Archaeology and Ancient Egypt
English edition  
288 pp.
Hardbound
15X23 cm
$69.95
LE800
ISBN 9789774168383
For sale worldwide

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Analyzing Collapse

The Rise and Fall of the Old Kingdom Miroslav Bárta

An examination of the development of the complex civilization of Egypt's Old Kingdom and its collapse

This book explores the long-term trends in the development of what was the first complex civilization in history, the Old Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2650–2200 BC), the period that saw the construction of eternal monuments such as Djoser’s Step Pyramid complex in Saqqara, the pyramids of the great Fourth Dynasty kings in Giza, and spectacular tombs of high officials throughout Egypt. The present study aims to show that the historical trajectory of the period was marked by specific processes that characterize most of the world’s civilizations: the role of the ruling elite, the growth of bureaucracy, the proliferation of interest groups, and adaptation to climate change, to name but a few—and the way that these processes held the germ of ultimate collapse. The case is made that the rise and fall of the Old Kingdom state is of relevance to the study of the anatomy of development of any complex civilization.
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Miroslav Bárta specializes in the archaeology of third millennium BC Egypt and is also interested in the comparative study of civilizations. He leads multidisciplinary projects in Abusir and Usli (Sudan) and has pioneered satellite imaging on the pyramid fields. His research includes tomb development, the nature of change in history, and human adaptations to changing environments.

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