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Mountains of the Pharaohs: The Untold Story of the Pyramid Builders
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Mountains of the Pharaohs: The Untold Story of the Pyramid Builders

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The great pyramids of Giza have intrigued humanity for thousands of years. Questions about the construction and the purpose of these majestic monuments have existed since the middle period of ancient Egyptian civilization, but recent cutting-edge research has uncovered information about how and why they were built. In Mountains of the Pharaohs, Zahi Hawass, a world-renowne ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Doubleday Religion
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Zahi Hawass is an important guy when it comes to Egyptology. He knows it, and he wants us to know it too.

He spends a great deal of time in Mountains of the Pharaohs dropping names, asserting his authority when it comes to the possible readings of the artefact record, and sharing anecdotes about his own finds and discoveries. Yet amidst all this self-aggrandizement is some excellent information, and a reassuring vision of how healthy the debate surrounding Egyptian finds continues to be within th
Dec 07, 2012 Cameron rated it liked it
If you like Egyptology, you will love this book. If you don't know what Egyptology means, you probably won't love this book. If you are like me, and you really want to like Egyptology but whenever you read anything about Egypt you feel as though your brain is being extracted through your naval cavity, who knows what you'll think of this book.

Mountains of the Pharaohs is interesting in that it endeavors to tell the whole story of how the Great Pyramids were built. It does this with minute detail
Jan 26, 2013 Banole rated it did not like it

Zahi Hawass has produced another rather sad and sorry book that attempts to transform the ancient African Negro cultures of the Nile Valley into the "Middle Eastern" culture of "Ancient Egypt".
Mr. Zahi Hawass has set for himself an impossible task.

In his mad and frantic flight from the black African realities of his "Ancient Egypt," Mr. Hawass has embraced an extreme form of out of date German Eurocentricism tinged with mod
May 09, 2008 Turi rated it liked it
Shelves: microhistory
A couple of years ago, I read Zahi Hawass's autobiography, Secrets From the Sand. It covered his career from his start in Egyptian archaeology to his current position as "Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities." I was impressed with his story, and his general outlook. (Unfortunately, I missed an opportunity to see a free lecture he did in Reno a few months ago. Mountains of the Pharaohs is his latest book. It serves as a general explanation of what is known, thought, and debated ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Georgene rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
While I really dislike Hawass when he struts across the screen during the many documentaries on ancient Egypt, I like him as an author.

There is so much more at the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt than just the pyramids themselves. As more and more research is coming to light, more is becoming known about not only the pyramids themselves, but also about the Pharaohs who ordered them built but more importantly about the people who worked on building them.

I've come to the conclusion that, unless a book a
Marcia Bennett
Sep 26, 2014 Marcia Bennett rated it it was ok
Did you know Hawass is a world-famous Egyptologist? Did you know he's responsible for some amazing archeological finds? Did you also know that he's so brilliant that he's discovered ruins completely by accident or after a heart attack? Well read this book and let him tell you! He sure likes to talk about himself!

The fictional narratives at the beginning of each book are the only reason I gave this two stars. They are riveting, but far too brief. He then tries to justify each narrative with the h
Russell Hall
Aug 18, 2011 Russell Hall rated it really liked it
Very Enjoyable. This short book was full of new and interesting information so often lost in the thousands of years between the pyramids and our civilization. He begins with the age of the pyramids and Djoser, then on to Snefru and the birth of the true pyramids. He then goes into detail of the construction of the Pyramids of Giza. A must read for any who love pyramids. Hawass has a frank manner of writing which I appreciate, especially his description of the museum holding Khufu's boat as ugly. ...more
Liz De Coster
Apr 02, 2009 Liz De Coster rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, history
I found this book to be uneven. The author didn't shy away from using technical terms, and conveyed a good deal of historical information, but the writing was too informal for my tastes. I had a hard time distinguishing the author's opinions from the rest of the text, and at times the book seemed to be written for a middle-school audience, with asides such as, "Just imagine what an energetic man he was!"
Andrew Matheson
Jul 01, 2015 Andrew Matheson rated it it was ok
While I am very interested in the history of the Pharaohs and how the pyramids were built, the book was really hard to follow. The problem for me was a lack of diagrams. The author spent a lot of time explaining features and locations of each find, but you had to try to piece it together in your head. It reads like he was giving a tour but, without the visuals, you are lost. Could be interesting if they added some diagrams or photos of what he is attempting to describe.
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Feb 28, 2008 Michelle (In Libris Veritas) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
As someone who is very intrigued by the ancient Egyptian lifestyle and the archeology of it's ruins, this book was definitely worth reading. It gives insight as to how not only the pharaohs of the time but the pyramid builders lived and worked. Mr. Hawass did an outstanding job in giving details on every aspect he could.
David R.
Jun 18, 2015 David R. rated it really liked it
Hawass does a fine job portraying the Egypt of the 4th Dynasty, that responsible for the great pyramids. He imagines the royals, the builders and the laborers. There's ample and lucid material on the pyramids themselves, the lives of people in the shadow of the pyramids, as it were, and a refreshing lack of "ancient alien" style nonsense.
Jan 21, 2015 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: history, archaeology
This was a very interesting book about the Giza pyramids, written by a controversial figure in Egypt today. I was predisposed not to like him from the start. But It was not the pompous book I thought it would be. I find it difficult to understand, however, that not one map was included in the book. Also, Hawass could have included a view more relevant illustrations.
Apr 18, 2010 Leigh rated it really liked it
A lot of detail about the kings and queen and dynasties, all of it interesting but a lot to absorb. I found most intriguing the parts about the lives of the ordinary people who built the extraordinary pyramids. Apparently they were not slaves, as is commonly assumed.
Aug 11, 2011 Mark added it
Shelves: egyptology
A solid, readable popular history of the 4th Dynasty and the building of the Dahshur and Giza pyramids. A little less detailed than I would have liked, but for the general reader it's a nice introduction to the topic on a human level.
Jan 02, 2013 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The audiobook edition was interesting, but the narrator sounded bored and listening to him put me into a sort of trance. The material itself was interesting and rates three stars, so skip the audio edition and get it as a book.
Jul 27, 2011 Jpp rated it did not like it
Passionné par son métier et fier de l'histoire de son pays, l'auteur oscille malheureusement sans convaincre entre plusieurs styles littéraires...un peu romancier, beaucoup égyptologue, pas du tout historien. Un livre à refaire
Jun 27, 2008 Ed rated it it was ok
However the pyramids were built, one must wonder WHO did the building. The practical, everyday lives of human beings who actually put the things together is addressed in Hawass' book. While a little dry at times, like the sun-parched sands beyond the Nile, it is still an interesting subject.
May 25, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
Another book I had already read and completely forgot about.

I thought I this would hold my interest but it didn't. It had all kinds of great details...I'll have to try again to re-read this. My mind has been pre-occupied with moving.....

1st read 5/23/15 - 5/26/16
Sep 16, 2007 Sherrie rated it it was ok
I'm not a big fan of Hawass' ego so I read this with a grain of salt. Not a huge amount of new information and many more illustrations to go with his descriptions would help immensely.
Mary Lindsey
Jul 28, 2008 Mary Lindsey rated it really liked it
You'll never guess what I'm writing about!
Jun 11, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it
Great updated information about the old kingdom period and the builders of the Giza pyramids, but a bit dry and hard to get through
Mar 15, 2008 Debra rated it really liked it
Fascinating because more time is spent on the builders, the common people's life than in most books that I've read.
Marguerite Czajka
Jun 14, 2014 Marguerite Czajka rated it liked it
A low 3 stars - it would have been better if more of the book was written like the end. A lot of descriptions of the pyramids, I would have liked more info on the builders.
April Helms
Dec 21, 2007 April Helms rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults (11+) and adults
A must-read book for anyone interested in Egyptology. The first chapter is a bit dry and repetitive, but the book improves after that. Loved the chapter on the pyramid builders.
Sabine Kapasi
Jul 10, 2012 Sabine Kapasi rated it really liked it
gripping...if its ancient Egyptian culture that excites you
Gilbert rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2008
Michelle rated it liked it
Nov 05, 2008
Misty rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2014
Mike Steve
Mike Steve rated it liked it
Jun 29, 2015
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