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From about 2000 BCE onward, Egypt served as an important nexus for cultural exchange in the eastern Mediterranean, importing and exporting not just wares but also new artistic techniques and styles. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman craftsmen imitated one another’s work, creating cultural and artistic hybrids that transcended a single tradition. Yet in spite of the remarkable artistic production that resulted from these interchanges, the complex vicissitudes of exchange between Egypt and the Classical world over the course of nearly 2500 years have not been comprehensively explored in a major exhibition or publication in the United States. It is precisely this aspect of Egypt’s history, however, that Beyond the Nile uncovers. Renowned scholars have come together to provide compelling analyses of the constantly evolving dynamics of cultural exchange, first between Egyptians and Greeks—during the Bronze Age, then the Archaic and Classical periods of Greece, and finally Ptolemaic Egypt—and later, when Egypt passed to Roman rule with the defeat of Cleopatra. Beyond the Nile, a milestone publication issued on the occasion of a major international exhibition, will become an indispensable contribution to the field. With gorgeous photographs of more than two hundred rare objects, including frescoes, statues, obelisks, jewelry, papyri, pottery, and coins, this volume offers an essential and inter-disciplinary approach to the rich world of artistic cross-pollination during antiquity.
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||Sara E. Cole