Published in six volumes between 1894 and 1905, this collection served as a valuable reference work for students and scholars of Egyptology at a time when ongoing archaeological excavations were adding significantly to the understanding of one of the world's oldest civilisations. At the forefront of this research was Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), whose pioneering methods made Near Eastern archaeology a much more systematic and scientific discipline. Many of his other publications are also reissued in this series. Britain's first professor of Egyptology from 1892, Petrie was conscious of the fact that there was no textbook he could recommend to his students. The work of Weidemann was in German and out of date, so Petrie and his collaborators incorporated the latest theories and discoveries in this English-language resource. Volume 4 (1899), written by John Pentland Mahaffy (1839-1919), covers the Ptolemaic dynasty, from 332 to 30 BCE.