From the Publisher
"A vast amount has been published on the pyramids, but this book offers a refreshing and distinctive approach based on sound scholarship and written in a style that often strikes a spark in the reader's imagination. One comes away reminded what an astonishing building the Great Pyramid is, out on its own in the realm of ancient Egyptian architecture, and therefore something that does not fit into the generalizations that we tend to seek." Barry Kemp, Professor of Egyptology, University of Cambridge and author of Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization
"If you read only one pyramid book this year, read archaeologist Romer's, a winner both in size and in substance. Romer (Ancient Lives: The Story of the Pharaoh's Tombmakers) does a fabulous job of breaking down our preconceived notions of the Great Pyramid (completed c.2500 B.C.E.). He reexamines all the old ideas, myths, and legends and washes away years of misinterpretation and misinformation. For example, he reassesses the scarce evidence about King Khufu (a.k.a. Cheops to the Greeks) and presents a revised profile of the pyramid workers' lives, families, and culture. He delves into the Great Pyramid's plan (he stipulates that there was one consistent plan throughout its building), materials, construction, shafts, ramps, burial chamber, and grand gallery. Scholarly yet written for a general audience, this title will be coveted in all public and academic libraries. Highly recommended."
Melissa Aho, Metropolitan State Univ., St. Paul, MN, Library Journal
"Compellingly written and judiciously illustrated, this authoritative book will appeal to both scholars and the general public. Highly recommended." Choice
The largest and most precise stone building in the world and a feat of Bronze Age technology, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 2478 B.C. in the reign of King Khufu. But how did the Great Pyramid's makers go about their daily work? what were their timetables, their ambitions? Transposing to Giza some known facts about the building rates of the Red Pyramid during the reign of Khufu's father, Sneferu, archeologist Romer (Great Excavations) concludes that it would have taken 14 years to build the Great Pyramid and that a nationwide workforce of around 21,000 was employed during the first year of construction and almost half that number as it approached completion. Taking traditional Egyptologists to task, Romer warns readers against swallowing the "myth" that the Great Pyramid was built by a mindless rural labor force kidnapped from distant villages and enslaved by a bureaucracy governed by talented noblemen. Instead, he posits that the workers were intelligent and inventive. Moreover, the author believes that the builders worked from a single construction plan, a "hidden logic" denied by many scholars but that he claims he alone has recovered. Romer is a bracing writer with attitude to spare, yet highly technical data render this volume more suitable to architects than lay readers. Illus. (Apr.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.