Book Review: Genesis of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egypt Magazine has published a short review of Toby Wilkinson’s Genesis of the Pharaohs, a book which looks amongst other things at the relationship between inhabitants of the Nile Valley and those using the Eastern Desert during the development of power centres in the Predynastic period.  The book has been criticized by many academics but Ancient Egypt Magazine gives it a very positive review.

To put the above review into some sort of context, Wilkinson made several trips into the Eastern Desert  to look at rock engravings, but the book has been critised in the past due to the relatively lax academic standards that it has used to discuss such a popular topic.   A notable review was David Wengrow’s negative response to the book which was published in the journal Antiquity and is freely available on their website. It is perhaps possible to defend it on the grounds that it was written for a popular audience rather than an academic one, but it still difficult to accept some of the logical inconsistencies and the generalizations occasionally made on the basis of unique or rare artefacts.

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