully commissioned works in Old Kingdom style, even the eternal home of their tombs. In the First Intermediate Period (2181-2040 B.C.), following the collapse of the Old Kingdom, artists were able to express individual and regional visions more freely. The lack of a strong central government commissioning works meant that district governors could requisition pieces reflecting their home province. These different districts also found they had more disposable income since they were not sending as much to Memphis. More economic power locally inspired more artists to produce works in their own style. Mass production began during the First Intermediate Period also and this led to a uniformity in a given region's artwork which made it at once distinctive but of lesser quality than Old Kingdom work. This change can best be seen in the production of shabti dolls for grave goods which were formerly made by hand. Art would flourish during the Middle Kingdom (2040-1782 B.C.) which is generally considered the high point of Egyptian culture. Colossal statuary began during this period as well as the great temple of Karnak at Thebes. The idealism of Old Kingdom depictions in statuary and paintings was replaced by realistic representations and the lower classes are also found represented more often in art than previously. The Middle Kingdom gave way to the Second Intermediate Period (circa 1782-1570 B.C.) during which the Hyksos held large areas of the Delta region while the Nubians encroached from the south. Art from this period produced at Thebes retains the characteristics of the Middle Kingdom while that of the Nubians and Hyksos - both of whom admired and copied Egyptian art - differs in size, quality, and technique. The New Kingdom (circa 1570-1069 B.C.), which followed, is the best known period from Egypt's history and produced some of the finest and most famous works of art. The bust of Nefertiti and the golden death mask of Tutankhamun both come from this era. New Kingdom art is defined by a high quality in vision and technique due largely to Egypt's interaction with neighboring cultures. This was the era of Egypt's empire and the metal-working techniques of the Hittites - who were now considered allies, if not equals - greatly influenced the production of funerary artifacts, weaponry, and other artwork. Following the New Kingdom the Third Intermediate Period (circa 1069-525 B.C.) and Late Period (525-332 B.C.) attempted with more or less success to continue the high standard of New Kingdom art while also evoking Old Kingdom styles in an effort to recapture the declining stature of Egypt. Persian influence in the Late Period is replaced by Greek tastes in the Ptolemaic Period (323-30 B.C.) which also tries to suggest the Old Kingdom standards with New Kingdom technique and this paradigm persists into the Roman Period (30 B.C.-646 A.D.) and the end of Egyptian culture. Throughout all these eras, the types of art were as numerous as human need, the resources to make them, and the ability to pay for them. The wealthy of Egypt had ornate hand mirrors, cosmetic cases and jars, jewelry, decorated scabbards for knives and swords, intricate bows, sandals, furniture, chariots, gardens, and tombs. Every aspect of any of these creations had symbolic meaning. In the same way the bull motif on the Narmer Palette symbolized the power of the king, so every image, design, ornamentation, or detail meant something relating to its owner. Among the most obvious examples of this is the golden throne of Tutankhamun (circa 1336-1327 B.C.) which depicts the young king with his wife Ankhsenamun. The couple are represented in a quiet domestic moment as the queen is rubbing ointment onto her husband's arm as he sits in a chair. Their close relationship is established by the color of their skin, which is the same. Men are usually depicted with reddish skin because they spent more time outdoors while a lighter color was used for women's skin as they were more apt to stay out of the sun. This difference in the shade of skin tones did not represent equality or inequality but was simply an attempt at realism. In the case of Tutankhamun's throne, however, the technique is used to express an important aspect of the couple's relationship. Other inscriptions and art work make clear that they spent most of their time together and the artist expresses this through their shared skin tones; Ankhesenamun is just as sun-tanned as Tutankhamun. The red used in this composition also represents vitality and the energy of their relationship. The couple's hair is blue, symbolizing fertility, life, and re-birth while their clothing is white, representing purity. The background is gold, the color of the gods, and all of the intricate details, including the crowns the figures wear and their colors, all have their own specific meaning and go to tell the story of the featured couple. A sword or a cosmetic case was designed and created with this same goal in mind: story-telling. Even the garden of a house told a story: in the center was a pool surrounded by trees, plants, and flowers which, in turn, were surrounded by a wall and one entered the garden from the house through a portico of decorated columns. All of these would have been arranged carefully to tell a tale which was significant to the owner. Although Egyptian gardens are long gone, models made of them as grave goods have been found which show the great care which went into laying them out in narrative form. In the case of the noble Meket-Ra of the 11th Dynasty, the garden was designed to tell the story of the journey of life to paradise. The columns of the portico were shaped like lotus blossoms, symbolizing his home in Upper Egypt, the pool in the center represented Lily Lake which the soul would have to cross to reach paradise, and the far garden wall was decorated with scenes from the afterlife. Every time Meket-Ra would sit in his garden he would be reminded of the nature of life as an eternal journey and this would most likely lend him perspective on whatever circumstances might be troubling at the moment. The paintings on Meket-Ra's walls would have been done by artists mixing colors made from naturally occurring minerals. Black was made from carbon, red and yellow from iron oxides, blue and green from azurite and malachite, white from gypsum and so on. The minerals would be mixed with crushed organic material to different consistencies and then further mixed with an unknown substance (possibly egg whites) to make it sticky so it would adhere to a surface. Egyptian paint was so durable that many works, even those not protected in tombs, have remained vibrant after over 4,000 years. Although home, garden, and palace walls were usually decorated with flat two-dimensional paintings, tomb, temple, and monument walls employed reliefs. There were high reliefs (in which the figures stand out from the wall) and low reliefs (where the images are carved into the wall). To create these, the surface of the wall would be smoothed with plaster which was then sanded. An artist would create a work in minature and then draw gridlines on it and this grid would then be drawn on the wall. Using the smaller work as a model, the artist would be able to replicate the image in the correct proportions on the wall. The scene would first be drawn and then outlined in red paint. Corrections to the work would be noted, possibly by another artist or supervisor, in black paint and once these were taken care of the scene was carved and painted. Paint was also used on statues which were made of wood, stone, or metal. Stone work first developed in the Early Dynastic Period and became more and more refined over the centuries. A sculptor would work from a single block of stone with a copper chisel, wooden mallet, and finer tools for details. The statue would then be smoothed with a rubbing cloth. The stone for a statue was selected, as with everything else in Egyptian art, to tell its own story. A statue of Osiris, for example, would be made of black schist to symbolize fertility and re-birth, both associated with this particular god. Metal statues were usually small and made of copper, bronze, silver, and gold. Gold was particularly popular for amulets and shrine figures of the gods since it was believed that the gods had golden skin. These figures were made by casting or sheet metal work over wood. Wooden statues were carved from different pieces of trees and then glued or pegged together. Statues of wood are rare but a number have been preserved and show tremendous skill. Cosmetic chests, coffins, model boats, and toys were made in this same way. Jewelry was commonly fashioned using the technique known as cloisonne in which thin strips of metal are inlaid on the surface of the work and then fired in a kiln to forge them together and create compartments which are then detailed with jewels or painted scenes. Among the best examples of cloisonne jewelry is the Middle Kingdom pendant given by Senusret II (circa 1897-1878 B.C.) to his daughter. This work is fashioned of thin gold wires attached to a solid gold backing inlaid with 372 semi-precious stones. Cloisonne was also used in making pectorals for the king, crowns, headdresses, swords, ceremonial daggers, and sarcophagi among other items. Although Egyptian art is famously admired it has come under criticism for being unrefined. Critics claim that the Egyptians never seem to have mastered perspective as there is no interplay of light and shadow in the compositions, they are always two dimensional, and the figures are emotionless. Statuary depicting couples, it is argued, show no emotion in the faces and the same holds true for battle scenes or statues of a king or queen. These criticisms fail to recognize the functionality of Egyptian art. The Egyptians understood that emotional states are transitory; one is not consistently happy, sad, angry, content throughout a given day much less eternally. Art works present people and deities formally without expression because it was thought the person's spirit would need that representation in order to live on in the afterlife. A person's name and image had to survive in some form on earth in order for the soul to continue its journey. This was the reason for mummification and the elaborate funerary rituals: the spirit needed a 'beacon' of sorts to return to when visiting earth for sustenance in the tomb. The spirit might not recognize a statue of an angry or jubilant version of themselves but would recognize their staid, complacent, features. The lack of emotion has to do with the eternal purpose of the work. Statues were made to be viewed from the front, usually with their backs against a wall, so that the soul would recognize their former selves easily and this was also true of gods and goddesses who were thought to live in their statues. Life was only a small part of an eternal journey to the ancient Egyptians and their art reflects this belief. A statue or a cosmetics case, a wall painting or amulet, whatever form the artwork took, it was made to last far beyond its owner's life and, more importantly, tell that person's story as well as reflecting Egyptian values and beliefs as a whole. Egyptian art has served this purpose well as it has continued to tell its tale now for thousands of years. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Ancient Egyptian culture flourished between circa 5500 B.C. with the rise of technology (as evidenced in the glass-work of faience) and 30 B.C. with the death of Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. It is famous today for the great monuments which celebrated the triumphs of the rulers and honored the gods of the land. The culture is often misunderstood as having been obsessed with death but, had this been so, it is unlikely it would have made the significant impression it did on other ancient cultures such as Greece and Rome. The Egyptian culture was, in fact, life affirming, as the scholar Salima Ikram writes: "Judging by the numbers of tombs and mummies that the ancient Egyptians left behind, one can be forgiven for thinking that they were obsessed by death. However, this is not so. The Egyptians were obsessed by life and its continuation rather than by a morbid fascination with death. The tombs, mortuary temples and mummies that they produced were a celebration of life and a means of continuing it for eternity…For the Egyptians, as for other cultures, death was part of the journey of life, with death marking a transition or transformation after which life continued in another form, the spiritual rather than the corporeal." This passion for life imbued in the ancient Egyptians a great love for their land as it was thought that there could be no better place on earth in which to enjoy existence. While the lower classes in Egypt, as elsewhere, subsisted on much less than the more affluent, they still seem to have appreciated life in the same way as the wealthier citizens. This is exemplified in the concept of gratitude and the ritual known as The Five Gifts of Hathor in which the poor laborers were encouraged to regard the fingers of their left hand (the hand they reached with daily to harvest field crops) and to consider the five things they were most grateful for in their lives. Ingratitude was considered a `gateway sin’ as it led to all other types of negative thinking and resultant behavior. Once one felt ungrateful, it was observed, one then was apt to indulge oneself further in bad behavior. The Cult of Hathor was very popular in Egypt, among all classes, and epitomizes the prime importance of gratitude in Egyptian culture. Religion was an integral part of the daily life of every Egyptian. As with the people of Mesopotamia, the Egyptians considered themselves co-laborers with the gods but with an important distinction: whereas the Mesopotamian peoples believed they needed to work with their gods to prevent the recurrence of the original state of chaos, the Egyptians understood their gods to have already completed that purpose and a human’s duty was to celebrate that fact and give thanks for it. So-called `Egyptian mythology’ was, in ancient times, as valid a belief structure as any accepted religion in the modern day. Egyptian religion taught the people that, in the beginning, there was nothing but chaotic swirling waters out of which rose a small hill known as the Ben-Ben. Atop this hill stood the great god Atum who spoke creation into being by drawing on the power of Heka, the god of magic. Heka was thought to pre-date creation and was the energy which allowed the gods to perform their duties. Magic informed the entire civilization and Heka was the source of this creative, sustaining, eternal power. In another version of the myth, Atum creates the world by first fashioning Ptah, the creator god who then does the actual work. Another variant on this story is that Ptah first appeared and created Atum. Another, more elaborate, version of the creation story has Atum mating with his shadow to create Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture) who then go on to give birth to the world and the other gods. From this original act of creative energy came all of the known world and the universe. It was understood that human beings were an important aspect of the creation of the gods and that each human soul was as eternal as that of the deities they revered. Death was not an end to life but a re-joining of the individual soul with the eternal realm from which it had come. The Egyptian concept of the soul regarded it as being comprised of nine parts: the Khat was the physical body; the Ka one’s double-form; the Ba a human-headed bird aspect which could speed between earth and the heavens; Shuyet was the shadow self; Akh the immortal, transformed self, Sahu and Sechem aspects of the Akh; Ab was the heart, the source of good and evil; Ren was one’s secret name. An individual’s name was considered of such importance that an Egyptian’s true name was kept secret throughout life and one was known by a nickname. Knowledge of a person’s true name gave one magical powers over that individual and this is among the reasons why the rulers of Egypt took another name upon ascending the throne; it was not only to link oneself symbolically to another successful pharaoh but also a form of protection to ensure one’s safety and help guarantee a trouble-free journey to eternity when one’s life on earth was completed. According to the historian Margaret Bunson: "Eternity was an endless period of existence that was not to be feared by any Egyptian. The term `Going to One’s Ka’ (astral being) was used in each age to express dying. The hieroglyph for a corpse was translated as `participating in eternal life’. The tomb was the `Mansion of Eternity’ and the dead was an Akh, a transformed spirit. The famous Egyptian mummy (whose name comes from the Persian and Arabic words for `wax’ and `bitumen’, muum and mumia) was created to preserve the individual’s physical body (Khat) without which the soul could not achieve immortality. As the Khat and the Ka were created at the same time, the Ka would be unable to journey to The Field of Reeds if it lacked the physical component on earth. The gods who had fashioned the soul and created the world consistently watched over the people of Egypt and heard and responded to, their petitions. A famous example of this is when Ramesses II was surrounded by his enemies at the Battle of Kadesh (1274 B.C.) and, calling upon the god Amun for aid, found the strength to fight his way through to safety. There are many far less dramatic examples, however, recorded on temple walls, stele, and on papyrus fragments. Papyrus (from which comes the English word `paper’) was only one of the technological advances of the ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians were also responsible for developing the ramp and lever and geometry for purposes of construction, advances in mathematics and astronomy (also used in construction as exemplified in the positions and locations of the pyramids and certain temples, such as Abu Simbel), improvements in irrigation and agriculture (perhaps learned from the Mesopotamians), ship building and aerodynamics (possibly introduced by the Phoenicians) the wheel (brought to Egypt by the Hyksos) and medicine. The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus (circa 1800 B.C.) is an early treatise on women’s health issues and contraception and the Edwin Smith Papyrus (circa 1600 B.C.) is the oldest work on surgical techniques. Dentistry was widely practiced and the Egyptians are credited with inventing toothpaste, toothbrushes, the toothpick, and even breath mints. They created the sport of bowling and improved upon the brewing of beer as first practiced in Mesopotamia. The Egyptians did not, however, invent beer. This popular fiction of Egyptians as the first brewers stems from the fact that Egyptian beer more closely resembled modern-day beer than that of the Mesopotamians. Glass working, metallurgy in both bronze and gold, and furniture were other advancements of Egyptian culture and their art and architecture are famous world-wide for precision and beauty. Personal hygiene and appearance was valued highly and the Egyptians bathed regularly, scented themselves with perfume and incense, and created cosmetics used by both men and women. The practice of shaving was invented by the Egyptians as was the wig and the hairbrush. By 1600 B.C. the water clock was in use in Egypt, as was the calendar. Some have even suggested that they understood the principle of electricity as evidenced in the famous Dendera Light engraving on the wall of the Hathor Temple at Dendera. The images on the wall have been interpreted by some to represent a light bulb and figures attaching said bulb to an energy source. This interpretation, however, has been largely discredited by the academic community. In daily life, the Egyptians seem little different from other ancient cultures. Like the people of Mesopotamia, India, China, and Greece, they lived, mostly, in modest homes, raised families, and enjoyed their leisure time. A significant difference between Egyptian culture and that of other lands, however, was that the Egyptians believed the land was intimately tied to their personal salvation and they had a deep fear of dying beyond the borders of Egypt. Those who served their country in the army, or those who travelled for their living, made provision for their bodies to be returned to Egypt should they be killed. It was thought that the fertile, dark earth of the Nile River Delta was the only area sanctified by the gods for the re-birth of the soul in the afterlife and to be buried anywhere else was to be condemned to non-existence. Because of this devotion to the homeland, Egyptians were not great world-travelers and there is no `Egyptian Herodotus’ to leave behind impressions of the ancient world beyond Egyptian borders. Even in negotiations and treaties with other countries, Egyptian preference for remaining in Egypt was dominant. The historian Nardo writes, "Though Amenophis III had joyfully added two Mitanni princesses to his harem, he refused to send an Egyptian princess to the sovereign of Mitanni, because, `from time immemorial a royal daughter from Egypt has been given to no one.’ This is not only an expression of the feeling of superiority of the Egyptians over the foreigners but at the same time and indication of the solicitude accorded female relatives, who could not be inconvenienced by living among `barbarians’." Further, within the confines of the country people did not travel far from their places of birth and most, except for times of war, famine or other upheaval, lived their lives and died in the same locale. As it was believed that one’s afterlife would be a continuation of one’s present (only better in that there was no sickness, disappointment or, of course, death), the place in which one spent one’s life would constitute one’s eternal landscape. The yard and tree and stream one saw every day outside one’s window would be replicated in the afterlife exactly. This being so, Egyptians were encouraged to rejoice in and deeply appreciate their immediate surroundings and to live gratefully within their means. The concept of ma’at (harmony and balance) governed Egyptian culture and, whether of upper or lower class, Egyptians endeavored to live in peace with their surroundings and with each other. Among the lower classes, homes were built of mud bricks baked in the sun. The more affluent a citizen, the thicker the home; wealthier people had homes constructed of a double layer, or more, of brick while poorer people’s houses were only one brick wide. Wood was scarce and was only used for doorways and window sills (again, in wealthier homes) and the roof was considered another room in the house where gatherings were routinely held as the interior of the homes were often dimly lighted. Clothing was simple linen, un-dyed, with the men wearing a knee-length skirt (or loincloth) and the women in light, ankle-length dresses or robes which concealed or exposed their breasts depending on the fashion at a particular time. It would seem that a woman’s level of undress, however, was indicative of her social status throughout much of Egyptian history. Dancing girls, female musicians, and servants and slaves are routinely shown as naked or nearly naked while a lady of the house is fully clothed, even during those times when exposed breasts were a fashion statement. Even so, women were free to dress as they pleased and there was never a prohibition, at any time in Egyptian history, on female fashion. A woman’s exposed breasts were considered a natural, normal, fashion choice and was in no way deemed immodest or provocative. It was understood that the goddess Isis had given equal rights to both men and women and, therefore, men had no right to dictate how a woman, even one’s own wife, should attire herself. Children wore little or no clothing until puberty. Marriages were not arranged among the lower classes and there seems to have been no formal marriage ceremony. A man would carry gifts to the house of his intended bride and, if the gifts were accepted, she would take up residence with him. The average age of a bride was 13 and that of a groom 18-21. A contract would be drawn up portioning a man’s assets to his wife and children and this allotment could not be rescinded except on grounds of adultery (defined as sex with a married woman, not a married man). Egyptian women could own land, homes, run businesses, and preside over temples and could even be pharaohs (as in the example of Queen Hatshepsut, 1479-1458 B.C.) or, earlier, Queen Sobeknofru, circa 1767-1759 B.C.). The historian Thompson writes, "Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. The Egyptians believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.” Because of this belief, women enjoyed a higher prestige in Egypt than in any other culture of the ancient world. While the man was considered the head of the house, the woman was head of the home. She raised the children of both sexes until, at the age or four or five, boys were taken under the care and tutelage of their fathers to learn their profession (or attend school if the father’s profession was that of a scribe, priest, or doctor). Girls remained under the care of their mothers, learning how to run a household, until they were married. Women could also be scribes, priests, or doctors but this was unusual because education was expensive and tradition held that the son should follow the father's profession, not the daughter. Marriage was the common state of Egyptians after puberty and a single man or woman was considered abnormal. The higher classes, or nobility, lived in more ornate homes with greater material wealth but seem to have followed the same precepts as those lower on the social hierarchy. All Egyptians enjoyed playing games, such as the game of Senet (a board game popular since the Pre-Dynastic Period, circa 5500-3150 B.C.) but only those of means could afford a quality playing board. This did not seem to stop poorer people from playing the game, however; they merely played with a less ornate set. Watching wrestling matches and races and engaging in other sporting events, such as hunting, archery, and sailing, were popular among the nobility and upper class but, again, were enjoyed by all Egyptians in as much as they could be afforded (save for large animal hunting which was the sole provenance of the ruler and those he designated). Feasting at banquets was a leisure activity only of the upper class although the lower classes were able to enjoy themselves in a similar (though less lavish) way at the many religious festivals held throughout the year. Swimming and rowing were extremely popular among all classes. The Roman writer Seneca observed common Egyptians at sport the Nile River and described the scene: "The people embark on small boats, two to a boat, and one rows while the other bails out water. Then they are violently tossed about in the raging rapids. At length, they reach the narrowest channels…and, swept along by the whole force of the river, they control the rushing boat by hand and plunge head downward to the great terror of the onlookers. You would believe sorrowfully that by now they were drowned and overwhelmed by such a mass of water when, far from the place where they fell, they shoot out as from a catapult, still sailing, and the subsiding wave does not submerge them, but carries them on to smooth waters." Swimming was an important part of Egyptian culture and children were taught to swim when very young. Water sports played a significant role in Egyptian entertainment as the Nile River was such a major aspect of their daily lives. The sport of water-jousting, in which two small boats, each with one or two rowers and one jouster, fought each other, seems to have been very popular. The rower (or rowers) in the boat sought to strategically maneuver while the fighter tried to knock his opponent out of the craft. They also enjoyed games having nothing to do with the river, however, which were similar to modern-day games of catch and handball. Gardens and simple home adornments were highly prized by the Egyptians. A home garden was important for sustenance but also provided pleasure in tending to one’s own crop. The labourers in the fields never worked their own crop and so their individual garden was a place of pride in producing something of their own, grown from their own soil. This soil, again, would be their eternal home after they left their bodies and so was greatly valued. A tomb inscription from 1400 B.C. reads, “May I walk every day on the banks of the water, may my soul rest on the branches of the trees which I planted, may I refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore” in referencing the eternal aspect of the daily surroundings of every Egyptian. After death, one would still enjoy one’s own particular sycamore tree, one’s own daily walk by the water, in an eternal land of peace granted to those of Egypt by the gods they gratefully revered. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of ancient Egyptian art consists of approximately 26,000 objects of artistic, historical, and cultural importance, dating from the Paleolithic to the Roman period (circa 300,000 B.C. to 4th century A.D.). More than half of the collection is derived from the Museum's 35 years of archaeological work in Egypt, initiated in 1906 in response to increasing Western interest in the culture of ancient Egypt. Virtually the entire collection is on display in the Lila Acheson Wallace Galleries of Egyptian Art, with objects arranged chronologically over 39 rooms. Overall, the holdings reflect the aesthetic values, history, religious beliefs, and daily life of the ancient Egyptians over the entire course of their great civilization. The collection is particularly well known for the Old Kingdom mastaba (offering chapel) of Perneb (circa 2450 B.C.); a set of Middle Kingdom wooden models from the tomb of Meketre at Thebes (circa 1990 B.C.); jewelry of Princess Sit-hathor-yunet of Dynasty 12 (circa 1897–1797 B.C.); royal portrait sculpture of Dynasty 12 (ca. 1991–1783 B.C.); and statuary of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut of Dynasty 18 (circa 1473–1458 B.C.). The department also exhibits its invaluable collection of watercolor facsimiles of Theban tomb paintings, most of which are copies produced between 1907 and 1937 by members of the Graphic Section of the Museum's Egyptian Expedition. One of the most popular destinations in the Egyptian galleries is the Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing. Built about 15 B.C. by the Roman emperor Augustus, who had succeeded Cleopatra VII, the last of the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, the temple was dedicated to the great goddess Isis and to two sons of a local Nubian ruler who had aided the Romans in their wars with the queen of Meroe to the south. Located in Lower Nubia, about 50 miles south of modern Aswan, the temple was dismantled to save it from the rising waters of Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan High Dam. It was presented to the United States as a gift from the Egyptian government in recognition of the American contribution to the international campaign to save the ancient Nubian monuments. The Department of Egyptian Art was established in 1906 to oversee the Museum's already sizable collection of art from ancient Egypt. The collection had been growing since 1874 thanks to individual gifts from benefactors and acquisition of private collections (such as the Drexel Collection in 1889, the Farman Collection in 1904, and the Ward Collection in 1905), as well as through yearly subscriptions, from 1895 onward, to the Egypt Exploration Fund, a British organization that conducted archaeological excavations in Egypt and donated a share of its finds to subscribing institutions. Also in 1906, the Museum's Board of Trustees voted to establish an Egyptian Expedition to conduct archaeological excavations at several sites along the Nile. Instrumental in this decision was J. Pierpont Morgan, the Museum's president, who visited the expedition periodically until his death in 1913. At the time, the Egyptian government (through the Egyptian Antiquities Service) was granting foreign institutions the right to excavate with the understanding that the resulting finds would be divided evenly between the excavators and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The Met was granted concessions for the Middle Kingdom royal cemeteries of Lisht; the Late Dynastic Period temple of Hibis at Kharga Oasis in the western desert; the New Kingdom royal palace at Malqata; and the Middle and New Kingdom cemeteries and temples of Deir el-Bahri in the Theban necropolis opposite modern Luxor. The Egyptian Antiquities Service subsequently granted access to other sites as well, among them the important Predynastic cemetery of Hierakonpolis in southern Egypt. Between 1906 and 1935, The Met's Egyptian Expedition conducted 14 seasons of excavations at Lisht. The site includes the Middle Kingdom pyramid complexes of Amenemhat I, the first king of Dynasty 12, and of his son, Senwosret I; a cemetery of officials from Dynasties 12 and 13; and an important Middle Kingdom settlement site. The early excavation teams were led by noted American Egyptologist Albert M. Lythgoe, the first curator of the Department of Egyptian Art. Lythgoe was assisted by his American colleague, Ambrose Lansing, and by Arthur C. Mace, a British Egyptologist. Also at Lisht was Herbert E. Winlock, a young American who was just beginning his career in Egyptology. Among the most important finds from the site are a ritual figure of wood (circa 1929–1878 B.C.), one of a pair, the second of which is in Cairo; and burial equipment from the tomb of the Lady Senebtisi. It was while working with Mace in this tomb that Winlock developed the careful archaeological methods that made him one of the greatest excavators in the field of Egyptology. In 1911, after several seasons at Lisht, Herbert Winlock became the primary director of fieldwork at Thebes. He later succeeded Lythgoe as the head of the Department of Egyptian Art, and eventually served as director of the Museum. Winlock conducted excavations in the Dynasty 18 mud-brick palace of Amenhotep III at Malqata, near the southern end of the vast Theban necropolis, but his principal work was done at the temples and cemeteries in the area of Deir el-Bahri. There, in 1920, he discovered a small, untouched chamber in the tomb of the early Middle Kingdom chancellor Meketre (circa 1990 B.C.). The chamber contained a set of 24 painted wooden models of boats, gardens, offering figures, and scenes of food production that are more detailed than any found before or since. These models are among the most prized possessions of the collections at the Met and at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Winlock also discovered hundreds of fragments of the smashed statues that had once embellished the funerary temple of Hatshepsut, the great female pharaoh who ruled during Dynasty 18 (circa 1473–1458 B.C.). Painstakingly reassembled, these statues are some of the great masterpieces now to be found in New York and Cairo. Over the years the Department of Egyptian Art has been able to acquire, through purchase and bequest, a number of important private collections, including those of Rev. Chauncey Murch (1910), Theodore M. Davis (1915), J. Pierpont Morgan (1917), the Earl of Carnarvon (1926), and Albert Gallatin (1966). Significant gifts have also come from collectors such as Norbert Schimmel (1985), and major purchases have been made possible by benefactors, including Darius Ogden Mills, Helen Miller Gould, Edward S. Harkness, Jacob S. Rogers, and Lila Acheson Wallace, who also funded the reinstallation of the Egyptian galleries that was completed in 1982. In addition to interpreting and caring for the permanent collection of ancient Egyptian art, the staff of the Department of Egyptian Art continues to excavate at the Museum's concessions in Egypt. REVIEW: Ancient Egyptian Cosmetic Arts: It's clear from wall-paintings that 4,000 years ago make-up was worn in the upper Nile. Now we find that skilled chemists created cosmetics for men, women and children - for health reasons. When Cleopatra seduced Mark Antony, she wielded powers subtler than piling stones into pyramids. Chief among the Queen's feminine wiles would have been the cosmetic arts. Now scientists are also being attracted to the strong, dark lines of ancient Egyptian eye make-up. Studies are showing that the ancient Egyptians may have possessed a knowledge of complicated chemistry that was far further advanced than anyone previously suspected. "For us it was very surprising that the Egyptians could create such complex chemical reactions without knowing the laws of chemistry," says Patricia Pineau, director of research communication for the cosmetics giant L'Oreal, which has spent two years analyzing 4,000-year-old Egyptian cosmetics with scientists from the Louvre. The 49 alabaster, wood and reed jars of make-up that form the focus of the study were brought back to France by Napoleon as part of the loot from his invasion of Egypt. Eventually the containers ended up in the subterranean storage vaults of the Louvre's laboratories. What has baffled scientists is that the ancient Egyptians were using "wet" chemistry: chemical reactions involving moist, typically watery ingredients. It is commonly thought that most of wet chemistry's rules were not fully understood prior to the last few hundred years. Pauline Martinetto, a student with the research laboratory of the Museums of France, says that we knew about ancient Egyptians using "fire" chemistry, employing heat and fire to manipulate materials, but the discovery of their use of wet chemistry was totally unexpected. In an elementary way, most cooking involves wet chemistry. Mix eggs, flour, milk, cocoa and sugar, and you end up with a chocolate cake. Because the chemical reactions are quick, wet chemistry in cooking is easy to work out. The astonishing thing about the Egyptian wet chemistry is the long time it took to get a result, and the complex procedures necessary for success. The Egyptians mixed salt water, lead oxide and sodium chloride to produce lead chloride crystals for eye make-up. The process took several weeks of filtering water and maintaining chemical balances. "Without knowing much chemistry, how did they have the foresight to know that a chemical reaction started on one day would produce such and such a result after several weeks?" Ms. Pineau wonders. "And everything had to be the same each day. Change one factor, and the product would have been ruined." The compounds are far too rare in Egypt to have been supplied naturally over the eight centuries they were in use. Pauline Martinetto works among the hieroglyphs and microscopes in the maze of research labs beneath the Louvre. She says it was only recently that scientists had the time and tools to take a new look at these very old cosmetics. They also turned to a 2,000-year-old recipe from Greco-Roman texts, to re-create compounds similar to those found in Egyptian cosmetics. From this they speculate that the Romans may have been drawing on Egyptian knowledge. The research team was also surprised to see how well-preserved the cosmetics were. As Marie Verdiere, a cosmetician working in a perfumery on the Champs- Elysees, explains, modern make-up is good only for about a year. "After that, many lipsticks or creams will start to smell bad and will burn your skin if you try to use them," she says. Eventually the animal fats and other oils in make-up start to break down. Part of the reason why the dry powders of the Egyptians' cosmetics have lasted as long as 40 centuries is that they were buried in the dry, dark air of ancient Egyptian tombs. Ms. Pineau says that this highlights the importance of make-up for the ancient Egyptian woman - and indeed man. The tomb was meant to contain things needed to live well in the afterlife. And people didn't take cosmetics to the grave just to look good in the world beyond. The make-up was used for its therapeutic value. Medical instructions on papyrus tell how the products were used for eye problems. This burgeoning ancient Egyptian pharmaceutical industry had more than a hundred prescriptions for the eyes alone. Ms. Pineau says that the medicinal value of cosmetics meant that men and children used the green, white or black make-up as well as women. Make- up was far from being just a female preserve. [Independent (UK)]. REVIEW: The art of ancient Egypt is helping unravel 6,000 years of complex ecological interactions in the Nile valley. Dartmouth biological anthropologist Nathaniel Dominy and his colleagues created a chronological catalogue of animals in the landscape on the basis of artistic depictions in tomb paintings and carved reliefs on temples and everyday objects. "The ancient Egyptians were keen natural historians, and artists paid close attention to specific anatomical details and proportions in their art. We can identify precisely which species of animal they were representing," says Dominy, an associate professor of anthropology and biological sciences. This robust artistic record presents a chronicle of animals present or absent in the landscape over time. On the human side, the Egyptians were regularly taking a census of their population for tax purposes. These records now serve to document population growth, which can be correlated with the structure and stability of the local animal community. Dominy, his former graduate student Justin Yeakel, and their collaborators have just published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA detailing their use of ancient art and other resources in constructing an ecological history of ancient Egypt. Yeakel, now a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, is first author on the paper. "We are excited by this paper because it is the first high-resolution record of an expanding human population coming into contact with essentially an intact Pleistocene community of large mammals," says Dominy. "We can watch those animals disappear from the artistic record, and, by inference, the landscape, one at a time." These include lions, spotted hyenas, warthogs, zebra, wildebeest, and water buffalo. As species keep disappearing from the environment, the whole ecological network collapses. While this may be a function of human population growth, there are also historical records of environmental changes happening at approximately the same time. During the 6,000-year period the paper covers, there were two strong "aridification pulses"—extremely dry periods the authors acknowledge may have impacted both humans and animals along the Nile. "They [aridification pulses] may have been a factor in the collapse of the Akkadian empire and the Indus valley civilization and, in some ways, may have catalyzed the new dynasties in Egypt," says Dominy. These climatic changes appeared to drive complex interactions between animals and humans. Dominy explains that as animal populations go down, humans cannot hunt as effectively. "Humans essentially double-down on agriculture and commit even more strongly to it as a subsistence strategy, which has the net effect of increasing population size, which then increases hunting pressure—a one-two punch," he says. [Dartmouth University]. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Condition: NEW. See detailed condition description below., Material: Paper, Title: Sacred and Profane, Provenance: Ancient Egypt

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  •  Popularity - 5,898 views, 6.6 views per day, 898 days on eBay. Super high amount of views. 0 sold, 1 available.
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  •  Seller - 4,778+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Top-Rated Seller! Ships on time with tracking, 0 problems with past sales.
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