The Complete Cities of Ancient Egypt

Steven Snape


Ancient Egyptian cities and towns have until recently been one of the least-studied and least-published aspects of this great ancient civilization. Now, new research and excavation are transforming our knowledge. This is the first book to bring these latest discoveries to a wide audience and to provide a comprehensive overview of what we know about ancient settlement during the dynastic period.

The cities range in date from early urban centers to large metropolises. From houses to palaces to temples, the different parts of Egyptian cities and towns are examined in detail, giving a clear picture of the urban world. The inhabitants, from servants to Pharaoh, are vividly brought to life, placed in the context of the civil administration that organized every detail of their lives.

Famous cities with extraordinary buildings and fascinating histories are also examined here through detailed individual treatments, including: Memphis, home of the pyramid–building kings of the Old Kingdom; Thebes, containing the greatest concentration of monumental buildings from the ancient world; and Amarna, intimately associated with the pharaoh Akhenaten. An analysis of information from modern excavations and ancient texts recreates vibrant ancient communities, providing range and depth beyond any other publication on the subject.


A comprehensive account of the work that has been done to understand the daily lives of everyday ancient Egyptians.

— Portland Book Review

The text is well supported by artifacts, primary texts, beautiful photography, and detailed diagrams and plans. In particular, fascinating and sometimes amusingly written accounts reveal a complex society similar to present-day Western societies, with amorous indiscretions, class tension, and labor disputes…Highly recommended.

— Choice

The illustrations are of outstanding quality. Diagrams, visual reconstructions, ancient works of art, and impressive aerial photography contextualize Snape’s analysis of urban life and culture in ancient Egypt.

— Ancient History Encyclopedia


Steven Snape


Dr. Steven Snape teaches Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. His publications include Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death.