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The rich and extensive floodplain of the River Nile can claim to be the cradle of one of the earliest and most spectacular civilizations of antiquity. Ancient Egypt: A Social History, first published in 1983, presents an innovative perspective on the ancient societies which flourished in the Nile Valley from the Predynastic period to the conquest by Alexander the Great. From the introduction of a subsistence economy through the establishment of the first agricultural communities to the development of urban centres and the political state, this volume traces the process of political, social and economic change. The emphasis on the social and economic aspects of Egyptian society and the integration of archaeological and historical data mark a new departure in Egyptian studies.