TEMPLES, TOMBS AND HIEROGLYPHS by Dr. Barbara Mertz

TEMPLES, TOMBS AND HIEROGLYPHS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

(YA) For those who will wonder whether Gods, Graves and Scholars wasn't enough exploitable archaeological literature for one decade, suffice it to say -- Egyptology is special. Dr. Mertz, who obligingly gives us some idea of how difficult it is to earn a Ph.D. in a field like hers, is interested chiefly in people, not just : the object of her work is to find out what the people of long ago were really like, what they did, and why. Egypt, for well-known reasons of climate, is among the best places to search, hence Egypt is special to Dr. Mertz. She naturally covers the usual archaeological subjects -- Carbon-14 and astronomical dating, techniques of excavation and reconstruction, and the work of foremost pioneers -- and sizes up the specifically Egyptian matters -- funerary practices, artistic canons, religious influences, language and writing, and genealogical considerations. Having sifted through each category of data, she arrives at the point where established fact ends, draws a line, and then puts a tentative shoetip over that line into the realm of uncertainty, in order to give us an intriguing, if at times only barely plausible, story of what might have happened to the kings, queens and commoners of the legendary Nile valley. The book has many good moments, and only a few stretches may seem dull to the tyros. Appended are a chronology, classified bibliography, glossary, and directory of Egyptian collections in museums. Maps and illustrations, though not yet seen, sound promising.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1964
Publisher: Coward-McCann