Securing Eternity: Ancient Egyptian Tomb Protection from Prehistory to the Pyramids

Securing Eternity: Ancient Egyptian Tomb Protection from Prehistory to the Pyramids

by Reg Clark


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The ancient Egyptian tomb evolved rapidly over a period of about 2,500 years, from a simple backfilled pit to an enormous stone pyramid with complex security arrangements. Much of this development was arguably driven by the ever-present threat of tomb robbery, which compelled tomb builders to introduce special architectural measures to prevent it. However, until now most scholarly Egyptological discussions of tomb security have tended to be brief and usually included only as part of a larger work, the topic instead being the subject of lurid speculation and fantasy in novels, the popular press, and cinema.

In Securing Eternity, Reg Clark traces in detail the development of the Egyptian royal and private tombs from the Predynastic Period to the early Fourth Dynasty. In doing so, he demonstrates that many of the familiar architectural elements of the Egyptian tomb that we take for granted today in fact originated from security features to protect the tomb, rather than from monumental or religious considerations. Richly illustrated with more than 150 photographs and tomb plans, this unique study will be of interest to students, specialists, and general readers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789774169021
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, The
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 350
Sales rank: 259,597
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Reg Clark initially trained as a graphic designer at the West Surrey College of Art and Design before studying Egyptian Archaeology at Swansea University, where he received his BA in 2008, and his PhD in 2014.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Abbreviations and Conventions


1. The Purpose and Context of the Egyptian Tomb and the Need for It to Be Secure

2. Securing the Early Tomb: Prehistory to the End of the Predynastic Period

3. Defending the Pit Tomb: From Egyptís Unification to the Mid First Dynasty

4. Portals, Passages, and Portcullises: The Second Half of the First Dynasty

5. Subterranean Sepulchers: New Security Developments in the Second Dynasty

6. A Parting of the Ways: Step Pyramids and Mastabas in the Third Dynasty

7. Pyramids and Plug-Stones: Security Innovations in the Early Fourth Dynasty

8. Conclusion





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