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Texts from the Pyramid Age
Nigel C. Strudwick
WAW 16
Publication Date
October 2005


Ancient Egypt is well known for its towering monuments and magnificent statuary, but other aspects of its civilization are less well known, especially its written texts. Now Texts from the Pyramid Age provides ready access to new translations of a representative selection of texts ranging from the historically significant to the repetitive formulae of the tomb inscriptions from Old Kingdom Egypt (ca. 2700-2170 B.C.). These royal and private inscriptions, coming from both the secular and religious milieus and from all kinds of physical contexts, not only shed light on the administration, foreign expeditions, and funerary beliefs of the period but also bring to life the Egyptians themselves, revealing how they saw the world and how they wanted the world to see them. Strudwick's helpful introduction to the history and literature of this seminal period provides important background for reading and understanding these historical texts.

Nigel C. Strudwick is Assistant Keeper, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, at The British Museum. He has worked in Egypt since 1979, since 1984 in the "Tombs of the Nobles" at Luxor. He is the co-author, with Helen Strudwick, of Thebes in Egypt: A Guide to the Tombs and Temples of Ancient Luxor, and co-editor, with Helen Strudwick, of The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture.

“This solid volume contains a splendidly extensive corpus of translations of Egyptian inscriptions (on stone and clay) and documents (on papyrus and sherds) from the Old Kingdom (‘Pyramid Age’) of the third millennium BCE. To the translations are prefaced introductions to the range of items presented, to third millennium Egyptian history and dating, Egyptian grammatical profile of the period, and on formal titles of officialdom, use of offering-formulae, etc., plus a survey of the range of texts drawn upon (excluding the magical/ritual ‘Pyramid Texts’, and wisdom literature). … A valuable source-book making Egypt’s Old Kingdom period much more accessible to a wider readership than hitherto.”
— Kenneth A. Kitchen, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

“This finely produced book is the outcome of a careful and competent collection of documents by a scholar who is a specialist on the Old Kingdom in Egypt. … The standard of translation is very high, the documents are grouped on the basis of their content and interconnections, and the relevant bibliography is provided in a light manner, without overloading the text with references. A glossary and a source index are also appended. A cross-reference ‘List of Tomb Text Types’ and a ‘Concordance of Texts’ complete the volume for the sake of specialists. … To sum up, this welcome publication is a mine of well-arranged sources and will doubtless become a handy reference tool.”
Alessandro Roccati, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology

For a complete listing of books in this series, click here.