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ANCIENT LIVES


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 (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001VB8U9K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,283 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "ANCIENT LIVES" on IMDb

Special Features

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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.

BONUS FEATURES:
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

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 31 customer reviews
My VHS copy is quite worn as I have viewed these tapes many, many times.
Alain
Older students ready for a deeper exploration of Egyptian life, filled with rich detail will gobble up the wealth of knowledge that's found in Ancient Lives.
Jennifer Bogart
The image quality is quite good and, while there is some small hiss in the audio, the narration and music sound good.
B. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on September 20, 2009
Format: DVD
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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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Linda J. Barrett on 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 By Alain on September 1, 2009
Format: DVD
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 By maiden pa. on March 19, 2011
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 By Jennifer Bogart on January 15, 2010
Format: DVD
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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