This beautifully produced new paperback edition of "Silent Images" explores a puzzling contradiction: Despite the multitude of artifacts and texts that have come to us from ancient Egypt, much still remains obscure regarding the lives of women. Women were, from the historical perspective, silent - but how should this silence be interpreted? What was the reality of women's lives behind the standardized images? We know that their chief role in society as mothers and anchors of the family was honored and respected, although it meant a degree of segregation and, in most periods, excluded them from public office. Nevertheless, in law they were the equals of men and they could, and did, own property, which they administered and disposed of themselves.Zahi Hawass's book searches for a more realistic picture of women's lives in ancient Egypt. As well as reconsidering the evidence from tomb and temple, the author draws on unpublished material from his excavations at the workers' cemetery at Giza, which sheds light on the womenfolk of the workmen who built and maintained the pyramids. The text is complemented by lavish illustrations of places and objects, many made especially for this book.