Book Review: Warfare and Weaponry in Dynastic Egypt


by Rebecca Angharad Dean

Barnsley, Eng.: Pen & Sword / Philadelphia: Casemate Publishers, 2017. Pp. 184. Illus., maps, append., notes, biblio., index. $39.95. ISBN: 1473823552

Egyptian Ways of War

Although she opens with a summary overview of the military history of ancient Egypt.Dean, a specialist in the interdisciplinary study of Egyptian military practice and women at war, does not give us a comprehensive history of 2,500 years of military campaigns. Rather, in a series of chapters, she looks at various aspects of the evolving nature of warfare, arms, and soldiering under the pharaohs.

Dean devotes a chapter to Egyptian weaponry and military technology, including fortresses, and follows this with a discussion of policy and strategy. We then get a look at the surprisingly active role women had in Egyptian warfare.

The two final chapters are perhaps the most important in the book. Dean devotes a chapter to evaluating the evidence about Egyptian weaponry that can be garnered from experimental archaeology, including re-enactments. She then follows this with one dicussing the nature of the damage that these weapons were capable of inflicting, using modern forensic examination of experimental results and ancient mummies, with some grim illustrations.

Despite a sometimes disjointed narrative, Warfare and Weaponry in Dynastic Egypt is necessarily useful for someone new to Egyptian history, and particularly valuable work for the more experienced student of the subject. 

Note: Warfare & Weaponry in Dynastic Egypt is also available in several e-editions


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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