Imhotep Today: Egyptianizing Architecture (Encounters with Ancient Egypt)

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9781844720064: Imhotep Today: Egyptianizing Architecture (Encounters with Ancient Egypt)
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The discipline of Egyptology has been criticised for being too insular,with little awareness of the development of archaeologies elsewhere. It has remained theoretically underdeveloped. For example the role of Ancient Egypt within Africa has rarely been considered jointly by Egyptologists and Africanists. Egypt's own view of itself has been neglected; views of it in the ancient past, in more recent times and today have remained underexposed.

Encounters with Ancient Egypt is a series of eight books which addresses these issues. The books interrelate, inform and illuminate one another and will appeal to a wide market including academics, students and the general public interested in Archaeology, Egyptology, Anthropology, Architecture, Design and History.

This book presents and analyses the results of the use and adaptation of ancient Egyptian architecture in modern times. It traces the use of ancient Egyptian motifs and constructions across the world, from Australia, the Americas and Southern Africa to Western Europe. It also inquires into the cultural, economic and social contexts of this practice.

Imhotep Today is exceptional not only in its global coverage, but in its analyses of thorny questions such as: what was it about Ancient Egypt that inspired such Egyptianizing monuments, and was it just one idea, or several different ones which formed the basis of such activities? The book also asks why only certain images, such as obelisks and sphinxes, were incorporated within the movement. The contributors explore how these 'monuments' fitted into the local architecture of the time and, in this context, they investigate whether 'Egyptianizing architecture' is an ongoing movement and, if so, how it differs from earlier, similar activities.

 

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About the Author:

Jean-Marcel Humbert is Conservateur en chef du Patrimoine and Assistant Director of the National Maritime Museum in Paris. Clifford Price worked at the Building Research Establishment until 1983, when he was appointed Head of the Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage. In 1990 he moved to the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, where he is Professor of Archaeological Conservation.

Review:

'the series is well organized, informative and comprehensive. Through careful analysis of a multiplicity of sources at hand, the authors, who come from a great variety of disciplines, have presented us with a series that is at once substantial as well as engaging and innovative. An extraordinary work of synthesis, the series promises to endure as an important contribution to the study of Ancient Egypt.' - Professor Ronald J Leprohon, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilisation, University of Toronto. 'The final group comprises two books. Consuming Ancient Egypt and Impotep Today: Egyptianizing Architecture. The first is a departure from traditional Egyptology territory but a welcome one. Here we find papers dealing with "Mummymania" for the masses - is Egyptology cursed by the mummy's curse?" (by Carter Lupton). Similarly, El Daly asks "what do tourists learn of Egypt?" giving insight into the "tourist experience" - which is not, perhaps, the one that most Egyptologists would like to take away from the country. Imhotep Today is an excellent companion to Consuming Ancient Egypt and looks at Egyptianising architecture across the world. This is architecture in its wildest sense, not only are buildings but in art, as described by Helen Whitehouse in her "Archaeology wedded to art: Egyptian architecture in 19th century painting". The same author examines "Egypt in the snow", that is the Egyptianising architecture of St Petersburg: a reminder of just how influential the post-Napoleonic rediscovery of ancient Egypt was.' Times Higher Educational Supplement, 17 December 2004

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