This fully revised and updated third edition of the bestselling Ancient Egypt seeks to identify what gave ancient Egypt its distinctive and enduring characteristics, ranging across material culture, the mindset of its people, and social and economic factors.

In this volume, Barry J. Kemp identifies the ideas by which the Egyptians organized their experience of the world and explains how they maintained a uniform style in their art and architecture across three thousand years, whilst accommodating substantial changes in outlook. The underlying aim is to relate ancient Egypt to the broader mainstream of our understanding of how all human societies function.

Source material is taken from ancient written documents, while the book also highlights the contribution that archaeology makes to our understanding of Egyptian culture and society. It uses numerous case studies, illustrating them with artwork expressly prepared from specialist sources. Broad ranging yet impressively detailed, the book is an indispensable text for all students of ancient Egypt and for the general reader.

chapter |20 pages


part |142 pages

Establishing identity

chapter 1|34 pages

Who were the ancient Egyptians?

chapter 3|53 pages

The dynamics of culture

part |82 pages

The provider state

chapter 4|30 pages

The bureaucratic mind

chapter 5|50 pages

Model communities

part |136 pages

Intimations of our futures

chapter 6|47 pages

New Kingdom Egypt: the mature state

chapter 7|26 pages

The birth of economic man

chapter 8|61 pages

Egypt in microcosm: the city of Amarna