Resources: Books

The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

by Richard H. Wilkinson

This is my go-to book on the netjeru, and it’s the first on my resource page for multiple reasons. First of all, it’s gorgeous. It’s filled with beautiful pictures of statuary, ancient Egyptian paintings and scrolls, and it’s so clear and easy to read. It’s a book I could read just for the aesthetic appeal.

The book also has entries for dozens and dozens of deities, and goes into detail about where and when they were worshiped, what their mythological “history” is, and how that history changed with ancient Egyptian civilization.

Finally, it goes beyond discussing just the individual netjer and gets really into what ancient Egyptian theology looked like, and how that played into popular conception of the divine. It also has an (admittedly brief) section discussing where the Ancient Egyptian gods may have come from, and individual sections for popular religion and how the pharaoh’s religious role.

 

Genesis of the Pharaohs

by Toby Wilkinson

The reason I like this book so much is because it gives a really interesting account of what life looked like before ancient Egypt became a thing- the nomads of the eastern desert and the Nile. I don’t know if I would consider the discoveries quite as dramatic as they’re hyped to be, but they are super cool.

I do think it’s important to mention that a lot of the first half is devoted to talking about archaeological methodology. I (personally) really enjoy getting into how we found out the things we know about ancient peoples, but if you’re really not interested in getting into all those details, then it might behoove you to skip to the last half of the book.

It’s not a difficult read- it’s maybe 200 pages, and the type is relatively large- which made it perfect for me, because as a college student, I’m always busy.