am 18. August 1999
This book replaces W.B. Emery's Archaic Egypt as the standard English-language introduction to the early dynatic period. It is a fine synthesis of the last century of work in the field and in specialist journals, including many recent discoveries (e.g., cemetary U at Umm-el-Qaab) and the most important discussions (e.g., Seidlmayer,Renee Friedman). Especially strong in dealing with the "new" archeology, the most important original contribution of this work is its analysis of royal administration in the 1st through 3rd dynasties. If the book does have a weakness, it is in its catalog-like treatment of religion: but the major references are given for the reader to follow out even here.