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The Great Pyramid: Ancient Egypt Revisited

The Great Pyramid: Ancient Egypt Revisited

Hardback

By (author) John Romer

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 586 pages
  • Dimensions: 196mm x 246mm x 36mm | 1,778g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521871662
  • ISBN 13: 9780521871662
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 194 b/w illus. 40 colour illus.
  • Sales rank: 383,337

Product description

The Great Pyramid's eerily precise architecture has for centuries both astounded and puzzled archaeologists and has given rise to numerous modern fantasies concerning the so-called 'Mystery of the Pyramids'. Sweeping away centuries of myth and confusion, John Romer describes for the first time exactly how the Great Pyramid was designed and built. He argues that the pyramid makers worked from a single plan whose existence has long been doubted and even denied by scholars. Moreover, the Great Pyramid's unique architecture is integral to the way it was built, and for its builders the tasks of construction and design were not separate as they are now. By placing this awesome monument in its genuine contemporary context, this book underlines the extraordinary talents and the originality of the ancient Egyptians at the time of King Khufu.

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Author information

John Romer has worked as an archaeologist in Egypt over four decades.

Review quote

'If you read only one pyramid book this year, read archaeologist Romer's, a winner both in size and in substance. Romer does a fabulous job of breaking down our preconceived notions of the Great Pyramid. He re-examines all the old ideas, myths, and legends and washes away years of misinterpretation and misinformation ... Highly recommended.' Melissa Aho, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota 'John Romer's book on the Great Pyramid does justice to one of the wonders of the world. I write that as someone who has spent several years working around the pyramid, following the work of the American archaeologist, George Reisner. Romer's study is of great interest and wonderful reading, and it should appeal to those with an amateur interest in ancient Egypt as much as to the professional Egyptologist.' William Kelly Simpson, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, Yale University 'A vast amount has been published on the pyramids, but this book offers a refreshing and distinctive approach based on sound scholarship and written in a style that often strikes a spark in the reader's imagination. One comes away reminded what an astonishing building the Great Pyramid is ...' Barry Kemp, Professor of Egyptology, University of Cambridge 'This elegantly-written book manages to achieve the balancing act of focusing in some detail on the specific aspects of the nature, construction and functioning of the Great Pyramid, but also illuminating many aspects of Old Kingdom Egypt and ancient cultures generally. It brings to a wide audience the latest information on a venerable topic that still has a surprising amount of life and energy in it. Perhaps the greatest praise is that I would have been extremely pleased to have written it myself!' Ian Shaw, Senior Lecturer in Egyptology, University of Liverpool The Great Pyramid is awe-inspiring: the book expresses Romer's awe for the pyramid, and instills it deep within the reader. Romer realizes for the reader the complexities of inventing the ideal pyramid, such as evidence for the plans of the pyramid, drawn at a one-to-one scale on the ground surface at the Giza plateau. Throughout, Romer's writing is impassioned ... The Great Pyramid is a book I plan on revisiting many times in the future. The many many photographs, the depth of information and the writing style make this a perfect companion for people, like me, distant admirers of the Egyptian pyramids, seen floating in a desert mirage in our imaginations. K. Kris Hirst, About: Archaeology ' ... the book is a great mine of information on this stupendous structure, and is a refreshing change from the usual mess of fatuous speculation and conspiracy theory that forms the stock-in-trade of so many books claiming to explore the mysteries of the pyramids, and the Great Pyramid in particular. Aidan Dodson, BBC History Magazine 'If you want an excellent, comprehensive overview of both the history of the pyramids and the controversies that have surrounded these great wonders of the ancient world, then this is about as good as you can get.' Sydney Morning Herald ' ... a detailed yet highly readable account of what is known not only about Cheop's monument, but the pyramids in general ... Romer has a clear eye for practicalities and a refreshing, irreverent style. He is an urbane one-off in a field dominated by earnest monographs or crackpot sensationalism. The early photographs, many of them giving a glimpse of the Great Pyramid before modern tourism, are another unique feature of this book.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'John Romer's The Great Pyramid is a detailed yet highly readable account...Romer has a clear eye for practicalities and a refreshing, irreverent style. He is an urbane one-off in a field dominated by earnest monographs or crackpot sensationalism. The early photographs, many of them giving a glimpse of the Great Pyramid before modern tourism, are another unique feature of this book.' Times Higher Education Supplement '... this is not just another book. Romer had produced a classic which does justice to the great structure. ...highly readable ...lucid writing. ... a must for any student of this unique structure.' CHS Newsletter '... an important addition to the Egyptological bookshelf. Its focus is firmly directed towards the construction of the pyramid and its greatest strengths lie in its treatment of stone working and technology and in the skilled way it embeds the construction of the pyramid within the social, economic and religious context from which it emerged.' Egyptian Archaeology

Table of contents

Part I. Visions of the Pyramid: 1. Introduction; 2. Making the mystery; 3. Surveying Giza; 4. Excavating Giza; 5. The pyramid's plan; 6. The pyramid's timetable; Part II. The Pyramid-Makers: The Ghosts in the Cemetery: 7. At the court of the King; 8. The adventures of the Vizier; 9. The new Egyptians; 10. The social contract; Part III. The People on the Plateau: 11. Working the stone; 12. The Giza quarry; 13. Fire and the pyramid; 14. Entrepot and accommodation; 15. The living city; 16. Coda: thinking with stone; Part IV. The Land and the Pyramid: 17. Prospecting Egypt; 18. Desert copper; 19. Aswan granite; 20. Tura limestone; 21. The river; 22. The Giza ramps; 23. Coda: the commanding landscape; Part V. The Great Inheritance: The First Pyramid: 24. The spirit and the tomb; 25. Mud to stone; 26. To make a pyramid; 27. Accommodating Djoser; Part VI. The Pyramids of Sneferu: 28. The Meidum pyramid; 29. The failed pyramid; 30. The jubilee pyramid; 31. The long journey of the spirit; 32. The dark interior; 33. Two last works; 34. Coda: the legacy; Part VII. Planning the Pyramid: 35. Choosing Giza; 36. Levelling the site; 37. The plan inside the pyramid; 38. The plan beside the pyramid; 39. Numbers; 40. Stars; 41. Coda: considering the architecture; Part VIII. Building the Pyramid: 42. In the beginning; 43. Setting the lines; 44. The miniature shafts; 45. The grand gallery; 46. The burial chamber; 47. To the top; 48. After the pyramid; 49. The rites of death; 50. Coda: after Khufu; 51. Stone; 52. Spirit.