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Gods, Graves & Scholars: The Story of Archaeology Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0394743196 ISBN-10: 0394743199 Edition: 2 Revised
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

From the Inside Flap

C.W. Ceram visualized archeology as a wonderful combination of high adventure, romance, history and scholarship, and this book, a chronicle of man's search for his past, reads like a dramatic narrative. We travel with Heinrich Schliemann as, defying the ridicule of the learned world, he actually unearths the remains of the ancient city of Troy. We share the excitement of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter as they first glimpse the riches of Tutankhamen's tomb, of George Smith when he found the ancient clay tablets that contained the records of the Biblical Flood. We rediscover the ruined splendors of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient wold; of Chichen Itza, the abandoned pyramids of the Maya: and the legendary Labyrinth of tile Minotaur in Crete. Here is much of the history of civilization and the stories of the men who rediscovered it.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 2 Revised edition (July 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394743199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394743196
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on August 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book was first published in 1949. Fifty years of new archeological discoveries and theories had elapsed.
Nevertheless it stands, undiminished, as magnificent introduction to Archeology and the Worlds of the Past: Egypt, Sumeria, Greece and Yucatan.

Mr. Ceram (pen name of the author) writes passionately about his subject.
The reader starts a discovery travel going along with amazing characters: with Schliemann in his search of Troy; with Champollion in search of the key for reading Egyptian hieroglyphs; with Carter and Howard for the unearthing of Tutankhamen's tomb. The list continues jumping from one era to other; from one continent to a different and distant one. They constitute a heterogeneous bunch united by a burning desire for knowledge, wild imagination and undaunted persistence to make their dreams real.

I first read this work when I was seventeen and discovering Europe. It helped me a lot to understand and appreciate the archeological treasures of European museums and sites.
It also instilled in me an unstoppable desire to "be there". In my adult years, I was fortunate to visit some of those places and always before starting a journey I went back to reread "Gods, Graves and Scholars".

One more feature: at the end of the book you will find useful chronologies, maps and genealogic charts, which will aid the reader to visualize easily the events described.

A book to enjoy and start a romance with the origins of our culture.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "jay0987654321" on December 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best books I ever read. Reading it with 14 for the first time I didn't know very much about archeology. Through this book I got so interested in Archeology that I read many more books about ancient Crete, Egytpt, Greece, Sumer, and the Mexican civilizations. Although anyone who really is looking for exact facts can easily find them, it is not just a simple heap of facts. Its purpose was never to be a sober school book, but Ceram himself wrote that it is intended to be a "novel of archeology that shows the suspence in reality, but lets imagination sparkle". Masterfully written this book pays it's respect not only to the masterfinds but also to the masterminds of archeology. This book will open anyone's mind to appreciate this fascinating science.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Eyon on June 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If there's an archeologist inside you struggling to get out, here's an inspiring book.

This is an old book and much has happened in the field since its publication, but since this book presents the stories behind past archeological discoveries, that is not a crucial weakness.

It's great strength is the writing. Author C.W. Ceram (actually German journalist Kurt Wilhelm Marek) has a knack for turning drudgery into the sort of adventure that stirs the romantic dreamer in us. An intellectual's idea of adventure.

I haven't been the same since I first read it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By RAY L ROBINSON on March 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I highly enjoyed this book. I have gone through three paperbacks of it and finally broke down and bought my hard copy. I've reread this great book numerous times, and I swear it gets better with every rereading. NOTE: A great companion to this volume is Ceram's "The First American," which covers the story of NORTH AMERICAN archeaology and is every bit as exciting to read as is "God's, Graves, and Scholars." (For instance, did you know that North America also has mummies!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book was first published in 1953. More than fifty years of new archeological discoveries and theories had elapsed.

Nevertheless it stands, undiminished, as magnificent introduction to Archeology and the Worlds of the Past: Egypt, Sumeria, Greece and Yucatan.

Mr. Ceram (pen name of the author) writes passionately about his subject.

The reader starts a discovery travel going along with amazing characters: Schliemann in his search of Troy; with Champollion in search of the key for reading Egyptian hieroglyphs; with Carter and Howard for the unearthing of Tutankhamen's tomb. The list continues jumping from one era to other; from one continent to a different and distant one. They constitute a heterogeneous bunch united by a burning desire for knowledge, wild imagination and undaunted persistence to make their dreams real.

I first read this work when I was seventeen and discovering Europe. It helped me a lot to understand and appreciate the archeological treasures of European museums and sites.

It also instilled in me an unstoppable desire to "be there". In my adult years, I was fortunate to visit some of those places and always before starting a journey I went back to reread "Gods, Tombs and Scholars".

One more feature: at the end of the book you will find useful chronologies, maps and genealogic charts, which will aid the reader to visualize easily the events described.

A book to enjoy and start a romance with the origins of our culture.

Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Adelie on September 6, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first stumbled across this book in my parents' bookcase in the '50s. Now I'm in MY 50s and I still remember the thrill I felt reading about Schliemann's discovery of Troy, the translation of the Rosetta Stone...
This book presents fascinating information in an interesting, but never sensationalized, way that grabbed this pre-teen and hasn't let go yet. I reread it every few years and always find new goodies. And because of it, a trip to Troy has been on my dream list for the past 35 years. Someday I will see what I've been reading about so avidly all these years... Homer came alive for me in high school because of what I had learned from Ceram.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone with any interest at all in the ancient world - you'll be hooked, even as I was!
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