The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt by Ian Shaw
The essays and illustrations in this history portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians, from their prehistoric origins to their incorporation into the Roman Empire, covering the period from around 7000 BCE to 311. The authors outline the principal sequence of political events, including detailed examinations of the three so-called "intermediate periods" which were previously regarded as "dark ages" and are only now beginning to be better understood. Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this book also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature. The pace of change in such aspects of Egyptian culture as monumental architecture, funerary beliefs, and ethnicity was not necessarily tied to the rate of political change. Each of the authors of this history has therefore set out to elucidate, in both words and pictures, the underlying patterns of social and political change and to describe the changing face of ancient Egypt, from the biographical details of individuals to the social and economic factors that shaped the lives of the population as a whole.