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Pyramid Quest: Secrets of the Great Pyramid and the Dawn of Civilization Hardcover – June 2, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (June 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585424056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585424054
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Traditionally, scientists and other scholars have argued that Egyptians constructed the Great Pyramid in one remarkable burst of activity during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu (2551—2528 B.C.). Drawing on archeological and scientific scholarship in their third collaboration, geologist Schoch and writer McNally challenge this view and conclude that the foundation of the edifice can be traced to the earliest Egyptian empires, as far back as 7000–5000 B.C. Among their assertions are that the Great Pyramid may not have been a tomb (no mummy has ever been found inside), but served other cultic and mythological purposes, with both the external and internal areas serving different roles in different eras; between 1500 and 500 B.C., for instance, the pyramid was probably used for ritual training and initiation. Schoch devotes more than a third of the book to appendixes that provide details on such topics as the pyramid's external dimensions, its passages and chambers, and the dating of the structure. Although the book will be controversial for some, it contains such a wealth of information about ancient Egypt and the science of the construction of the pyramids that it may be the only guide to the Great Pyramid most readers will ever need. B&w illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Robert M. Schoch, a full-time faculty member at the College of General Studies at Boston University since 1984, earned his Ph.D. in geology and geophysics at Yale University. Dr. Schoch has been quoted extensively in the media for his work on the Sphinx, and he was featured on the Emmy-winning documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, hosted by Charlton Heston.
Robert Aquinas McNally is the author of numerous books, and is a classically educated writer and poet.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I'm not sure that I believe all of his conclusions, but he makes very compelling cases.
F S Frederick
As a general overview of the writings and thought poured forth on this enigmatic monument, this book alone is well worth reading.
Konrad Baumeister
From that moment of realization Dr. Schoch has continuously searched and furthered his interests and curiosities.
Colette Dowell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Colette Dowell on July 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Pyramid Quest:Secrets of the Great Pyramid

and the Dawn of Civilization

by Dr. Robert M. Schoch

TARCHER/PENGUIN June 2005

ISBN: 1585424056

Review by

Dr. Colette M. Dowell

Egypt with her Sphinx, Pyramids and Temples has been revered as the cradle of civilization and her Ancient Wisdom teachings have long been sought for their secrets and mysteries. Throughout millenniums the Great Pyramid of `Khufu' has been acknowledged as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and recognized as the last to remain. Its location situated on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile claims yet another great monumental sculpture known as the Great Sphinx attributed to the Old Kingdom's 4th Dynasty, while Pharaoh Khafre was in reign

c. 2500 B.C. The Pharaoh Khafre is thought to be the son of the Pharaoh Khufu.

Many people have come to Egypt to take her land, treasures and ancient knowledge of science, wisdom and culture. Some have come, as nations conquering her for her plentiful-ness and glory at the same time destroying that which they were trying to possess. Others have come to acquire and understand the mystique of Pharaonic and Ancient Egyptian philosophy. One man has journalized his quest of seeking answers to questions, riddles and thoughts and has written a book on what he and others have discovered and theorized upon. This man is a geologist named Dr. Robert M. Schoch. His latest book outlining these new discoveries and theories is appropriately titled Pyramid Quest.

Schoch is first known for his collaborative work with Egyptologist John Anthony West in the early 1990s concerning the re-dating of the Great Sphinx to an earlier date, prior to c. 2500 B.C.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MJ on November 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
THis is the best book I own showing the chambers and general blueprint of the great pyramids. It is a wonderful book to keep on the coffee table!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Gibbs on February 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thoroughly captivating read. My only gripe is that the font is so small as to be uncomfortable to read, and half the book is appendices - published in an even tinier font. Presumably, this was done to keep the cost of the book as low as possible, but it's counter-productive IMO. Less hardy readers might soon give up on it, which would be a misfortune as this is a worthy book. Essentially, a scholarly presentation with a lot of dry detail and mathematical formulae, the author's purpose is to challenge conventional scholarship using their own methodology against them. The results are impressive. He apparently proves that the Sphinx was built thousands of years before the generally accepted date, and thus a highly developed civilization existed eons before the so-called beginning of recorded history around 3000BCE. He considers the significance of the pyramids and Egyptian culture on Western esoteric lore and mysticism, and though he implies a continuous thread of ancient secret knowledge has been kept alive, like the rest of us, he hasn't quite managed to figure it all out yet.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sailorman on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another of a series of similar books that I have read from the "alternative camp", or those researchers and authors like Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, and John Anthony West whose views and theories on the age and origin of the sphinx, and the pyramids, differ from the orthodox view of most Egyptologists. Their basic position is that the sphinx and possibly the pyramids, are ancient; far more ancient than is commonly accepted by the scientific community, and that the sphinx and the pyramids are the product of an ancient and lost civilization far more advanced than the Egyptians.

Schock is a geologist and Ph.D. who was brought to Giza by John Anthony West and who together with West rocked the scientific community in the 1990's by dating the sphinx to as old as 10,500 B.C. by studying the damage to the sphinx's body and the sphinx enclosure and theorizing that it was caused by water erosion during a time some 7,000 years ago when the Nile valley received copious amounts of rainfall.

McNally is a writer and a poet with an interest in ancient civilizations. Together they present an intriguing and captivating view of the "alternative camp" on prehistoric cultured societies; the age of the Giza plateau; its builders; mathematical constants such as pi and phi, as well as other secret knowledge, built into the pyramids; the celestial alignments of the pyramids, the great pyramid in particular; and the science of the construction of the pyramids. Almost a third of the book is appendixes intended to support this view and go into detail on the pyramid's internal and external dimensions, dimension ratios, geometry, and trigonometry. They trace the foundation of the Great pyramid to an Egyptian sacred site 7,000 B.C.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Baumeister VINE VOICE on December 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After his careful and penetrating examination of the erosion and age-wear on the Sphinx, Robert Schoch, a geologist by trade, is back and studying the riddle of the Great Pyramid.

The construction of the Great Pyramid is generally attributed to Khufu, of the Fourth Dynasty, and Schoch looks at all available evidence to prove or refute this hypothesis. He presents, in a fair and balanced way, arguments made by researchers, scientists, adventurers, and cranks, about the age, function, construction methods and overall meaning of the Great Pyramids, and the Giza complex in general. As a general overview of the writings and thought poured forth on this enigmatic monument, this book alone is well worth reading.

It is usually assumed that the Great Pyramid was built as one single construction project, but Schoch gives us a number of persuasive reasons to believe this may not have been the case. For starters, the Egyptians were constantly revising and rebuilding their various structures in other locations; and there is ample reason for having built up structures at this site which had specific functions as religious sites, astronomical observatories, and the like, which need not necessarily have ended up in the form they have now taken. In the end, this is Schoch's general premise.

Along the way, however, we are treated to careful analysis and layout of various aspects of the pyramid, including its significance as an astrological tracking device (simultaneously locking at least part of its construction date in about a thousand years prior to Khufu's reign); its encompassing the concepts of pi and phi; its almost unbelievable engineering precision; and much more.
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