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Warfare and Weaponry in Dynastic Egypt (Hardback)

Ancient History > Ancient Egypt & Egyptology P&S History > Archaeology

By Rebecca Dean
Imprint: Pen & Sword Archaeology
Pages: 182
ISBN: 9781473823556
Published: 2nd March 2017



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Defence. Attack. Symbolism. The development of warfare in any society provides an evocative glance into the lives (and deaths) of our predecessors. This is never more the case than with that most enticing of ancient civilisations, Ancient Egypt. Follow Rebecca Dean through the fascinating world of mysterious figures such as Tutankhamun and Nefertiti, examining not only the history and development of ancient Egyptian warfare, but the weapons used and the way they were handled.

Swords, axes, and daggers are the weapons of choice here, as ancient Egyptian warfare is brought vividly to life through the exciting use of experimental archaeology. By examining and testing replicas of real-life artefacts, just how deadly these ancient Egyptian weapons were can be seen. Looking closely at the nature of such weapons also brings to life the formidable women who, on occasion, grasped power in a male-dominated world.

Read on to discover more about this fascinating subject.

The whole book is a fascinating look at a period in time we don’t really consider having much evidence. While there is no carved manual of fighting techniques , the book does provide a really useful resource for reenactors, wargammers and military history buffs.

Medieval Sword School

A valuable work for the more experienced student of the subject.

New York Military Affairs

A very readable and engaging book.

Ancient Egypt magazine, August/September 2017 – reviewed by Alan L. Jeffreys

This was so exciting for me. I just watched Wonder Woman about two weeks ago and I have not been able to get some of the fighting scenes out of my head. In comes this book and I just want to scream, "Hell yeah, bitches rule!"

This is a pretty short book: 145 pages. The main aspect of this book is analysis of Ancient Egyptian weapons and warfare. It looks at how or why they may have used particular weapons and general strategem and their effectiveness. There are brief mentions of women in warfare in all chapters, about either the lack of information, or complete lack of research because of gender biases. There is also a chapter about women in said discussions as well as archaeological evidence that supports the idea that women actually fought and held political power in Ancient Egypt.

While I loved the discussion of warring women in Ancient Egypt, what really brought this up for me was the experimental archaeology. Dean used replicas of the khopesh, dagger, ax, and mace and actually used it to analyze how it would fair against flesh. She used dead pigs, so if your squeamish you might want to skip the pictures, but I hope your curiosity wins out. She not only tested the use of the weapons, but she tested the use of male versus female. While it may be gruesome for some people, it brings these weapons to life!

I have always loved books on warfare and weaponry and it was so refreshing to see analysis that considered a female defending or going to war. I loved this.

Michelle McMenamin, GoodReads

This book sheds new light on the archaeological record and is required reading for anyone interested in the genesis of war.

Amourer Incorporating Classic Arms and Militaria, July 2017

The book comes very well illustrated with 97 photographs in black and white and color of very good quality.

A curious and interesting book, especially with a fresh theme and a renewed vision. A ten for the idea, Rebecca.

Read the complete Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM

About Rebecca Dean

Rebecca Dean studied Egyptian Archaeology for seven years. She gained an MA in Archaeological Research and an M.Phil in Archaeology (specialising in Egyptian Archaeology) from the University of York. She has written for an online archaeological journal and has had an article written about her and her research in an American Young Archaeologist magazine. She currently lives and works in Manchester and continues her keen interest in Egyptian Archaeology.

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