Egypt Guidebooks
English edition  
272 pp.
52 color illus., 41 maps and figures 
15X21 cm
ISBN 9789774166327
For sale worldwide


The Geology of Egypt

A Traveler’s Handbook (Revised Edition) Bonnie M. Sampsell

How the lay of the land made Egypt what it is

Egypt is primarily a land of deserts and mountains, the habitable Nile Valley and Delta occupying less than 5 percent of the country. Although the ancient Egyptians lived on only a small fraction of the land, they made extensive use of resources from the less hospitable areas, exploiting the opportunities and adjusting to the constraints of their physical environment. This updated and expanded edition of The Geology of Egypt: A Traveler’s Handbook describes these features and more, providing a guide for the visitor to Egypt interested in learning about its history from a different perspective. The author presumes no background in geology or related fields and provides an introduction to the relevant geological concepts, presenting examples to illustrate how the country’s geological features influenced Egyptian civilization. Most examples are selected from the pharaonic period and Greco-Roman period, though many cases also illustrate how geological factors continue to have an impact on modern Egyptian society. The text is organized as a trip on the Nile from Lake Nasser downstream to the Delta, with chapters devoted to such popular sites as Aswan, Luxor, and Giza. Also covered are the Eastern and Western Deserts, as well as the Sinai Peninsula. Maps, illustrations, fifty color photographs, and an extensive glossary help make a complex but intriguing subject accessible to everyone.
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Bonnie M. Sampsell is a retired college professor who has traveled to many parts of the world and studied Egyptology, archaeology, and geology extensively.

Book Links, News, & Reviews

"I try to show why different kinds of stone were used for certain monuments.... I explain how geologists can answer questions that have puzzled Egyptologists." ―Bonnie M. Sampsell

To read the complete interview with Bonnie M. Sampsell in The Ostracon, when the first edition of her book appeared in 2003, click here.

Read the review in ARCE (May 2014) of this revised edition.


Meet the Author Q&A with Bonnie Sampsell (June 2014)


Reviews for the first edition:

“I found the book interesting and useful.”―Peter Robinson
Ancient Egypt Magazine Vol. 5(6) June/July 2005

“This is a book that has been waiting to be written.”―Peter A. Clayton
Minerva Vol 15(2): 55 March/April 2004

“A delight for the casual traveler and rockhound alike.”Saudi Aramco World

“It provides a highly informative primer on the geology of the region.”―Richard Harwood
Kmt Vol. 14(30: 86-89 Fall 2003


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“I am going to ritually prostrate myself and plead with you to read this splendid book. Then, if you never think of geology again, I will forgive you. It requires no previous knowledge of geology, is clearly written, well illustrated and conveys a remarkable amount of information.”—Gaston Peltier, Egyptological

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