From the list on if you take ancient Egypt seriously.
Who am I?
It took me a while to figure out the backbone running through my intellectual interests, but I’ve always been interested in languages. I had the privilege of studying Japanese in Tokyo, near the peak of the Japanese economic “miracle.” That led to a PhD in Japanese drama (focusing on noh). Once I got tenure, I had the opportunity to add ancient Egypt to my professional profile. I learned hieroglyphs, studied Egyptian religion and art, and while continuing to work on noh drama, I (finally) figured out that what interests me is the way people express, or construct, their identities in literature and art.
Tom's book list on if you take ancient Egypt seriously
Why did Tom love this book?
John Romer’s Ancient Lives, the Story of the Pharaohs’ Tombmakers, like Kemp’s book, is about urban life, but the urbs is not a city per se, but a village.
In this case, though, it’s the village of the workers who excavated, crafted, painted, and consecrated the great royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings, so this “village” is intricately related to a great city on the Nile. Romer had access to a cast of personalities sketched from documents, read off of limestone flakes, potsherds, and administrative and judicial papyri.
He resuscitates networks of gossip and brings us within earshot of personal rivalries and property disputes, uncovers an audacious tomb robbery along the way, and following the trial of its perpetrators.