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Ancient Churches of Ethiopia . By David W. Phillipson . Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2009, 288 pp. ISBN 978-0-300-14156-6 (cloth). £ 40.00 / US$ 65.00.

Ancient Churches of Ethiopia . By David W. Phillipson . Yale University Press, New Haven and... The dust-jacket to this book proclaims: He [Phillipson] offers a fresh view of the processes which gave rise to this unique African culture as well as the most detailed treatment of the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela World Heritage Site ever published. Abundantly illustrated, filled with original insights, and incorporating new chronological findings, this book will be of enormous interest to a wide international circle of students, scholars and travellers. These are impressive claims and on opening the book the reader wonders how the varying levels of knowledge of the intended readership will be reconciled, but nevertheless one presumes that this will be a helpful reference at least for those of us who work in related fields and would like to be aware of comparative material and may act as a guidebook for the well-read amateur archaeologist. Alas, this is not the case; by aiming the book at such a wide audience Phillipson seems unsure as to whether he was aiming at the specialist market or producing a coffee-table book. One thing is undeniable; this is a gorgeously produced volume, lavishly illustrated with outstandingly beautiful colour photographs that could surely grace the brochures of a travel agent or a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Ancient Churches of Ethiopia . By David W. Phillipson . Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2009, 288 pp. ISBN 978-0-300-14156-6 (cloth). £ 40.00 / US$ 65.00.

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 8 (1): 141 – Oct 25, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10146
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The dust-jacket to this book proclaims: He [Phillipson] offers a fresh view of the processes which gave rise to this unique African culture as well as the most detailed treatment of the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela World Heritage Site ever published. Abundantly illustrated, filled with original insights, and incorporating new chronological findings, this book will be of enormous interest to a wide international circle of students, scholars and travellers. These are impressive claims and on opening the book the reader wonders how the varying levels of knowledge of the intended readership will be reconciled, but nevertheless one presumes that this will be a helpful reference at least for those of us who work in related fields and would like to be aware of comparative material and may act as a guidebook for the well-read amateur archaeologist. Alas, this is not the case; by aiming the book at such a wide audience Phillipson seems unsure as to whether he was aiming at the specialist market or producing a coffee-table book. One thing is undeniable; this is a gorgeously produced volume, lavishly illustrated with outstandingly beautiful colour photographs that could surely grace the brochures of a travel agent or a

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2010

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