|Publication Date||September 28, 2007|
A special connection with ancient Egypt drew Omm Sety to Egypt, where she studied with the great Egyptologists Selim Hassan and Ahmed Fakhry. For more than four decades she made her home in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Giza and in the mudbrick village surrounding the Temple of Sety I at Abydos. For her, there was no separation between ancient and modern Egypt. Pictures on tomb walls illustrated the games children played in the streets in front of her house. The texts she translated from the temple walls shed light on the origins of the social customs of her Egyptian neighbors. For another four decades this book, which deserves to be called Omm Sety's life work, remained hidden away. Now Nicole B. Hansen, an Egyptologist who specializes in connections between ancient and modern Egypt, brings this work to light in an annotated edition with extensive notes and bibliography, illustrated with Omm Sety's own drawings. It features a foreword by Kent R. Weeks, who rediscovered KV5 in the Valley of the Kings, and an introduction by Walter A. Fairservis, the late director of the Hierakonpolis Project. For Egyptologists, this book includes explanations of texts from the Pyramid Texts to Herodotus as well as ancient Egyptian art. For anthropologists, it represents the results of a lifetime of unbridled participant-observation, during which Omm Sety used folk treatments to cure her ills and agreed to serve as a medium for a spirit during a magic ritual. For those interested in Omm Sety herself, this book provides new insights into her life, the people she knew and the places she lived.