Why make a reading list of the best books on Ancient Egypt? Well, Ancient Egypt is one of the most fascinating and intriguing ancient cultures. For over three thousand years, ancient Egyptians built a complex and powerful civilization in the Nile River valley. Ancient Egyptian culture was rich in art, architecture, religion, and science. The ancient Egyptians were also skilled engineers and farmers. They built massive pyramids and temples and created a complex irrigation system to farm the fertile Nile River valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization was greatly influential in the development of Western civilization. Many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, such as art, religion, and architecture, have been adopted by Western cultures. Ancient Egypt is an essential part of the history of Western civilization.

Despite this legacy, ancient Egypt remains shrouded in mystery. Much of what we know about this ancient civilization comes from archaeological excavations and ancient texts, which can be difficult to interpret. As a result, there is still much that we do not know about ancient Egypt. However, there are many excellent books that offer insights into this ancient civilization. By reading some of the best books on Ancient Egypt, you can gain a better understanding of this fascinating civilization and its place in history. Here are the best books on Ancient Egypt…


the great book of ancient Egypt - best books on ancient EgyptThe Great Book of Ancient Egypt: In the Realm of the Pharaohs by Zahi Hawass

This book is an invaluable overview of ancient Egypt, with close-up photographs that make the statuary seem alive. From Alexandria to the Monastery of St. Catherine, this volume offers not only information about what you’ll find at each location but also provides insight into how these sites have been impacted by history – both good and bad. The author begins by providing the readership with a helpful chronology–which they then follow up by detailing some major discoveries made throughout different regions such as The Pyramids Of Giza and Abu Simbel.

Zahi Hawass has been excavating in Egypt for more than thirty years. He is the author of several popular bestsellers including Tutankhamun and The Golden Age Of Pharaohs which was published by National Geographic in 2005 to accompany their blockbuster exhibition on King Tut that toured the United States.

the rise and fall of ancient egypt - best books on ancient EgyptThe Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson

The book provides is a story of extraordinary achievements and historic moments. It starts with the building of pyramids that would lead to many more discoveries such as Tutankhamun’s burial chamber or Nefertiti’s powerful beauty, goes through Akhenaten whose religious revolution changed much in this region for good but also had its downside when it came down again on those who did not agree with him including people like Ramesses II who invaded other countries heavily till Alexander The Great arrived onto scene causing Cleopatra considerable trouble before she met her end, at last, knowing all too well what failure meant.

Toby  Wilkinson is an English Egyptologist and academic. In 2011 he was awarded the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for his book The Rise And Fall Of Ancient Egypt which makes him one of Britain’s most accomplished experts on Ancient Egypt, and this is one of the best books on Ancient Egypt.

the complete gods and goddesses of ancient egypt - best books on ancient EgyptThe Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson

The gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt are among the most fascinating cultures to have ever existed. This book will explore how these deities were worshipped, what their roles in society may have been like for people who believed them or not but still wanted some form of guidance from above – as well as a detailed look at every single one’s history!

Richard H. Wilkinson is an archaeologist in the field of Egyptology. He is Regents Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona and founding director of the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition.

hieroglyphics - best books on ancient EgyptHieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt by Maria Betro

This complete guide demystifies the hieroglyphic writing of the Nile Valley, which provides a still-vivid picture of the gods, people, and routine life of Ancient Egyptians. Hieroglyphics are both literal and highly lyrical, bringing a distant world to life with descriptions of the natural environment, art, customs, society, religious beliefs, and even the cultural foundation of a civilization that lasted 5,000 years.

This fascinating book traces the origins and significance of each sign, as well as its graphic stylization, in presenting and explaining almost 600 of the figures employed in Egypt’s “sacred writing” classic phase. An opening essay explains the origins and structural features of the hieroglyphic system, emphasizing the sacred, evocative, and even magical power of the form, which unlike our own abstract alphabet is immediate and descriptive. Dr. Mario Bettro is an Egyptologist and Professor at the University of Pisa, Italy, who has written many books on hieroglyphic and demotic scripts.

death and salvation - best books on ancient EgyptDeath and Salvation in Ancient Egypt by Jan Assmann

In Death and Salvation, Assmann delves into images of death and death practices in ancient Egypt to offer fresh insights into the civilization as a whole. He extends his study of the death liturgy to a wide range of topics, from funerary texts and sculpture to tombs, mummies, and burial customs. In this book, the writer goes through nine distinct images of death: as the body being destroyed, social isolation, the court of the dead, a corpse, a mummy, a soul and ancestral spirit of the deceased person that resides in heaven after death; death as separation and passage; homecoming; and secret.

The is one of the best books on Ancient Egypt and it contains a fascinating discussion of death and salvation myths found in Egyptian funerary texts. Jan Assmann is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at Heidelberg University.

a companion to ancient egypt - best books on ancient EgyptA Companion to Ancient Egypt by Alan B. Lloyd

This volume contains the most up-to-date statements about the major and current aspects of Egyptology from leading experts. It offers a broad and deep treatment of the subject, giving full scope to the discussion of this remarkable culture. It is written in an extremely readable tone and fully illustrated, providing unprecedented breadth and depth of coverage, enabling you to grasp all there is to know about this wonderful civilization.

This book, written in a simple style and with few notes or crossreferences, is intended to appeal to the general reader. It also covers the most up-to-date and well-illustrated information on Egypt’s ancient history and culture. It addresses a wide range of themes, including physical context, history, economic and social processes, language, literature, and the visual arts. Lloyd addresses a wide audience in this book. Students and academics of Egyptian archaeology and Graeco-Roman studies will benefit from his writing style.

Egyptian mythology - best books on ancient EgyptEgyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch

Ancient Egypt has had a steadfast grip on the modern imagination, from tales of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted riches of the Great Pyramids. Now in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch provides an in-depth introduction to Egyptian mythology that unravels the riddle of Egyptian myth.

Pinch bridges the gap between Ancient Egyptian culture–from 3200 BC to AD 400–and modern-day astrology by illuminating the world of ancient Egypt and shedding light on its often misunderstood belief system. She goes through the history of Egypt, from predynastic to postpharaonic times, describing myths and their origins.

The history of Egypt is filled with strange events that defy explanation. Ancient Egypt, like ancient Greece and Rome, was barely understood during her reign. She examines how Egyptian culture grew around the Nile’s flooding, or inundation, a phenomenon on which the country’s entire well-being depended, as well as how features of the inundation were personified as deities.

temples, tombs and hieroglyphics - best books on ancient EgyptTemples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs by Barbara Mertz

If you’re looking for another book to add to your list of the best books on Ancient Egypt, this might just be it. World-renowned Egyptologist Barbara Mertz is the author of Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs; a breathtaking account of an unforgettable age—from the first Stone Age villages through Cleopatra’s reign and the Roman invasions. Ancient Egypt comes to life in this book as never before.

It is lavishly illustrated with pictures, maps, photographs, and charts, giving tantalizing glimpses into Egyptian culture and routine. The book provides incredible stories of the pharaohs and the rise and fall of legendary dynasties, religion and culture, folklore and fairy tales, explorers, scientists, and unscrupulous rogues who sought to unravel or exploit the ageless mysteries; as well as breathtaking insights into magnificent architectural marvels that rose from the desert sands.

the art of ancient egypt - best books on ancient EgyptThe Art of Ancient Egypt by Gay Robins

For thousands of years, the great civilization of Egypt produced some of the world’s finest art, including delicately painted tomb walls, carved in stone or wood, and cast in metal. This book traces the history of Egyptian art from its sudden, early bloom to its ultimate resurgence during the Ptolemaic era, when it developed into one of the world’s greatest civilisations. It is illustrated with over 250 wonderful artefacts from the British Museum and other collections in Egypt, the United States, and Europe.

The author explains how the ancient painters created a method that was perfectly suited to expressing the Egyptians’ worldview, which was contained in their religious and funerary convictions. She investigates the many purposes of artistic goods in temples, tombs, and everyday life, and how they may be interpreted in light of their intended purpose.

ancient egypt - best books on ancient EgyptAncient Egypt: The Definitive Visual History

Take a trip through Ancient Egypt and discover how the pharaohs lived in days gone by. This book, which covers 3000 years of existence under the pharaoh’s rule (c.3200-30 BCE), from the early kings of Egypt to the reign of Cleopatra and the Roman conquest, explains it all. Unlock every aspect of Ancient Egypt, from the pharaohs like Tutankhamen to the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, as well as everyday people’s lives and ideas.

This is the ideal comprehensive guide to Egypt’s ancient civilization, covering everything from 31 Egyptian dynasties and 3000 years of history to Narmer, Cleopatra, and so much more. This up-to-date history of Ancient Egypt is jam-packed with information and experiences to be had. This is the ideal book for curious minds, lifelong learners, or anybody interested in ancient civilizations and Egyptology since it contains more than 850 photos, images, and maps. This is certainly one of the best books on Ancient Egypt.

when women ruled the world - best books on ancient EgyptWhen Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt by Kara Cooney

The lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra—women who ruled with real authority—are recounted in this enthralling narrative, which illuminates how our own preconceptions about women in power today affect us. Women monarchs are sadly often a one-of-a-kind occurrence, however, thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, women ruled supreme. Queens, such as Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra, took control of the totalitarian state as power brokers and rulers on a regular basis. But in every culture throughout history, women in positions of authority have been utilized more often as political pawns in a male-dominated society.

What made ancient Egypt so remarkable that women were given such free access to the highest political position? What was it about these women that allowed them to break through male-dominated barriers? What impact did Egypt’s feminist leadership have on society, and could today’s world benefit from its example? Celebrated Egyptologist Kara Cooney explores the reasons why it has been so difficult for women to exercise power throughout history, and why we should care in this fascinating narrative.

cultural atlas of ancient egypt - best books on ancient EgyptCultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt by John Baines and Jaromir Malek

Two renowned Egyptologists have written this book, which covers art, architecture, monuments, society, daily life, hieroglyphics, and the pyramids. This is a second edition of The Complete Book of Egyptian Myths and Legends, which was first published in 1980. Because we all know that Egyptologists continue to unearth new information from the regular digs they conduct there, it’s a good idea to update books as often as possible.

There are three distinct components to this book, the first of which is concerned with the cultural milieu, the second takes you down the Nile, describing what you’ll encounter and why it’s significant, and the third covers Egyptian culture. Dr. Baines was a professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford for more than 30 years. He was one of the youngest tenured professors at the age on 30 when he joined the university. Dr. Baines is also an author and contributor to several academic papers and works regarding ancient Egyptian culture.

daily life in ancient egyptDaily Life in Ancient Egypt by Kasia Szpakowska

This book follows the lives of a young girl and her family, representing the everyday life of middle-class inhabitants in ancient Lahun during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom era. This perfect moment in time has been meticulously reconstructed using recently published textual information and archaeological discoveries.

The book offers a fascinating and engaging re-creation of ancient Egypt’s daily life. In this Ancient Egyptian town, which was once a bustling center for trade and commerce, Kasia Szpakowska discusses the major concerns of modern life, from schools to jobs to food preparation to religious rituals to healing techniques. Authentically reconstructed by utilizing up-to-date textual data and archaeological findings directly from the settlement of Lahun and other sites, as well as pictures and drawings of genuine artefacts from the settlement

the Oxford history of ancient egyptThe Oxford History of Ancient Egypt by Ian Shaw

The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt covers the history of ancient Egypt from c. 700,000 B.C. to A.D. 311 in a single volume for the first time. This book recreates a fascinating culture full of amazing historical facts, beginning with the Egyptians’ prehistoric roots and ending with their conquest by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

The book examines such themes as the change in life and death in the Nile valley, some of the world’s first great masterpieces of art, architecture, and literature from ancient times. The authors are a global group of specialists who are at the forefront of their fields and outline the major sequence of political events, including in-depth analyses of the three so-called “intermediate periods” that were previously regarded as “dark ages” and are only now beginning to be better understood.


If you’re interested in ancient Egypt, then you’re in luck. There are a number of excellent books on the subject that can help you learn more about this fascinating time period. From history books that detail the rise and fall of the Egyptian empire to books that explore the daily life of Ancient Egyptians, there is something for everyone. So why not curl up with a good book and learn more about one of the most fascinating cultures in history? You might just be surprised at what you discover.

If you enjoyed this reading list of the best books on Ancient Egypt, you may also want to check our reading list of the best books on the Romans.

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