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Travelers Key to Ancient Egypt

I didn't realize until after I got home that this is published by the 'Theosophical Publishing' house. Theosophy? Ooooh-kay. A bit too new-age for me, but once I got past the introduction I knew that this was one of the best reference books for the tombs and temples of the Nile Valley.

Mr. West is a well-known author of Egyptian history and touring books (and indeed, at least one tour company offers a guided tour with Mr. West through the major sites of Egypt). His coverage of the major temples, tombs, and pyramids of Egypt is unparalleled - the detail level is sometimes overwhelming, but he does it in a simple, straightforward style that makes the book easy to read.

For each major site, the history is carefully outlined, its importance is clarified, and then a detailed walk through of the site (sometimes wall by wall) follows. It's a wonderfully illuminating tour guide. While the tone can be a bit absurd sometimes, and it delves a bit too deeply into the new-age view of the pyramids as celestial temples, West gives a well-balanced view of the differing opinions about such topics as the meaning of the pyramids, the age of the sphinx, and the symbolism of certain hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Well worth the price.

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