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Voyages of the Pyramid Builders
     

Voyages of the Pyramid Builders

by Robert M. Schoch, Robert Aquinas McNally (With)
 

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Is it a mere coincidence that pyramids are found throughout our globe? Did cultures ranging across vast spaces in geography and time, such as the ancient Egyptians; early Bud-dhists; the Maya, Inca, Toltec, and Aztec civilizations of the Americas; the Celts of the British Isles; and even the Mississippi Indians of pre-Columbus Illinois, simply dream the same dreams

Overview

Is it a mere coincidence that pyramids are found throughout our globe? Did cultures ranging across vast spaces in geography and time, such as the ancient Egyptians; early Bud-dhists; the Maya, Inca, Toltec, and Aztec civilizations of the Americas; the Celts of the British Isles; and even the Mississippi Indians of pre-Columbus Illinois, simply dream the same dreams and envision the same structures?

Robert M. Schoch-one of the world's preeminent geologists in recasting the date of the building of the Great Sphinx-believes otherwise. In this dramatic and meticulously reasoned book, Schoch, like anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl in his classic Kon-Tiki, argues that ancient cultures traveled great distances by sea. Indeed, he believes that primeval sailors traveled from the Eastern continent, primarily Southeast Asia, and spread the idea of pyramids across the globe, particularly to the New World of the Americas where they abounded until the days of the Conquistadors.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The great pyramids of Egypt provide a wonderful glimpse of the artistry, skill and imagination of the ancient world. But pyramids can be found in India, China, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Ireland. In this provocative book, geologist Schoch (noted for his work in redating the Sphinx, which was recounted in his Voices of the Rocks) wonders how so many diverse cultures built such similar structures with similar purposes. Using geological, linguistic and geographical evidence, he contends that a protocivilization of pyramid-building peoples was driven out of its homeland, the Sundaland, which geologists believe connected Southeast Asia with Indonesia, by a rise in sea level caused by comet activity between 6000 and 4000 B.C. Fleeing their homeland, these peoples took their knowledge of pyramid building with them into Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Peru. Schoch hypothesizes that the pyramids were built to reach into the skies and to penetrate the mystery of the heavens, source of catastrophe. Schoch also asserts that the pyramids point to unity and symbolize the deep concerns shared by all humans. Schoch builds his engrossing case on geological details of the pyramid sites he has examined around the world. In the end, however, even he admits his evidence of a Sundaland protocivilization is speculative. As controversial as this book is bound to be, Schoch's evocation of the pyramids forcefully reminds us of their enduring power as monuments to the spirit of human creativity. 16 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With an assist from Robert Aquinas McNally, his coauthor for Voices of the Rocks (1999), but using the first person throughout, Schoch again asserts that the conventional view about the rise of civilization is both untimely and wrong. As before, Schoch (Mathematics and Science/Boston Univ.) also works initially from the Sphinx at Giza with its accompanying pyramids and other structures, citing rock types and weathering effects he interprets as proof that the great stone beast is up to 3.5 millennia older than most Egyptologists believe. Thus it predates the Mesopotamian civilization that according to academia predated the Egyptian. Schoch immediately proffers the notion that ancient pyramids—similar, not identical, to those built by the Sphinx-builders—are found in every continent on the globe except Australia and Antarctica. Some readers may sense the stuff of Sunday comics to follow, but the professor does not stoop. His case for the existence of prehistoric cultured societies with both the inclination and capability to spread their influence and hallmarks around the globe, including the Americas, is carefully crafted. Artifacts like Roman masons’ marks found on Mesoamerican stonework, cultural "coincidences" (e.g., both the Aztecs and ancient Chinese looked at the moon and saw a rabbit, not a man’s face), and even Old World plants and animals (mummified dogs in Peru resembling those of Egypt) have all been scientifically shown to predate the "first contact" voyages of Columbus. The presentation of this material is as entertaining as science-writing gets, and Schoch doesn’t shrink from debunking spurious "facts," whether they support his case or not. As for ocean barriers, the20th-century rafting and reed-boat adventures of, respectively, Kon-Tiki and Ra speak for themselves, he says. His theory that huge astronomical disasters like comets or meteor strikes provided the incentive for ancient mass migrations comes, however, as an extended anticlimax. Gee-whiz industriously wrapped in solid science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585423200
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/24/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

Meet 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.

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