Ancient Egypt and Us - Adrian Kerr
Modern religion, literature, art, architecture, medicine, cosmetics, warfare, peace treaties, mathematics, government, women’s empowerment and science all have their roots in ancient Egypt. Our fascination with this ancient civilization is still as strong as ever; explore how it continues to influence our lives today.
Adrian Kerr is an Egyptologist and Historian of the Ancient Middle East. For over thirty years he has been visiting Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Israel. He is a specialist and lecturer on the interaction between these early civilizations and their impact on our lives today.
“The book and lecture series have been a truly rewarding experience,
“The book is so easy to read and makes the ancient Egyptian civilization come alive”
“A wonderful insight into a fascinating era, I did not realize it was so relevant to today”
The culture and monuments of Ancient Egypt have left a lasting legacy to the world that is unique.
Early Greek and Romans visited Ancient Egypt and studied Ancient Egyptian history. These early travelers wrote many imaginative but inaccurate travel books which distorted the facts of Egyptian History and gave a magical view of the Ancient Egyptian religion and people. Egyptian obelisks and other artifacts were transported from the temples and palaces of Ancient Egypt to decorate the public places and private villas in Rome and Constantinople. The Roman visitors left their Latin graffiti on the monuments of Ancient Egypt. Much later in the 17th and 18th centuries, European travelers brought back Ancient Egyptian antiquities, including mummies, and published books and drawings of their journeys leading to a new wave of Egyptomania which resulted in the wholesale looting of the treasures of old Egypt in the 19th Century.
Since 1858 all excavations in Egypt have been aimed solely at the ‘discovery of information rather than treasure’. Excavation work in Egypt is now designed to preserve its historical legacy and record its facts.
The remnants of the Ancient Egyptian civilization have suffered at the hands of time from local tomb robbers, Roman Emperors, indiscriminate collectors and the quarrying of pyramids, temples and palaces for their stone. Ironically it was because the Ancient Egyptian sites were slowly reclaimed by the desert and became lost, that they were largely preserved until the early nineteenth century.
We have now reversed this process and progressively excavated the major sites of Ancient Egypt, exposing them to the sun, air, flash floods and tourists. The most serious threat, however, comes from population growth and the expansion of Egyptian cultivation following the construction of the Aswan high dam in the South of Egypt in the 1960s. The water table along the lifeblood of Egypt, the river Nile, has begun to rise to the point that water is now constantly seeping into the foundations of those Egyptian temples close to agriculture. ‘Eighty percent’ of what we know about the facts of Ancient Egypt has come from translating these stone inscriptions and studying the reliefs which decorated Egypt’s temples, palaces and artifacts.
In modern Egypt ‘It is a race against time to document, publish and conserve the inscribed wall surfaces of some of the most famous monuments of the ancient world. With the rising water table, increased pollution, urban expansion and agricultural encroachment threatening these priceless vestiges of Egypt’s past’. It is encouraging to report, that some progress has been made in Egypt in the last few years to begin to reduce the local water table in the vicinity of the major surviving sites of Ancient Egypt.
The painstaking recording and restoration work continues; however, it is indeed a race against time for Egypt. This book is the most up to date on the History of Ancient Egypt encompassing the latest discoveries and provides and A to Z of achievements all very relevant to the modern world.
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