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The Complete Pyramids: Solving the Ancient Mysteries (The Complete Series) Paperback – April 28, 2008


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The Complete Pyramids: Solving the Ancient Mysteries (The Complete Series) + Ancient Egypt: An Introduction + Ancient Lives New Discoveries: Eight Mummies, Eight Stories
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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Series
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (April 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500285470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500285473
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Lehner is Research Associate at The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, and the Harvard Semitic Museum. He has been Director of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project since 1984.

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Customer Reviews

Very good book on the Pyramids that covers what you want to know!
John Trussell
A great reference work and printed on glossy paper that holds small details in photographs well.
K. Sloper
Like its author, this book is completely devoted to the Pyramids of Egypt.
Don Holeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bulger on October 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"The Complete Pyramids" is a gorgeous book, resplendent with photographs, diagrams and computer-generated images, and serves well as a near-comprehensive reference work on the pyramids of Egypt (that is, _all_ of them, not simply the Giza complex) for the layperson. The writing is less than inspiring but still serviceable, and the presentation will most definitely satisfy the "USA Today"-style at-a-glance needs of many people. For example, Lehner includes a rendered-to-scale figure of all of the pyramids of Egypt in cross-section, to give an idea of the chronology and scope of pyramid-building throughout Egyptian history. As a compendium of the conclusions and currently predominant ideas of modern Egyptology, this book probably has few peers.
Lehner often fails, however, to convey a real sense of the methodology involved in reaching these conclusions. Too often, we are told of the likely functions of specific features of the pyramids or their surrounding complexes without being told of the basis by which Egyptologists assign these functions. One notable exception to this is Lehner's treatment of recent attempts to elucidate the methods by which the pyramids were built. Perhaps this is due to Lehner's direct participation in such projects, but the relative care taken to explain the current state of knowledge regarding ancient Egyptian pyramid-building techniques stands in contrast to the lack of explication given to far too many other subjects. Thus, by comparison Paul Jordan's "Riddles of the Sphinx" is a superior work in this regard, if less focused on the pyramids.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Don Holeman on October 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Like its author, this book is completely devoted to the Pyramids of Egypt. The major premise - that the archaeological record bears witness to an evolution of pyramid design, construction and function from beginning to end of the Pyramid Age - is demonstrated brilliantly and completely. It explains without exhausting the religious significance of the conceptual Pyramid Complex, then concentrates on the `brick and mortar' aspects of its subject. An informative review of explorations at the pyramid sites throughout the ages is equally as interesting as the detailed descriptions of the pyramids themselves that follows in a section fittingly titled "The Whole Pyramid Catalogue". This catalogue, comprising fully half the volume, is a description of each individual Egyptian Pyramid Complex presented (chronologically) with such clarity of detail that it dispels all ambiguity created by several lifetimes of sensationalist and speculative journalism surrounding its subject. In its latter pages the author discusses the role of the Pyramid Complex as administrative center and landlord in later antiquity, and gracefully addresses the more controversial of topics, including the ubiquitous "how did they do it" question, along with his own speculations on some unanswered sociological questions - the size of the work force and logistics. Quite reasoned and well-informed estimates lead him to conclusions that will in their own right prove controversial. One notable unintended consequence of this volume is that many artifacts, presented elsewhere as "Art", assume their appropriate contextual venue and so now hold much more meaning for this reader. The Narmer Palate as declarative stellae in a walled courtyard at Nekhen is one example, the gilded yet austere canopied boudoir of Hetepheres is another.Read more ›
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mr P. J. Ruane on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books on the pyramids, many of the alien/atlantis ilk and these were always high on theory and very low on facts. This book however was exceptional because it present facts, diagrams, site plans, cross sections and measurements and entire histories and photographs, of just about every pyramid in Egypt, which comes to about 70. There are no fanciful theories, just plain facts and information and plenty of it. It also gives a very useful section on the history of the discovery and excavations of the pyramid sites and like many of the previous reviewers, I too regret not having known about this book before I went to Egypt, as it would have been invaluable, and I think I would have visited several other sites, as a result.
I give this 5 stars, because although some extra information could have been provided, the amount of data that has been included far surpasses anything else available, and I feel that this should be reflected in the rating.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book is so accurate! An overview of each major pyramid, replete with detailed illustrations, as well as a lot about Egyptian religion and all the excavations and explorations. If you have this book, you need no other Pyramid book! Ever!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I concur with the review below. I wish that I had this book with me when I went to Giza and Memphis. The pictures and text are beyond praise. Just an excellent resource for anyone interested in the pyramids.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Broderick VINE VOICE on December 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The book delivers on what it promises. The text is intriguing and informative, and the photography is excellent. Not only does it cover the pyramids most familiar to the layman, but it also extends to the lesser-known (and less durable) Egyptian pyramids, as well as giving coverage of the efforts in Nubia to copy the Egyptian work with smaller pyramids. The level of detail was just right for a fascinated non-archeologist such as myself.
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