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John Romer , Peter Spry-Leverton  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

List Price: $49.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Romer
  • Directors: Peter Spry-Leverton
  • Producers: Peter Spry-Leverton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 205 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001VB8U9K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,706 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "ANCIENT LIVES" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Unlocking the mysteries of DAILY LIFE in ANCIENT EGYPT

How did ordinary Egyptians live in the time of the pharaohs? Renowned British Egyptologist John Romer explores the ruins of an ancient village just outside Thebes, where generations of craftsmen and artists built and decorated royal tombs. There, relics reveal the most intimate details of the people’s daily lives: their meals, their loves, their quarrels, and even their dreams.

Go inside the pharaohs’ most magnificent tombs and see astonishing art and priceless treasures. Meet the scribes, stonemasons, and high priests who presided over this city of the dead. Learn the secrets of the tomb raiders and the tricks devised to thwart them. This four-part series provides fascinating insights into a civilization now lost to the ages.

As seen on public television.

Pharaohs’ Liquid Gold, the quest to recreate ancient Egyptian beer
16-page viewer’s guide with maps, The Life of a Scribe, a history of Egyptian script, The Making of Ancient Lives by John Romer, and more.
Who’s Who among Egyptian Deities
Real-Life Indiana Joneses: Archaeologists of Ancient Egypt

One of the world’s foremost archaeologists, John Romer led the Brooklyn Museum’s expedition to excavate the tomb of Ramesses XI. Since 1979, he has served as president of the Theban Foundation, an organization for the preservation of Egyptian royal tombs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
ANCIENT LIVES is a DVD set that is not only educational, but it makes learning about the artists of Ancient Egyptian kings fun and inviting. By the time archaeologist John Romer completes his filming and explanations of the Egyptian artists and their life-style, you want to grab a pick and shovel and hop on the next plane to Thebes and the Nile River.

This 4 episode DVD set (205 minutes plus more on Bonus) is not about the Kings and their lives; but rather, this detailed documentary is about the people who lived generations, lifetimes, in the Workers' Village. These were the scribes, the artists, the carvers, and the craftsmen and their families that decorated the royal tombs and created the antiquities that get all the attention in other Egyptian stories. These were the laborers, the common folk, like you and me.

They not only left written documentation about the rulers, the these scribes also carefully carved their own stories and way of life into the rock walls and pieces of stone around Deir el Medina, the tomb-makers' village. They left their own mark and story among the hills around the valley of the kings, and the scribe's family history is as interesting, or in some ways with more relatedness, than that of Pharaohs, Queens, and their gold plated mummies.

Several royal tomb scribes, beginning with Ramose (1275 to 1241 BCE)provide enough data to follow them through their lives and discover how they lived, how they felt, what they admired, what they dreamed and who they loved. They left behind personal family correspondence, with historic footnotes. It's a textbook via DVD on the ANCIENT LIVES of these common workers, but extraordinary artists.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Lives Lives! November 2, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'll make this short and sweet ... this is the best DVD on ancient Egypt you will ever watch, let alone, own. No one can make the past come alive the way that John Romer is able to. He makes you feel as though you're being transported back in time ... walking among the ancients ... and it's pure magic. I watched the original series in the early 80s, owned it on VHS ... watching it over and over again until the tape would no longer play, and have been hoping that it would come out some day on DVD. I'm thrilled that my wait is finally over. Purchasing this is an early Christmas gift to myself and suggest you do the same. You won't regret it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Peek Into Daily Egyptian Life....3,000 Years Ago! September 1, 2009
By Alain
I had originally viewed this series when it was on A&E over 25 years ago!

John Romer is an excellent guide, as he takes you into the Cairo Museum to view the artifacts there. Food, utensils and tools that they used to garden and eat with.

This used to be available only on VHS tape. The cost was $250.00

I happened upon a copy at my local library and transferred it.

My VHS copy is quite worn as I have viewed these tapes many, many times.

I highly recommend this DVD. I like it so much that I'll probably buy it for myself!

Alain...San Diego
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this documentary years ago on PBS and had one episode on my vcr and lost the others.I like other people have yearned for this to be released and it finally is.John Romer is a very excellent author and truly exciting person to listen to.He brings this series alive the whole way through.He goes into the everyday lives and people of the village.Everthing from fights to drunken villagers out of control.He takes you on the everyday path the tomb builders went to work as well as explaining their lives and families.He wrote the book Ancient Lives which is also an excellent companion to this series.I never saw a documentary as great as this one on Ancient Egypt.If you think Zahi Hawass is good,this guy is even better.He takes you through the 4 part series from the great period of Ramesses II through the slow decline of the Egyptian Empire.It is a show I shall never forget.I own several of his books and I highly recommend them along with this DVD series.I only hope they put out the other Dvd series he did on Egypt.10 *******************************************
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Romer is Awesome! January 15, 2010
Ancient Lives is a documentary unlike any other I've watched. Viewing this passionately presented 200 plus minute voyage through the lives of a village of Egyptian tomb-makers living in the small village of Deir al Medina from approximately 1275 - 1080 B.C. is comparable to indulging in a vibrantly written biography as opposed to a committee-compiled, dry textbook.

John Romer is the driving force behind the series, his desire to conserve the great archeological sites in the Valley of the Kings leading him to present these Egyptians as people with rich thriving lives. Their love lives, family dramas, occupations, and so much more are explored with Romer as an expert guide. Watching Ancient Lives is like having a legitimate Egyptologist guiding you through museum exhibits, on-site hieroglyphics and tomb art, ruins, tombs, and so much more.

Part of the great charm of the series is seeing a man deeply immersed in his element and sharing his deep love for the subject matter with us as he moves through on-site explorations. We get to see Romer crawling up toppled statuary and searching through the Valley of the Kings for burial chambers that have yet to be discovered for example. Where else can you watch an Egyptologist finding himself stuck in possible tomb openings? (There are some occasional mild epithets in the series.)

Ancient Lives is generally acceptable viewing for all ages. Our children have watched the series with us and our oldest (six) finds it quite fascinating. It was much to our surprise when a scene entitled "Erotic Papyrus" in the scene index came on-screen. The graphic nature of what amounts to Egyptian pornography in the second episode is definitely outside the limits of general family viewing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars pleasant change
a very pleasant change from the usual documentary format. The historian has a very appealing down tone manner and his stories are fascinating. Quite a good series
Published 4 months ago by just me
5.0 out of 5 stars Decent transfer to DVD
The opening screen warns you that as this material was filmed years ago, it did not match modern film standards and may be noticeable on DVD playback. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Karl E. Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Egypt from the prospective of the artisans that built the tombs in the...
Romer is a master historian and story-teller. In this video he explores the lives of the ordinary people of ancient Egypt as they went about their lives building the royal tombs... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sonnenstadt
2.0 out of 5 stars This is informative, but far from entertaining.
If you enjoy reading textbooks then you will love this video. I purchased this to possibly show to my 6th graders as part of an Egyptian History Unit. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Daniel C. Bowcutt
5.0 out of 5 stars Romer is the Best!
I have read very book Romer has written. After reading Ancient Lives, PBS did a 4 part series on it in 1984 and I taped it on VHS. I watched it ocer 100 times. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Fred Pedemonti
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who loves ancient Egypt! Great! Never boring!
Excellent, educational, and a lot of fun. I wish I had Romer as a professor or tour guide. Now I want to go back to Egypt so bad.
Published 10 months ago by Robert Davis Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Love Egypt, This Is For You.
I have watched this so many times. I love it. John Romer is the best. His love and respect for the Egyptian people is so evident in this video series. Read more
Published 11 months ago by K. Dooley
5.0 out of 5 stars John Romer on Ancient Egypt
This is my favorite of all the tv shows I've ever seen about ancient Egypt. I looked for this on tape or dvd for years and could find only the book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Anita Barbour
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
Very interesting story, and the geography of the area was well explored. I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in the New Kingdom.
Published 14 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great primer for a trip to Egypt.
Saw these four shows on PBS in the 1980s before a trip to Egypt and it was a great introduction. John Romer is an Egyptologist and very entertaining. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Richard Meystre
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