My sister is going on holiday to Egypt in a few days to do a Nile cruise. Of which I am quite jealous. Anyway, I was looking through bookshops today for books that she might like to have with her, and I decided that what she really needed was a field guide. A good field guide is a reference book and identification aid in one, and that’s just what you might want, going round the Valley of the Kings.
The format would be like the best bird guides, i.e. pictures on the right-hand page and the corresponding text on the left. But instead of the book being divided up into ‘pipits’, ‘waders’, ‘hawks’ and so on, it would be split into ‘sarcophagi’, ‘deities’, ‘columns’ or whatever. You could use it either in a museum or a site, just to give you a starting point for making sense of what you see.
I wonder if there are any other areas where the field guide idea would work well? It feels like an idea with legs, but I suspect there are only a limited number of things which are sufficiently visual and sufficiently easily classifiable for it to be helpful.