ReviewsOne of the best aspects of this book [is] a stubborn focus not just on the evidence for elite experience in ancient Egypt, but on the human beings who lived this experience. If the point of archaeology is to move beyond the archaeological evidence toward an understanding of the people who produced this evidence, then this book is an admirable success.
Ancient Near Eastern Studies
In the Introduction this carefully produced book sets out the methodological approach and the obvious challenges in a context where those expressing experience were limited by rules set up to define what was appropriate for being displayed (decorum). But as this book deals with sociology rather than the consumption of aesthetics, its author also convincingly shows that the leisured classes were striving for enjoyment, celebration and appreciation of the finer things of life.
Provides a gold mine of information of elite culture, that will in parts appeal to both the interested non-specialist and the scholar. It emphasizes once again how elite self-representation and location of the tomb owner with respect to other decorative elements underlined his (occasionally her) status. In a pleasantly illustrative way the book shows how, in spite of the formalized decorum, evidence for individual experience can be derived from the emphasis of certain themes or key events in both pictorial and written decoration; and opens many options for further discussion and research.