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  • Author or Editor: Shereen Ratnagar x
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Abstract

The beginnings of archaeology in Egypt and in India are the subject of this paper. In both countries, antiquities were carried away by the powerful. Moreover, the hubris of the colonial powers ruling both countries made it inevitable that not only antiquities, but knowledge about the past, were appropriated in different ways. For modern Egyptians, the Pharaonic past was remote in culture and distant in time. The people themselves were until fairly recently prevented from learning the Pharaonic writing, once it was deciphered, by various ways and means. In contrast, in India the colonial administration relied on Indian scholars to teach British personnel the ancient languages, texts, and religion. In neither country was the history of the ancient period taught in schools until the foreign rulers had left. But Indian archaeology became involved in Indian identity and in the framing of the nation as Hindu, and thereby acquired an ugly twist. Self-identification in Egypt in the earlier twentieth century, on the other hand, was possibly more with the Arab world than with the pyramid builders.

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Eighteen authors from 10 countries offer an assessment of the role of ideology in the emergence and development of early states. In a comparative perspective the significance of ideology in the processes that led to formation of states in Europe, Africa, Meso-America and Polynesia is discussed by specialists in the fields of anthropology, history and archaeology. Special attention is given to subjects such as the concept of ideology, regional comparison, the reconstruction of ideologies on the basis of archaeological data, gender relationships, coercion, legitimacy, sacred kingship, and ideology and change (in an introductory chapter) and a concluding discussion.
The findings of this volume will not only be of interest to anthropologists, historians and archaeologists, but to all those interested in the complex interaction of ideological and political developments.