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Kevin M McGeough
Kevin M McGeough

Kevin M. McGeough is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography (Archaeology), University of Lethbridge, Alberta.

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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: III. Fantasy and Alternative Histories

Published: Mar 2021
£22.00£70.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume III argues that fiction and fantasy play an important role in establishing expectations about the past. Changing sensitivities towards realism in art meant that imaginary visions were charged with an archaeological aesthetic. Orientalist painting offered seemingly realistic glimpses of ancient life. Stage plays and opera used the ancient Near East for performances that explored contemporary issues. Mummy stories evolved from humorous time-travel tales into horror fiction rooted in fears of materialism, and adventure novels ruminated on the obligations and dangers of empire. Alongside these explicitly fictional modes of thinking about the past, the nineteenth century saw a rise in popularity of esoteric thinking. People offered alternative versions of ancient history, imagining that ancient religious practices continued into the present, through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians or in the new movements of Mormonism and Theosophy. Volume III ends by examining the interpretations of the Near East offered by Sigmund Freud and H.P. Lovecraft, showing how these two figures influenced later popular experiences of the ancient Near East.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: III. Fantasy and Alternative Histories

£22.00£70.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume III argues that fiction and fantasy play an important role in establishing expectations about the past. Changing sensitivities towards realism in art meant that imaginary visions were charged with an archaeological aesthetic. Orientalist painting offered seemingly realistic glimpses of ancient life. Stage plays and opera used the ancient Near East for performances that explored contemporary issues. Mummy stories evolved from humorous time-travel tales into horror fiction rooted in fears of materialism, and adventure novels ruminated on the obligations and dangers of empire. Alongside these explicitly fictional modes of thinking about the past, the nineteenth century saw a rise in popularity of esoteric thinking. People offered alternative versions of ancient history, imagining that ancient religious practices continued into the present, through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians or in the new movements of Mormonism and Theosophy. Volume III ends by examining the interpretations of the Near East offered by Sigmund Freud and H.P. Lovecraft, showing how these two figures influenced later popular experiences of the ancient Near East.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: II. Collecting, Constructing, and Curating

Published: Mar 2021
£22.95£60.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume II examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged 'real' artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world's-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: II. Collecting, Constructing, and Curating

£22.95£60.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume II examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged 'real' artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world's-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: I. Claiming and Conquering

Published: Apr 2015
£22.50£70.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and Classical literature. By the end of that century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was now understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways by which non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume I traces how the study of the ancient Near East developed into a professional discipline and how interpretative frameworks were gradually standardized throughout the nineteenth century. Some of the best-sellers of the period were accounts of the early explorers of the region and, beginning with the Napoleonic expedition, the book examines how ancient Near Eastern discoveries were communicated to the public. It looks at how archaeological reporting was shaped in this period and how the study of the ancient Near East was employed to understand issues of progress and decline and was referenced in the political and social satire of the period. It also documents the growth of middle-class tourism to the region and considers how the changing experiences of travel impacted Near Eastern studies. Throughout, the book observes how the ancient Near East mirrored and subverted British society and played a role in European and North American thinking about their places in a larger global and historical perspective.
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Add to Wishlist

The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: I. Claiming and Conquering

£22.50£70.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and Classical literature. By the end of that century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was now understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways by which non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume I traces how the study of the ancient Near East developed into a professional discipline and how interpretative frameworks were gradually standardized throughout the nineteenth century. Some of the best-sellers of the period were accounts of the early explorers of the region and, beginning with the Napoleonic expedition, the book examines how ancient Near Eastern discoveries were communicated to the public. It looks at how archaeological reporting was shaped in this period and how the study of the ancient Near East was employed to understand issues of progress and decline and was referenced in the political and social satire of the period. It also documents the growth of middle-class tourism to the region and considers how the changing experiences of travel impacted Near Eastern studies. Throughout, the book observes how the ancient Near East mirrored and subverted British society and played a role in European and North American thinking about their places in a larger global and historical perspective.
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