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A pocket reference for the punctual archaeologist.
6/1/17 - shipping resuming. See updates for details.
6/1/17 - shipping resuming. See updates for details.
314 backers pledged $17,144 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Ancient Egyptian Daybook

$17,144

314

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

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    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 About $10

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

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

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

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    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.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    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.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    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.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    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.

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    24 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    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.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    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.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    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.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    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)