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‘Make it According to Plan’

Workshop scenes in Egyptian tombs of the Old Kingdom

Michelle Hampson
Publication Year:
480 pages
BAR number:


The tomb paintings and reliefs of Ancient Egypt constitute a major source of evidence for the historical and cultural reconstruction of this fascinating civilisation, but the compilation and detailed analysis of both the iconographic and textual data contained in such scenes in one volume is seldom undertaken. This book focuses on one of the main themes illustrated - craftsmen at work - and uses an original micro-analytical approach to determine the key conventions of their representation. Industries such as boat building, carpentry, jewellery making, leatherwork, metalwork, sculpture and stone vessel making are examined. Particular emphasis is given to the postures and actions of the figures, their methods, tools and interactions, as well as their clothing, physical features and objects on which they work. A catalogue of scenes, some previously unpublished, is included, together with over 2,000 plans and line drawings, innovative isometric diagrams, text and translation summaries, and appendices.

Michelle Hampson is an Australian educator, researcher and Egyptologist. She holds a BA Dip Ed in History, and an MA and PhD in Egyptology from Macquarie University. She has co-authored three Ancient History textbooks, published in academic journals, and is founder and director of the Henu Box Visual Dictionary Project currently in development.

'To my knowledge, there is no similar up-to-date publication of this kind. The text, accompanied with many figures and voluminous catalogue attest to a very careful and meticulous analysis of the material. The most important value of the publication lies in the wealth of material put together.' Prof. Miroslav Bárta, Czech Institute of Egyptology

‘The book’s conclusions are valuable not only because of what they tell us about workshop scenes in the Old Kingdom, but because they can raise useful questions that can be asked by scholars studying other scene types or chapels of different periods. In short, this will be a very useful book indeed.’ Dr Ann Macy Roth, New York University

Introduction (S3083_Hampson_9781407359106_-_introduction.pdf, 637 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (S3083_Hampson_9781407359106_-_toc.pdf, 9,841 Kb) [Download]