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Old 19.06.2009, 07:51
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فكرة Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

Review Egyptology: Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt Medieval Arabic

Review of egyptology: The missing Millennium, ancient egypt in Medieval Arabic
Writings, by Okasha El Daly
noha abokrysha Wrote In 12-6-2009

Book Review of ‘Egyptology: The missing Millennium’ by Okasha El-Daly
Ruveyda Ozturk*
Review of egyptology: The missing Millennium, ancient egypt in Medieval Arabic Writings, by Okasha El Daly. London: UCL Press, 2005. Paperback: 230 pages; ISBN-10: 1844720624 – ISBN-13: 978-1844720620. Dimensions: 9.1 × 6.1 × 0.7 inches.

Contents
1-. Presentation of the book
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...3D1105%23sec_1

2. About the Author
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...3D1105%23sec_2

3. Contents of the book
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...3D1105%23sec_3

4. Further resources
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...3D1105%23sec_4


للمزيد من مواضيعي

 





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Old 19.06.2009, 07:53
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

1. Presentation of the book

The contributions of the Islamic World to modern science have been a matter of discussion for a while now as different aspects of the studies and developments carried out by Muslims of the past have been covered and analysed in a number of texts. Through wide ranging publications and exhibitions carried out by various organisations including the FSTC, it is now commonly accepted that as Europe was living through its dark ages with little scientific development and social improvement, the Muslim world was using knowledge inherited from the past civilisations to prepare a more advanced future and find answers to questions

http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...Millennium.jpg

that have existed in the minds of great scientists for centuries. A quantity of evidence showing the adaptation, improvement and effective implementation of Greek knowledge by Muslims from the late 8th Century onwards has come to light during the last few decades. These have been shown to have had a great impact on the continuance of science and the birth of the Renaissance and as a result have provided an alternative view to the general Eurocentric approach to the history of science. However, there are still certain aspects of the Muslim contributions that still need to be brought to clarity and researched further. One of these areas that has lacked in depth analysis was the contributions of Muslims in the field of Egyptology as the Muslim efforts to recover and utilise Egyptian knowledge and practice have been discounted by many who argue that with the spread of Islam and the resulting neglect by Muslims, Egyptian science and culture has been lost and left to die over time





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Old 19.06.2009, 07:55
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

In his book Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Okasha El Daly essentially shows that this thesis
is totally false and arrogant in its understanding of actual history. Through extensive research and the analysis of a number
of texts and resources on the matter, the author provides
evidence of the countless attempts by Muslim scholars
to understand Egyptian language, culture and practices.
He cites
examples of the
enormous range of studies carried out by Muslim
Arabic writers in the Medieval Ages to truly understand
the Egyptian heritage, especially their

http://www.muslimheritage.com/upload...Millennium.jpg
Figure 1: Front cover of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium. Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic Writings by Okasha El Daly (London: UCL Press, 2005).
efforts to decipher the hieroglyph scripts and the nature of Egyptian state administration. Contrary to the common view that Muslims were against studying other
traditions which fell against the
principles of Islam, El Daly demonstrates that
Muslims took great interest in this culture after the
conquest of Egypt and showed their fascination by
expending great effort to uncover the realities behind
the myths and customs within the lands. The book
covers the most significant features of this tradition
of Muslim Egyptology, which are still part of today’s
Egyptology, recounting in detail the interpretations of findings
on aspects of Egyptian traditions such as treasure
hunting, the process of mummification and state
administration. El-Daly states that





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Old 19.06.2009, 07:57
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

"… El-Daly states that
the sources show not only a keen interest, but also serious scholarship that seeks to understand and benefit from the study of Ancient Egypt." (p. 4

The author systematically considers the historical approach taken to the study of Egyptology, discussing the currently held view held as well as the previous relevant works with the most recent being carried out in 2001, coming to the conclusion that no substantial work has been put forward analysing Ancient Egypt in the Arabic sources. He discusses in length the approach taken by Arabic writers to the study of Egyptology and how it differed from that of the Western approach. It can be seen that the Muslim observations from the time of first contact with Egypt through trading to the actual association were based on a sincere desire to get to know the culture and customs with major influences from the Qur’an and hadith which exhort appreciation of other nations and advice to establish relationships. The book also describes how Medieval Arab writers produced their works on Egypt through direct observation, discourses with Egyptian savants, classical sources, Jewish sources and other Arabic sources as well as giving background information on the topics discussed.
تم تصغير هذه الصورة ... نقره على هذا الشريط لعرض الصورة بمقاسها الحقيقي علما بأن مقاسات الصورة قبل التصغير هو 775 في 582

Figure 2: Dr. Okasha El Daly with Professors Ekmeleddin Ihsanoǧlu and Salim Al-Hassani in New York on the occasion of the exhibition at the United Nations on Multi-Faith Scientists in Islamic Civilization (12-13 November 2008). © FSTC

http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...vilization.JPG
The study clearly shows that the documents produced by the Islamic scholars of the time on Egyptology are still widely referred to today and help to gain a better understanding of the time with many still seeking manuals on treasure hunting in order to realise private gains. The importance of hidden treasures and their hunters to the Islamic state can best be seen in the example of the 9th century ruler of Egypt, Ibn Tulun





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Old 19.06.2009, 07:59
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

"… Ibn Tulun made the exploitations of these gold resources a state monopoly (Rabie 1972: 169) and decreed that nobody was to be allowed to dig anywhere without first seeking permission from the authorities and then being accompanied by a state official (Al-Balawi Sirat:195). This is perhaps the oldest official attempt to organise the profession of ‘Treasure Hunters’…" (p.

34



http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...im_al_Saba.JPG


http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...tic_values.JPG

their contributions to today’s studies through effective descriptions of
monuments and successful archaeological explorations
employing efficient methods developed by geographers
such as Al-Hamadani. The Arabic scholars also shine in their great interest and sound efforts to decipher the Egyptian scripts,
with the author criticising the lack of recognition and
appreciation of these works:

"Nowhere in recently published Egyptological literature do we see any recognition or
investigation of the contributions made by
medieval Arabic scholars to the decipherment
of Egyptian scripts." (p. 57)


He also states the artistic and religious reasons
for Arab interest in ancient scripts arguing that
Muslim artists were greatly inspired by Egyptian
art as well as by the monuments of ancient Egypt.
Another significant topic covered by El Daly includes
the Islamic attitude to ancient Egyptian religion with
the temple domain, role of magic, superstitious beliefs,
deities and prophets and a number of important pilgrimage
sites like Heliopolis discussed at length
and the suggestion that the Egyptian
religion influenced the development of Sufism
in Islam is put forward.
Mummification and burial
practices
were also of great interest to
Arabic scholars with accurate
descriptions produced of
the process and details of the
potential medical uses of
natural mummia identified






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Old 19.06.2009, 08:01
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

This study also brings to light the admiration
and honouring of scientists of past civilisations by
medieval Arab scholars with the Egyptian
Thoth/Hermes given the credit as the
originator of many of the sciences as argued by
Ibn al-Nadim. El Daly states that the findings of
Muslims on Egyptian scientific progress centuries
ago are only now being considered by
Egyptologists. He wrote:
"The pioneering work of Ursula Sezgin (1994-)
has shown
that most of the Arab knowledge of ancient
Egyptian scientific inventions is in fact based
on actual sources from pre-Islamic Egypt, sometimes
Hellenistic but some also pharaonic." (p. 119)
The final element of Egyptology discussed by El Daly is
the Egyptian kingship and administration resulting in the
general view that the Muslim understanding varied
considerably with that of the Western one
as established in an analysis of Cleopatra who was
regarded as ‘The Virtuous Scholar’ by Muslims in
comparison to the over-ambitious image portrayed in the Greco-Roman sources. He concludes his study
by summarising
his main arguments which
allow him to deduce:
"It is clear from the Arabic sources that the study of ancient cultures was genuinely valued for knowledge and guidance, believing that all human history was one, albeit of different peoples living in different places…" (p. 139)
El Daly based his study on a large number of sources
ranging from the accounts of travellers and geographers
to accounts of treasure hunters and books of alchemy, most of which are
of Arabic origin and some have been carefully
translated into English. The figures provided in the
final section of the book enable the reader to fully
comprehend the extent of effort
exerted by Muslim
scholars
to grasp the Egyptian language,
culture and way of life with maps,
drawings of observations, use of
Egyptian hieroglyph alphabet and
descriptions of findings. Further, the
finely organised appendices
with summaries of the biographies of Arab
writers, books used by
Al-Idrisi and the primary
Arabic sources used by Dr El Daly himself
are nearly as interesting as the main text and
leave no question in the
minds of the readers so as to the authenticity
of El Daly’s arguments







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Old 19.06.2009, 08:04
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

Although the book covers a very specific discipline and is generally addressed to those closely interested in Egyptology and Arabic Studies, it nevertheless provides an excellent resource showing the unceasing attempts by Muslims to make use of the knowledge inherited from the pre-Islamic cultures. It is a worthy read and a positive contribution to the understanding of the Islamic approach to science and knowledge.
Figure 5: A stela of King Amenemhat II (ca 1928-1895 BCE) of the Twelfth Dynasty, as copied in Alu ‘l-Qasim al-Iraqi’s Al-Aqalim. Source: The British Library, MS Add 25724, folio 50a; reproduced in El-Daly, Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, figure

2. About the Author
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...105%23section2
Okasha El Daly graduated in Egyptology from Cairo University. He gained his PhD in the same field with a groundbreaking study which showed the contributions made by medieval Muslim Arabic scholars in the proper study of Ancient Egyptian civilisation.
He has been a museum worker and university teacher for more than three decades and is based in the UK. After several years in University College in London, he is presently the Director of Projects at the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) in Manchester







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Old 19.06.2009, 08:06
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

3. Table of Contents
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...105%23section3
Preface vii
Acknowledgements xi
List of Figures xv
Abbreviations and Notes xvii
Conventions of Transliteration xix
1 Introduction 1
2 The making of an Interpretation Arabica of Ancient Egypt 9
3 Treasure Hunting 31
4 Medieval Arab Archaeological Methods and Descriptions 45
5 Medieval Arab Attempts to Decipher Ancient Egyptian Scripts 57
6 Medieval Arabic Concepts of Ancient Egyptian Religion 75
7 Egyptian Mummia, Mummification and Burial Practices in Medieval Arabic Sources 95
8 Egyptian Science in Medieval Arabic Sources 109
9 Egyptian Kingship and State Administration 121
10 Conclusions 139
Figures 145
Appendix 1: Biographies of Arab Writers 161
Appendix 2: Books on Ancient Egypt Used by Al-Idrisi 183
Appendix 3: Primary Arabic Sources 185
Bibliography 195
Index 22





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Old 19.06.2009, 08:08
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Default رد: Review of Egyptology: The Missing Millennium, Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic

4
.
Further resources
http://www.maktoobblog.com/redirectL...105%23section4

Further resources
* El Daly, Okasha, Egyptology: The Missing Millennium. Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic Writings. London: UCL Press, 2005. Harcover, 230 pages, illustrated edition.
* El-Daly, Okasha: article on www.MuslimHeritage.com: "Deciphering Egyptian Hieroglyphs in Muslim Heritage"
The article surveys some results of Dr. Okasha El Daly’s exciting discoveries about the precedence of Muslim scholars of the golden age of Islamic culture in deciphering the hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt. This ground breaking achievement was attributed until recently exclusively to Europeans scholars, and especially to Champollion.
* El-Daly, Okasha:
another article on www.MuslimHeritage.com: "Arabic Study of Ancient Egypt"
In this article, Dr Okasha El-Daly presents a glimpse into the richness of Arabic sources and the breadth and depth of Muslim scholars’ interest in Ancient Egypt contrary to the widely held perceptions about Muslim lack of interest in the subject.

* El-Daly, Okasha, and Starkey, Janet, editors, Desert Travellers from Herodotus to T E Lawrence. Published by The Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East, 2000, Paperback, 233 pp.
* FSTC, Okasha El-Daly Lectures at Leeds on Muslim Heritage in Our World
The Leeds University Islamic Awareness Week organised by students invited Dr. Okasha El Daly to deliver the opening lecture on Monday 16th February 2009. Dr El-Daly, the Director of Projects of FSTC, lectured on "Muslim Heritage in Our World". He covered the sources of Islamic sciences and the interest Muslim scholars had in the ancient civilisations.
*Reviewer, FSTC, Sydney, Australia






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