100 books like Abydos

By David O'Connor,

Here are 100 books that Abydos fans have personally recommended if you like Abydos. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

Egyptologist Salina Ikram is the foremost expert on Egyptian animal mummies. She has performed mummification on numerous animals in order to better understand the ancient Egyptian process of mummification. This book is by a number of egyptologists. It is academic, but not difficult to understand. It gives information on different animals that were mummified, and the context in which they were discovered.

By Salima Ikram (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Divine Creatures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The invention of mummification enabled the ancient Egyptians to preserve the bodies not only of humans but also of animals, so that they could live forever. Mummified animals are of four different types: food offerings, pets, sacred animals, and votive offerings. For the first time, a series of studies on the different types of animal mummies, the methods of mummification, and the animal cemeteries located at sites throughout Egypt are drawn together in a definitive volume on ancient Egyptian animal mummies. Studies of these animals provide information not only about the fauna of the country, and indirectly, its climate, but…


Book cover of Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

Egyptologist Bob Brier is the foremost expert on Egyptian mummies. He is famous for actually mummifying a human body as a science experiment, with Dr. Ronn Wade in 1994. This was the first time a human was mummified in 2000 years. This is a popular book, entertaining, but accurate. He covers everything we know about ancient Egyptian mummification. 

By Bob Brier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Egyptian Mummies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Egyptian Mummies results from research done in preparation for the mummification of a human body, the first to be done in the Egyptian style in two thousand years. Through these studies, noted Egyptologist Bob Brier has unearthed the gripping stories of grave robberies and stolen mummies, the forgotten language of the pharaohs, and the tombs of the royal mummies. In an easily accesible and lively style, Brier uncovers the complete historical context of ancient Egyptian culture and offers a fascinating contemporary interpretation of it. Illuminating their mysteries, myths, sacred rituals, and heiroglyphic writing, Egyptian Mummies brings the ancients to life.


Book cover of How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

This is the best up-to-date book for beginners learning to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Egyptian hieroglyphs are the most beautiful written language. They are not an alphabet. It is a complex system. The authors have it organized in sections that make it easier to understand the basics, and to read actual ancient texts on Egyptian artifacts. 

By Mark Collier, Bill Manley, Richard Parkinson (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hieroglyphs are pictures used as signs in writing. When standing before an ancient tablet in a museum or visiting an Egyptian monument, we marvel at this unique writing and puzzle over its meaning. Now, with the help of Egyptologists Mark Collier and Bill Manley, museum-goers, tourists, and armchair travelers alike can gain a basic knowledge of the language and culture of ancient Egypt. Collier and Manley's novel approach is informed by years of experience teaching Egyptian hieroglyphs to non-specialists. Using attractive drawings of actual inscriptions displayed in the British Museum, they concentrate on the kind of hieroglyphs readers might encounter…


Book cover of Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

This book is not about learning to read hieroglyphs so much as about understanding the relationship between hieroglyphs and Egyptian art. As hieroglyphs are pictures, the same pictures can be used in an artwork, as opposed to a written text. The author takes 100 of the over 700 hieroglyphs used in Egyptian writing, and shows how they are used in Egyptian art. He dedicates 2 pages to each symbol, with a written description and illustrations.

Book cover of Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt

Joann Fletcher Author Of The Story of Egypt

From my list on ancient Egypt based on fact not fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having studied ancient Egypt her entire life, Professor Joann Fletcher is based in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. As a founding member of the university’s Mummy Research Group, she is also Lead Ambassador for the Egypt Exploration Society and an advisor to museums around the UK. Her numerous publications include The Search for Nefertiti, Cleopatra the Great, and The Story of Egypt, academic papers, and regular contributions to the BBC's History magazine. She also makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Although it’s incredibly difficult to pick just 5 books that best encapsulate ‘Ancient Egypt’ in its broadest sense, it’s important to start with those which are as informative and accurate as possible when many can be quite the opposite! 

Joann's book list on ancient Egypt based on fact not fiction

Joann Fletcher Why did Joann love this book?

Although this is a slim volume, it’s packed with fascinating details about some of the biggest names in Egyptian history from pharaohs male and female to brilliant architects and disgruntled farmers. And since John Ray has that rare gift of combining academic rigor with an entertaining way of writing, he really does bring these ancient people to life.

By John Ray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reflections of Osiris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Spanning more than two millennia, Reflections of Osiris opens a small window into a timeless world, capturing the flavor of life in ancient Egypt through vivid profiles of eleven actual people and the god Osiris. Some of the figures profiled here are famous. Ray discusses Imhotep, whom he calls "Egypt's Leonardo"-the royal architect of the Step Pyramid, high priest of the sun cult, and a man of great medical skill. We meet Hatshepsut, a rare female Pharaoh, who had herself depicted as a male figure in temple scenes, ceremonial beard and all. Horemheb, who rose from local politician to general…


Book cover of Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt

Ann R. Williams Author Of Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

From my list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an archaeologist by training and a journalist by profession. During my long career as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, and now as a freelance Nat Geo book editor and author, I have often written about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. I was very lucky to be sent to Egypt on a number of occasions to write stories about sites and discoveries, and I have now come to specialize in Egyptology. I recently took an online course that taught me how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. I’m still in glyph kindergarten, but every new sign I learn is allowing me to better understand—and interpret—the culture of the pharaohs.

Ann's book list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs

Ann R. Williams Why did Ann love this book?

The dates that Egyptologists use for most rulers are guesstimates, and there’s not one fixed dating scheme.

Just for instance, one reference volume gives 1334-1325 B.C. as the dates for King Tut’s reign. Another says 1332-1322 B.C. And yet a third another has 1336-1327 B.C.

How do you know which one to believe?

During the three decades I worked as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, we relied on the king list that Baines and Malek published in this book.

I still consider it as the last word on dates for my own research. It’s also full of very helpful maps, diagrams, and descriptions of archaeological sites all over Egypt.

By John Baines, Jaromir Malek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Filled with fascinating facts and stunning images, this single-volume reference to ancient Egypt introduces readers to this unique, sometimes startling culture.


Book cover of The Egyptian

Roy Lester Pond Author Of The Egyptian Mythology Murders

From my list on Egypt mysteries that satisfy ancient ache.

Why am I passionate about this?

My ache for the ancient is a disease. It’s probably safe to say that I am the creator of the world’s greatest range of Egypt-based fiction by a single author. My depth of knowledge comes from a lifetime spent studying ancient Egypt and Egyptian archaeology and making numerous research trips to Egypt. I am fascinated by the mystery of ancient Egypt and its potency and relevance to today’s world. I have written numerous series and stand-alone adventures. 

Roy's book list on Egypt mysteries that satisfy ancient ache

Roy Lester Pond Why did Roy love this book?

A thrilling read that first sparked my lifelong passion for ancient Egypt with its vivid recreation of a distant past.

Sinuhe’s career as a young Egyptian physician takes him to the center of royal power and secrets and into the lives of unforgettable characters. Like the heartless courtesan Nefernefernefer, a beauty whose name ensured that no man would ever hear it spoken without saying it aloud and remembering it. Just as I remember it today. 

By Mika Waltari, Naomi Walford (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Egyptian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in the 1940s and widely condemned as obscene, The Egyptian outsold every other American novel published that same year, and remains a classic; readers worldwide have testified to its life-changing power. It is a full-bodied re-creation of a largely forgotten era in the world’s history: an Egypt when pharaohs contended with the near-collapse of history’s greatest empire. This epic tale encompasses the whole of the then-known world, from Babylon to Crete, from Thebes to Jerusalem, while centering around one unforgettable figure: Sinuhe, a man of mysterious origins who rises from the depths of degradation to get close to…


Book cover of The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt: A Genealogical Sourcebook of the Pharaohs

Mesu Andrews Author Of The Pharaoh's Daughter

From my list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a spiritual mutt. Raised with a variegated Christian background (Mom Charismatic, Dad Quaker, Grandparents Wesleyan), I rejected all things biblical and turned to Jack Daniels for Southern Comfort. In college I reconnected with a high school friend who demonstrated God was real by his changed life and showed the Bible’s concrete historical connections in a way I could understand. The words that had so confounded me as a child began to make sense. I dumped Jack Daniels, married that friend, and no longer needed Southern Comfort. Now, through research, study, and a little imagination, I write biblical novels, chug Living Water, and tell Bible stories to eight grandkids. 

Mesu's book list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses

Mesu Andrews Why did Mesu love this book?

Though I write inspirational fiction, my true passion is research. In this fascinating and one-of-a-kind resource, not only did I discover the names and stories of pharaohs and their succession accounts but also the names and stories of the mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives who ruled alongside Egypt’s great men. When I began searching for the mysterious pharaoh’s daughter who pulled Moses from the Nile after an unnamed Pharaoh’s genocidal edict, I needed information on the often-overlooked women of Egypt. This complete family resource provided charts, lists, photos, and concise explanations of Egyptian history from the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom through the Late and Ptolemaic Period. 

By Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This groundbreaking new book illuminates the lives of the kings, queens, princes and princesses of ancient Egypt, unravelling family relationships and exploring the parts they played in politics, cultural life and religion. It ranges from the dawn of Egyptian history, when only isolated glimpses are available of the royal family, through the vast progeny of Ramesses II, and ends with the fiendishly complicated - and blood-soaked - interconnections of the Ptolemies and Cleopatras.


Book cover of The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt

Ann R. Williams Author Of Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

From my list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an archaeologist by training and a journalist by profession. During my long career as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, and now as a freelance Nat Geo book editor and author, I have often written about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. I was very lucky to be sent to Egypt on a number of occasions to write stories about sites and discoveries, and I have now come to specialize in Egyptology. I recently took an online course that taught me how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. I’m still in glyph kindergarten, but every new sign I learn is allowing me to better understand—and interpret—the culture of the pharaohs.

Ann's book list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs

Ann R. Williams Why did Ann love this book?

Want to know about magic bricks? You can look them up in this book, along with a lot of other intriguing things.

Sure, you can find descriptions online. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there in the e-sphere. It’s much better to rely on something published by the august British Museum, which has been showcasing artifacts from the ancient world since 1753. I always do.

By Ian Shaw, Paul Nicholson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This successful and highly-esteemed British Museum reference work is now republished in a new pocket-sized edition. This authoritative illustrated dictionary provides clear explanations and descriptions of the important ideas, events and personalities throughout four thousand years of Egyptian civilization. More than 600 extensively cross-referenced and comprehensively-indexed A-Z entries provide detailed information on all aspects of ancient Egypt and Nubia during the pharaonic and Graeco-Roman periods. Each entry is followed by a bibliography. The dictionary is lavishly illustrated throughout with photographs, line drawings, site plans and maps.


Book cover of Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (The Chronicles Series)

Ann R. Williams Author Of Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

From my list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an archaeologist by training and a journalist by profession. During my long career as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, and now as a freelance Nat Geo book editor and author, I have often written about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. I was very lucky to be sent to Egypt on a number of occasions to write stories about sites and discoveries, and I have now come to specialize in Egyptology. I recently took an online course that taught me how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. I’m still in glyph kindergarten, but every new sign I learn is allowing me to better understand—and interpret—the culture of the pharaohs.

Ann's book list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs

Ann R. Williams Why did Ann love this book?

The history of ancient Egypt spans more than 3,000 years. That’s a lot to keep track of!

This book is a great guide, breaking it all down dynasty by dynasty and reign by reign. 

Want to know what the Old Kingdom was about? It’s in here.

Want to know all of King Tut’s names? They’re in here too, spelled out for modern readers and drawn in hieroglyphs as well.

I’ve been studying and writing about ancient Egypt for decades now, and I still need a cheat sheet from time to time. Chronicle of the Pharaohs is one of my go-to reference books and sits on a shelf close at hand in my office.

By Peter A. Clayton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chronicle of the Pharaohs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This essential handbook on ancient Egypt - both a highly readable popular history and a unique work of reference - is now available in paperback.


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