Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 14, 2013.

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A pocket reference for the punctual archaeologist.

UPDATES:
  • STRETCH GOAL #2 CLEAR! (free library books!) MORE LIBRARY BOOKS AT $20K! CALENDAR MOBILE APP AT $40K! Eight hours to go... SPREAD THE WORD.

    This project will also be Kicking It Forward (www.kickingitforward.org)

(Video transcript follows due to lack of closed caption)

Do you know where our modern calendar comes from? Did you know that it’s older than Europe, Rome, or even Greece?

A long time ago, in a trireme far away....

Julius Caesar (the Ides of March guy) went to Egypt. He brought back more than Cleopatra and a huge diplomatic headache. He brought back the Julian calendar. Thanks to Pope Gregory the Thirteenth, we don’t use Caesar’s Egyptian calendar anymore. But the Gregorian calendar we do use, is based on it. So our modern calendar…comes from the ancient Egyptian calendar!

What do we know about that ancient calendar?

Lots, as it turns out. It was inscribed on the walls of temples and tombs, and written down in scrolls. And it was created with SCIENCE! Astronomer priests kept track of the movements of stars and planets, and marked out holidays according to those observations.

The ancient Egyptian calendar has all kinds of cool holidays. In addition to days we recognize, like New Year’s, there are things like:

  • The feast of the Beautiful Reunion, Horus and Hathor’s wedding anniversary
  • The Mysteries of Osiris
  • The Day of the Executioners of Sekhmet
  • The Transformations of the Phoenix
  • Isis Luminous, and holidays that sound unusual to us, like
  • Jubilation in the Entire Land, or 
  • The Day of Chewing Onions for Bast.

They aren’t that weird. Our calendar has plenty of strange days. How about 

  • Black Friday, or 
  • Pi Day, or
  • The day another video game cleared five million dollars on Kickstarter, or
  • Talk like a Pirate Day, or 
  • the day Skynet becomes aware?

And there are similarities! In fact, I can confidently state that both calendars have a Day of the Jackal.

Who am I, and why am I on Kickstarter?

My name is Tamara Siuda. I’m an Egyptologist. (Yes, I’ve even played one on TV.) I’ve been translating hieroglyphs, teaching, and writing about ancient Egyptians for two decades. A few years ago, I published The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook. It includes translations of prayers, hymns, and magical incantations from Egypt’s pharaonic times. It also includes a very basic ancient calendar, because there wasn’t room for all my research.

I’d like to give that calendar some more attention. With your help, I can publish The Ancient Egyptian Daybook. This Daybook will include all my research into ancient Egypt’s calendar. It will also include an optional blank perpetual calendar in a journal or planner format, so you can keep track of these holidays today, if you want!

My Kickstarter project aims to raise necessary funds to design and publish the Daybook. One of the first things I’d like to do is hire an illustrator. (Believe me. You don’t want to see my silly Egyptian drawings.) With the help of people with actual artistic talent, the Daybook and its companion journal will be published in print and e-book formats.

30 Days to the Day of Reckoning

This is Kickstarter. Projects that don’t make their goals don’t get funded. So there’s no risk to you if my goal isn’t met. But if my goal is met, or exceeded, we can do great things.

My goal of $3,000 toward illustration and editing, design, printing, and distribution for the Ancient Egyptian Daybook and journal is fairly modest. Just think of it on a daily basis. (Sorry. Calendar joke.) All joking aside, that’s only $100 a day over the campaign’s 30-day window. I’m confident that with your help, I can meet my goal, and that by the end of this year (December 2013), or perhaps earlier, The Ancient Egyptian Daybook will be available. (UPDATE: Since we've made our original 3k goal AND our first stretch goal (10K) AND our second stretch goal (15K), check out Update #3 for information on the ultimate stretch goal (calendar app at 40K)! Note also that total funds raised will be deducted by 8-10% in charges we must set aside for Kickstarter and Amazon Payments fees.)

Please help me make today the day my dream becomes reality with a Kickstarter pledge of any amount. Thanks for your consideration, and thanks for watching my video. Now, I’ve checked the calendar, and it’s time to get this campaign going! And maybe I need to buy some more onions....when’s that holiday again?

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Most of the research for this project is already done. I've been researching and working on ancient Egyptian calendar prototypes for 20 years now. What remains is to add some new dating material from books that weren't accessible to me before this year, and then to organize everything so it can be designed and produced in print format.

Potentially there could be issues if the illustrator(s) need more than 8 months to finish their work, or if we run into printing issues with the perpetual calendar (I'd like to do that one as a spiral-bound book, so it's portable and can be used like a daily planner. These have higher production values and, sometimes, more can go wrong). However, I think the deadline is doable considering that the actual work of writing the Daybook is between 70-80% complete, and the bulk of what remains is design and production.

Stretch goals (if we have any) will have their own challenges and requirements, and I'll update those as they happen.

I pledge to keep regular updates to Kickstarter backers on the progress of the book.

FAQ

  • First of all, thank you all so very much for your support! I had no idea this would be funded so quickly. I'm completely stunned - and very grateful. With the goal met, we can consider "stretch goals" in the form of additional content, other options, and anything my backers want to support, really! I'm open to your suggestions and interests. Feel free to contact me with your ideas!

    As of this evening, I'm talking with some people about realistic financial requirements for an iPhone and Android app that will let you take the calendar with you on the go. I've also had a suggestion for a coil-bound format in addition to paperback and hardbound formats already offered, and I'll be pricing that option too. Watch this page for more updates very soon! And thank you, again, or as they say in ancient Egypt, Dua Netjer enten (I thank God for you).

    Last updated:
  • Amazing! We've made $10k in pledges. Thank you all so very, very much for supporting this project!

    An additional option with a coil-bound format ("Uraeus" level backer reward, $35+), has been added.

    Also, ALL REWARDS that currently include a hardcover version will be given the option of swapping the hardcover out for a coil-bound version if they choose.

    If you've already pledged, don't worry. You can log in to your Kickstarter account and update your pledge rewards at any time until the project funding phase ends on March 14th.

    Last updated:
  • A "stretch goal" is an informal goal, after we've made our first important goal. If we reach a stretch goal, or multiple stretch goals, it will permit the project to grow or add new options. For the Ancient Egyptian Daybook project, we're working on three stretch goals:

    At $10,000, I will add backer options for a high-quality, coil-bound printed format. (ACHIEVED MARCH 6, 2013) This will be designed so that the calendar book and accompanying day planner will lay flat when you use them.

    At $20,000 (LOWERED TO 15,000 MARCH 13), I will give away 50 copies of the paperback Daybook to 50 libraries of your choosing (or mine if you don't choose enough of them!) Free books so people can read them! Ancient Egypt for everybody.

    At $40,000, I will create a calendar mobile app for iPhone and Android platforms. It will let you calculate and use your ancient Egyptian calendar, synched up with the modern one, on the go.

    Last updated:
  • After several days of getting quotes and talking to various people who program mobile apps, we decided on a 40k stretch goal to create the Ancient Egyptian Daybook in a fully interactive app for iPhone and Android devices. While we could do a simple app (read: a literal copy of the book, like an e-book but with flashy buttons and sliders) for less money, ultimately I'd love to recreate the ancient Egyptian calendar itself, along with the tools needed to calculate it, for the app.

    The app I envision would permit you to either enter an arbitrary New Year date, or calculate one for your geographical location. That would involve both GPS and the ability to check how Sothis (Sirius for you astronomers) appears over your location, and when its heliacal rising occurs each year over that location. This is a crucial test for two of the four different ancient calendars, and is different even for the same physical location based on altitude, humidity, and other factors. Even calculating it by hand takes time and specific math.

    My programming contacts estimate it will take 480 hours to program an app with that sort of personalized, intricate calculating ability. Most programmers don't make minimum wage, and I do not wish to outsource this project to another country (read: ask someone fully capable to work for a tenth or less of what my fellow U.S. citizens would be paid) to get it done.

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  • Because of your incredible, unexpected response (thank you so much!), we've ended up with a number of different backer rewards. I'm not permitted to edit existing rewards. I can only add new ones, so I apologize for any confusion with similar rewards or tiers. Here's a quick cheat sheet.

    ALL REWARDS INCLUDE
    my deepest gratitude. Thank you so very much!

    PLEDGES OF $50+ INCLUDE
    Your name in the Daybook's acknowledgments, if you choose.

    PLEDGES OF $75+ INCLUDE
    Your choice to swap out the hardcover copy for a coil-bound/spiral bound copy if you choose, since we made our 10k stretch goal! I'll be asking for this information from these backers once the campaign is over.

    LOTUS ($1 or more)
    Personal thank-you email

    PAPYRUS ($5 or more)
    Thank-you postcard

    DIGITAL SCRIBE ($10 or more)
    Thank-you postcard and Daybook e-book

    SCRIBE ($25 or more)
    Thank-you postcard and Daybook paperback

    URAEUS ($35 or more)
    Thank-you postcard and Daybook as a coil-bound/spiral bound book

    NOMARCH ($50 or more)
    Thank-you postcard, Daybook e-book, and Daybook paperback (autographed)

    TWO LANDS ($60 or more)
    Thank-you postcard and two (2) Daybook paperbacks (autographed)

    QUEEN OF EGYPT ($75 or more)
    Thank-you postcard, Daybook e-book, and Daybook hardcover OR coil bound/spiral bound book (autographed)

    PHARAOH ($100 or more)
    Thank-you postcard, Daybook ebook, Daybook paperback (autographed), and Daybook hardcover OR coil-bound/spiral bound book (autographed)

    FOUR SONS OF HORUS ($150 or more) Thank-you postcard, Daybook ebook, Daybook paperback (autographed), Daybook hardcover (autographed), AND Daybook coil-bound/spiral bound book (autographed). (all four forms of the Daybook)

    PYRAMID BUILDER ($250 or more)
    Thank-you postcard, Daybook ebook, Daybook paperback (autographed), Daybook hardcover OR coil-bound/spiral bound book (autographed) and The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook in all 3 formats (ebook, paperback, and hardcover, all autographed)

    RAMSES ($1000 or more)
    Thank-you postcard, Daybook ebook, Daybook paperback (autographed), Daybook hardcover OR coil-bound/spiral bound book (autographed), The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook in all 3 formats (ebook, paperback, and hardcover, all autographed), AND I will come give a lecture on any ancient Egyptian topic you choose, free of charge in the continental US. (If you don't live in the US, I will come give that lecture internationally, with your help to cover my airfare after the first $500.)

    Contact me (or post in the comments section) with any questions.

    Last updated:
  • Thanks for the interest in the previous book! I've been getting lots of questions about it since it went up as a potential backer reward in the higher tiers.

    The Prayerbook's been in print for some years. You can get it in paperback, at any bookstore using its ISBN: 978-0-578-03071-5 . It's also available in a hardback form at Lulu, as an e-book via the iTunes bookstore (and in other formats via Lulu), and directly from the website http://www.egyptianprayers.com .

    Last updated:
  • Absolutely. The Ancient Egyptian Daybook will be publicly available shortly after we ship copies to our Kickstarter backers. Currently we expect that to be some time in December 2013.

    Last updated:
314
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    6 backers

    LOTUS: A thank-you in a personal email. Dua-Netjer enten!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    9 backers

    PAPYRUS: A thank-you in the form of a personal postcard of the kitschy Egyptian tourist variety. Dua-Netjer enten!

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    64 backers

    DIGITAL SCRIBE: A personal thank-you email and the Daybook in E-BOOK format.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    93 backers

    SCRIBE: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and the Daybook in PAPERBACK print format.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $35 or more
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    40 backers

    URAEUS: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and the Daybook in high-quality COIL BOUND (spiral bound) print format.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    34 backers

    NOMARCH: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and two copies of the Daybook: one in E-BOOK format and one in PAPERBACK print format (autographed). You will be named in the Daybook's acknowledgments.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $60 or more
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    3 backers

    TWO LANDS: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and TWO copies of the Daybook in PAPERBACK print format (both autographed, no e-book option). You will be named in the Daybook's acknowledgments.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    24 backers

    QUEEN OF EGYPT: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and two copies of the Daybook: one in E-BOOK format and one in HARDCOVER print format (autographed). You will be named in the Daybook's acknowledgments.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    21 backers

    PHARAOH: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and three copies of the Daybook: one in E-BOOK format, one in PAPERBACK print format (autographed), and one in HARDCOVER print format (autographed). You will be named in the Daybook's acknowledgments, and I will gladly recite your name to future generations.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $150 or more
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    8 backers

    FOUR SONS OF HORUS: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, and the Daybook in all four forms: one E-BOOK, one PAPERBACK (autographed), one HARDCOVER (autographed), and one COIL-BOUND/SPIRAL BOUND (autographed) copy. You will be named in the Daybook's acknowledgments, and I will gladly recite your name to future generations.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
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    4 backers

    PYRAMID BUILDER: A personal thank-you in the form of a kitschy Egyptian tourist postcard, three copies of the Daybook (one E-BOOK, one PAPERBACK, one HARDCOVER, all autographed). You'll also receive three copies of The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook (one E-BOOK, one PAPERBACK, one HARDCOVER, all autographed). You will be named in the Daybook's acknowledgments, and I will gladly recite your name to future generations.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    RAMSES: All the rewards included in the Pyramid Builder level, AND I will come and give a lecture on any topic related to ancient Egypt of your choosing, to any group of your choosing, in the continental US free of charge, sometime between now and May 2014. (Note: if you're backing from outside the USA, don't worry! I'll still come, and I'll cover the first $500 in related airfare, but will ask you to cover the rest).

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Funding period

- (30 days)