Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

Red Land Black Land Daily Life in Ancient Egypt A fascinating erudite and witty glimpse of the human side of ancient Egypt this acclaimed classic work is now revised and updated for a new generation Displaying the unparalleled descriptive power

  • Title: Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Author: Barbara Mertz
  • ISBN: 9780396075752
  • Page: 196
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A fascinating, erudite, and witty glimpse of the human side of ancient Egypt this acclaimed classic work is now revised and updated for a new generation Displaying the unparalleled descriptive power, unerring eye for fascinating detail, keen insight, and trenchant wit that have made the novels she writes as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels perennial New York TimeA fascinating, erudite, and witty glimpse of the human side of ancient Egypt this acclaimed classic work is now revised and updated for a new generationDisplaying the unparalleled descriptive power, unerring eye for fascinating detail, keen insight, and trenchant wit that have made the novels she writes as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels perennial New York Times bestsellers, internationally renowned Egyptologist Barbara Mertz brings a long buried civilization to vivid life In Red Land, Black Land, she transports us back thousands of years and immerses us in the sights, aromas, and sounds of day to day living in the legendary desert realm that was ancient Egypt.Who were these people whose civilization has inspired myriad films, books, artwork, myths, and dreams, and who built astonishing monuments that still stagger the imagination five thousand years later What did average Egyptians eat, drink, wear, gossip about, and aspire to What were their amusements, their beliefs, their attitudes concerning religion, childrearing, nudity, premarital sex Mertz ushers us into their homes, workplaces, temples, and palaces to give us an intimate view of the everyday worlds of the royal and commoner alike We observe priests and painters, scribes and pyramid builders, slaves, housewives, and queens and receive fascinating tips on how to perform tasks essential to ancient Egyptian living, from mummification to making papyrus.An eye opening and endlessly entertaining companion volume to Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs, Mertz s extraordinary history of ancient Egypt, Red Land, Black Land offers readers a brilliant display of rich description and fascinating edification It brings us closer than ever before to the people of a great lost culture that was so different from yet so surprisingly similar to our own.

    One thought on “Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt”

    1. The blurb might say "delightfully personal style" but that's because it's advertising. I seriously don't want to hear irrelevant personal opinions and interjections such as 'one day I'm going to get that piece of furniture copied' from an author who considers herself an academic Egyptologist. Nor do I want conjectures about why such an advanced civilization had no military tactics or training whatsoever. Of course they did. Just because no trace of something is found doesn't mean it didn't happe [...]

    2. When I was in Sixth Grade, we did a unit on Ancient Egypt. All these years and it took me until today to realize that it was the same time as the King Tut exhibit came to NY (the first time). Well, I was hooked and told everyone that I was going to be an Egyptologist. I still have a book from back then called "The Splendor that was Egypt." In Junior High, at some point I was allowed to pick any topic for my English paper. Naturally enough, like any teenage girl would, I wrote a paper entitled "R [...]

    3. An excellent, if at times dry, overview of life in ancient Egypt. Organized from birth to death and afterlife, this is a very good primer on what life was like, how it was lived, and what the norms were likely to have been in ancient Egypt over the centuries. I was surprised to find that the chapters describing the blend of magic, religion, science, and medicine were my favorite while those retelling the myths and the afterlife were a bit more of a slog for me. I think what struck me was how the [...]

    4. ~14hoursHow to be an ancient Egyptian: all you need to know about clothes, pyramids and papyrus.What a refreshing voice on a dusty subjectElizabeth Peters writing under her real name and profession as an Egyptologist but the wry voice is unmistakable.

    5. Rating: 4 1/2 starsThis book written by the amazing Egyptologist (and author aka Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels) is wonderfully narrated by actress and writer, Lorna Raver. You are literally taken from the birth of an Egyptian to daily life, to occupations and various and sundry countless things that comprised the Egyptian civilization. There is a large area that is devoted to the in/outs of why death was so important to these people. I also gained a better sense of who they were and how they [...]

    6. ~3.5I've been a fan of MPM, aka Barbara Mertz, aka Elizabeth Peters, aka Barbara Michaels, for years. Although I've read almost every book under almost all of her names, I still love the Amelia Peabody series the best. In these books, the indefatigable Amelia Peabody, parasol in hand, defies Victorian mores to indulge her passions for Egyptology. The books are adorable Gothic spoofs, but they also manage to pack in a rather impressive amount of information about both Victorian Egyptology and the [...]

    7. I love Barbara Mertz and her genuine passion for Egypt. I had no doubt that I would thoroughly enjoy yet another book by her. As opposed to Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt, which focused on the chronological history of Egypt and its rulers, Red Land, Black Land is more of a sweeping overview of Egyptian culture. She touches upon such interesting topics as medicine, food, household, women's rights, and of course pyramid building among others. There are some in [...]

    8. This is a very informative and fascinating peek into life in ancient times in Egypt. The author, although a noted Egytology scholar, writes in a sweet, simple converstional style. She relays touching anecdotes such as the mummified cat of a minor prince with an inscription translating roughly as "Miss Kitty, beloved pet". She goes into the everyday objects and experiences such as the cosmetic procedures, style of dress (flattering only on very slender people she points out), and the practice of [...]

    9. Barbara Mertz is my favorite author in the world. She is a lady who got her degree in Egyptology before "Ladies" did so. She is known for her 2 non fiction books and her numerous fiction writing. This book is older than me and was recently revised and published. I would recommend it to anyone who has even the vaguest interest in Ancient Egypt. Her writing style is very approachable and entertaining as well as spot-on accurate. She is biased towards and against some theories but unlike most she f [...]

    10. Puiki knyga, labai nuosekliai išdėstyta visa senovės Egipto istorija ne akcentuojant faktus, o labiau perteikiant senovės egiptiečių gyvenimą

    11. Some of the reviews of this work criticize it for extraneous comments, but because I love her wit so much, I am willing to forgive her even when she makes occassional ignorant comments in the field of theology.The book is a delightful romp through ancient Egyptian history and culture. I loved every minute of it. Also, the audio book was read by someone who I believe captured her personality very well. I look forward to reading one of the Amelia Peabody books.

    12. “This is not a book about ancient Egyptian culture; it is a book about ancient Egyptians.” Barbara Mertz starts out her book with this line, and it perfectly describes her work. “Red Land, Black Land” gives details of Egyptian life in different periods of history. She traces life from birth to death in all the myriad ways life can go. Mertz has a pleasant, conversational tone throughout the book that makes it feel more like you’re listening to her describe a personal experience over te [...]

    13. Barbara Mertz has a PhD in Egyptology. She is, therefore, enough of a scholar to know what she is talking about when it comes to the culture of ancient Egypt. That said, I didn't much care for this book. I was glad that it wasn't another "dry" discussion about Pharaoh XYZ and Middle Kingdom ABC but IMHO the author was flippant and seemed to throw facts to the reader willy-nilly. She jumped back and forth on subjects, told us she had a personal opinion on certain debatable topics and then decline [...]

    14. Whether you read this text for religious or secular purposes, the information within will be of great help to you. It's very detailed, and the author is quite willing to condemn unfortunate thought processes like eurocentrism, pyramidism, and more. She presents a balanced perspective and does a good job of separating personal opinion from accepted truth. The major downside is her flippant, smug tone, especially around the issue of religion. She is the stereotypical high and mighty atheist (or so [...]

    15. Barbara Mertz, better known as the creator of the Amelia Peabody series under her pen name Elizabeth Peters, sets out to show us that the ancient Egyptians loved life. It's true, we mostly associate them with a pretty serious cult of the dead. Mummies, tombs, the Book of the Dead and all that. But though they certainly had their eye on death and the after-life, they also loved their children, pets, games, food, and beer. And, no surprise here, given the author's considerable story-telling skills [...]

    16. Oh, what an amazing book. Mertz is a wry writer, and readily inserts her opinion on not just Egypt, but Egyptology. I learned so much about ancient Egypt and the daily lives of the wealthier people. It also led me to Christie's Death Comes as the End, which I listened to shortly after. I would read Red Land again, as there was so much to take in.

    17. Mrs. Mertz's book is a good way to gather basic general knowledge of pharaonic Egypt. It has a nice little reading list by subject; yet she needs to add Aidan Dodson's "Monarchs of the Nile," to it. The book has some nice pictures too. Now, it is certainly difficult to write a book without bias--and here I am, giving my biased opinion!--but not impossible, and it should be of utmost importance to an Egyptologist conveying the little that survived about that civilization. Her "feminist inclinatio [...]

    18. Must. Own. [ETA: Oh, yeah, I bought it. Books before groceries!][return][Full disclosure: I am a total geek for ancient Egypt, and I absolutely love the Amelia Peabody adventures, penned by Ms. Mertz as Elizabeth Peters.][return]In her original forward, the author's thesis statement is “This is not a book about ancient Egyptian culture; it is a book about ancient Egyptians.” Ms. Mertz doesn't quite keep her promise (the behavior of people is their culture, is it not?), but deftly avoids the [...]

    19. "Its an ironic fact that when magic works, it is no longer magic but science."What I love about this book is its excellent prose thanks to an experienced and talented fiction writer. The narrative is engaging and so unlike any other history book -- its not dry!!! While the author clearly presents her own point of view, this does not limit her presentation of the material, and she eloquently presents numerous schools of thought. She also includes fun side stories pertaining to Egypt's archeologic [...]

    20. I'm not qualified to comment on the academic grounding of this, which is the biggest reason I'm only giving it four stars - I'd only feel comfortable giving nonfiction five stars if I were absolutely sure its content were accurate, and I'm insufficiently educated to judge that in an absolute way. :)That said, Mertz has written an incredibly readable and incredibly *entertaining* overview of credible, informed opinions about ancient Egyptian history, mythology, and daily life. She's careful to ma [...]

    21. This was a lot more fun than I thought it would be! Mertz writes her non-fiction egyptology books with the same sense of humor she exhibits in her fiction works, and it was fun to hear her descriptions of the actual history behind the things she writes about in her Amelia Peabody series. The book's main premise seems to be that ancient Egyptians were not the solemn and sober people that their tombs and monuments might have us believe them to have been, but people much like us, and I think she ma [...]

    22. If you are a fan of ancient Egypt, then you must read Red Land, Black Land by Barbara Mertz. It was pure pleasure to read this book detailing the daily life of ancient Egypt based on the archaeological record. Mertz approaches the issues in this book with all the scholarly reservations necessary to make her a trustworthy source, while at the same time writing in an informal style that feels like having a conversation with an old friend. I especially liked the way she wove anecdotes about various [...]

    23. Usually I do not read books on Egyptology this old. However, despite being originally published first published in 1966, it has been revised at least twice since then. While still a little dated because of the all in the new information that has come to light even in the last five years, this book still is valid in that it looks at HOW the Egyptians lived and how they thought.What I like about this book is that the author is not afraid to say "I don't know". She often gives out various points of [...]

    24. I loved this in large part because I was already a fan of Barbara Mertz's Egyptian mystery series, written under her pen name as Elizabeth Peters. Listening to this audiobook, it was very much as if Amelia Peabody herself was giving me a series of lectures on ancient Egyptian life, with a great deal of love for the topic and the ancient Egyptians themselves. I appreciated that Mertz continually reminded the reader that these were real, living people, not so different from us. And I loved her dry [...]

    25. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! I loved the author's whit and candor (maat). I have a greater understanding of the Egpytians, one that isn't muddied by myth and misconception. The chapter on death particularly interested be as she drew parallels to our own, advanced civilization and how we view death. I've decided that I want to be cremated. The only thing that I would say against it is that there weren't enough pictures and therefore some of her descriptions were hard for me to follow.My favor [...]

    26. This book is fantastic, as is Ms. Mertz's knowledge of the ancient Egyptians and her ability to make logical and believable interpretations of physical evidence. She makes the ancient world accessible to us modern folks, painting a vivid picture of the every day for these ancient peoples--which is VERY welcome when almost all publications on Egyptology focus on tombs and temples. After reading this, I have a much better idea of what it might really have been like to lived in various time periods [...]

    27. I really liked this, but honestly at least half my rating is due to the narrator. Her tone was not as if she was reading at all, but instead speaking casually about her personal experiences and knowledge of the subject. Very conversational. This book covered pyramids, mummies, jewelry, clothing, home life, magic vs. religion vs. science, the Egyptian pantheon, social hierarchy, boats, mortuary science and much more. Sprinkled in are several readings directly from scrolls, including folk stories [...]

    28. Enjoyable guide to daily life in Ancient Egypt, stripped of any wild assumptions or new age trappings of pyramid power and the like. The author is an Egyptologist who writes the Amelia Peabody series of mysteries under the name Elizabeth Peters. The same wry sense of humor she brings to her fiction is present throughout warning sensitive readers to skip the next bit because it's icky, and then reminds you that she already warned you when she describes some details of preparing the body for emba [...]

    29. This was a hugely entertaining read! Very informative, and while I disagree with Ms. Mertz on some points made in reference to modern day, I was overall impressed and totally captivated by the work. While definitely a scholarly work, there are huge doses or humour, and the writing style is certainly informal. Definitely a great piece of non-fiction for fans of Mertz' historical mysteries (published under a pseudonym Elizabeth Peters!), or anyone else looking for an introductory read about ancien [...]

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