The Tears of Re. Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt

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The Tears of Re. Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Oxford University Press Pages: 160 Illustrations and other contents: 103 ISBN: 9780199361380 Categories: , ,

According to Egyptian mythology, when the god Re cried, his tears turned into bees upon touching the ground. Beyond the realm of myth, the honey bee is a surprisingly common and significant motif in Egyptian history, playing a role in the mythology, medicine, art, and food of the ancient culture.
In The Tears of Re: Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt, entomologist Gene Kritsky presents the first full-length discussion of the ways in which bees were a part of life in ancient Egypt, shedding light on one of the many mysteries of the ancient world. Kritsky delves into ancient Egypt’s complex society, revealing that bees had a significant presence in everything from death rituals to trade. In fact, beekeeping was a state-controlled industry, and in certain instances honey could even be used to pay taxes! Honey was used both to sweeten foods and treat cuts, and was sometimes used as a tribute or offering. From the presence of bees in paintings and hieroglyphs in tombs to the use of beeswax in a variety of products, bees had a significant presence in ancient Egyptian culture.
Richly illustrated and engagingly written, The Tears of Re will appeal to anyone with a passion for beekeeping, Egypt, or the ancient world.

Weight0.5 kg
A must for anyone interested in cultural entomology. * Claire Waring, Bee Craft * The is subject matter will appeal to students, beekeepers interested in history, and professors teaching the development of apiculture... * Kirsten Traynor, American Entomologist * Richly illustrated and engagingly written, Kritsky's monograph will appeal to anyone with a passion for beekeeping, Egyptology, or the ancient world in general. It will become a compelling reference work on the subject for many years to come. * European Journal Entomology * Kritsky has created a book that is an enjoyable, engaging read and also contributes meaningfully to our understanding of the cultural significance of the bee and apiculture in Egypt. ... Kritsky's work is an essential starting point for understanding beekeeping and discussions of bees throughout the Mediterranean world, in art, and in history. * Rachel D. Carlson, Bryn Mawr Classical Review * an engaging and enjoyable read and would encourage anyone who has an interest in bees, beekeeping or ancient Egypt to read it. * Biologist * This fascinating study traces the history of beekeeping and honey production through pictorial evidence starting back in the Fifth Dynasty ... well researched and very accessible to the general reader. * Hilary Forrest, Ancient Egypt * Kritsky marshals [the material for this book] with a simple, supple prose ... Readable in a few hours, the book is the sort of unexpected delight one hopes to find in an old hotel, and it deserves to do well. Lets hope the, er, buzz spreads (sorry). * Richard Benson, The Independent * This well-illustrated book works as a guide for the amateur Egyptologist, 'with step-by-step instructions to the evidence of ancient beekeeping at different archaeological sites and in different museums'. It is a great read for those with an interest in Ancient Egypt and the detective work that has revealed its complex, highly ordered and controlled society. The amateur beekeeper will also be fascinated by this book. * Paul Bolam, History Today * Kritsky has provided a comprehensive, well documented, and highly readable overview of Ancient Egyptian beekeeping. His book is full of interesting facts ... a truly astounding book that will appeal to both Egyptophiles and entomologists * O. Zuhdi, KMT * This concise account of beekeeping in Ancient Egypt packs a wealth of material into its 133 pages of text ... a pleasure to read, exploring myriad aspects of Ancient Egyptian life from a new perspective and with appeal to a similarly wide audience. * Susan Biddle, Beekeepers Quarterly * Kritsky achieves a quality integration punctuated with excellent illustration Readers will appreciate Kritskys combination of historical range, beekeeping knowledge, and connection to the present. * Adam Ebert, Agricultural History *

Author Biography

Gene Kritsky holds a PhD in Entomology and specialized in the history of biology. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Egypt in 1981-2, where he began his research in Egyptology. He has published several papers on Egyptian beekeeping, mythology, Egyptological history, and archaeology. Kritsky is now the Chair of Biology at Mount St. Joseph University.