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41. The Theban Necropolis: Past, Present
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42. The Dawn of Human Culture
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43. The Early Settlement of North
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44. Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery
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45. The Civilization of Ancient Egypt
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46. Encyclopedia of Human Evolution
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47. The Early Mesoamerican Village
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48. Ancient Mexico And Central America
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49. Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look
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50. The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret
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51. When Time Began: : Book V of the
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52. Acres of Skin: Human Experiments
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53. The Incas and Their Ancestors:
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54. Chronicle of the Roman Republic
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55. America's Lost Treasure
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56. Heaven's Mirror : Quest for the
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57. Ancient Lives: An Introduction
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58. The Message of the Sphinx : A
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59. Excavation (Cambridge Manuals
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60. The Canon Debate

41. The Theban Necropolis: Past, Present and Future
list price: $80.00
our price: $80.00
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Asin: 0714122475
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: David Brown Book Company
Sales Rank: 537730
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Thebes is almost certainly the largest archaeological site in Egypt, and in recent years the tombs of the city's ancient inhabitants have been studied more intensively than ever before. This collection of essays reflects the current state of research on many aspects of the site, from the monuments of the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 BC) to the people who live in the area in the present day. Together they present many new insights into the topography and history of the necropolis and the function and development of the various objects placed in the tombs, as well as offering valuable indications of the direction which future work might take. The majority of the papers were originally presented at an international conference held at the British Museum in July 2000. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!!!
This volume was wonderful.The book represented a publication of several articles presented at an international conference on the Theban necropolis that took place at the British Museum, London in 2000.This book is not for those on the go.The articles were in no way light reading.However, anyone from Egyptologists to laymen could read and understand the articles.The various articles covered everything from the general to the specific, the ancient to the modern.The separate articles were written by different scholars and Egyptologists.They contained an almost complete history of the Theban Necropolis.Anyone with even the slightest interest in the Theban Necropolis would enjoy this volume.The articles ranged in focus from purely archaeological records to fascinating interpretive studies.The volume seemed to focus primarily on the tombs of the nobles and officials buried there and not so much on royal tombs.The tombs in Valley of the Kings did not appear often in this volume.The other areas in the necropolis, such as Dra Abu el-Naga, the Assasif, Sheikh Abdel Qurna, and Deir el Medina, were the main focus in most of the articles.Each article pertained to the development of Western Thebes as an archaeological site.The compilation of the various articles accurately captured the spirit of the site. ... Read more


42. The Dawn of Human Culture
by Richard G.Klein
list price: $27.95
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Asin: 0471252522
Catlog: Book (2002-03-29)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 175342
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The premier anthropologist in the country today."
–Evolutionary Anthropology on Richard Klein

"High above the western shore of Lake Naivasha, a blue pool on the parched floor of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, sits a small rockshelter carved into the Mau Escarpment. Maasai pastoralists who once occupied this region in central Kenya called the place Enkapune Ya Muto, or ‘Twilight Cave.’ People have long sought shelter there. The cave’s sediments record important cultural changes during the past few thousand years, including the first local experiments with agriculture and with sheep and goat domestication. Buried more than three meters deep in the sand, silt, and loam at Enkapune Ya Muto, however, lie the traces of an earlier and even more significant event in human prehistory. Tens of thousands of pieces of obsidian, a jet-black volcanic glass, were long ago fashioned into finger-length knives with scalpel-sharp edges, thumbnail-sized scrapers, and other stone tools, made on the spot at an ancient workshop. But what most impressed archeologist Stanley Ambrose were nearly six hundred fragments of ostrich eggshell, including thirteen that had been fashioned into disk-shaped beads about a quarter-inch in diameter. Forty thousand years ago, a person or persons crouched near the mouth of Enkapune Ya Muto to drill holes through angular fragments of ostrich eggshell and to grind the edges of each piece until only a delicate ring remained. Many shell fragments snapped in half under pressure from the stone drill or from the edge-grinding that followed. The craftspeople discarded each broken piece and began again with a fresh fragment of shell.

"Ambrose believes that these ancient beads played a key role in the survival strategy of the craftspeople and their families. In the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, !Kung San hunter-gatherers still practice a system of gift exchange known as hxaro. Certain items, such as food, are readily shared among the !Kung but never exchanged as gifts. The most appropriate gifts for all occasions just happen to be strands of ostrich eggshell beads. The generic word for gift is synonymous with the !Kung word for sewn beadwork. Although the nomadic !Kung carry the barest minimum of personal possessions, they invest considerable time and energy in creating eggshell beads.

"No one knows whether the toolmakers at Enkapune Ya Muto or the other ancient African sites intended their ostrich eggshell beads to be social gifts. But if these beads were invested with symbolic meaning similar to that of beads among the !Kung, then Twilight Cave may record the dawning of modern human behavior."
–From The Dawn of Human Culture ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Synthesis and Theory
The Dawn of Human Culture is an excellent summary and synthesis of archeological evidence concerning the anatomical and behavioral development of that last 5 million years that led to the emergence of fully modern homo sapiens. The authors explain the theory of punctuated equilibrium and very convincingly describe the evidence and scientific analysis behind the identification of extraordinary punctuated events such as those that lead to bi-pedalism and tool making.

The strength of the book lies in its logical presentation, clarity of writing, explanation of key issues such as dating techniques and limitations, and behavioral inferences drawn from archaeological remains. Competing theories and evidence are given and, where rebutted, done so in a scholarly and positive way.

In addition to the excellent summation of archaeological and anthropological knowledge and theory to date, the authors postulate their theory, without avoiding discussion of its limitations, that modern human behavior, dated to have begun 50,000 years ago was due to a "genetic mutation that promoted the fully modern human brain". More could have been written in the final chapter to argue the theory; this is not a criticism, however, but rather a request for more from these two very accomplished authors.

I can highly recommend this book as a comprehensive and balanced summary and synthesis on the subject of human evolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Dawn of Human Culture
The Dawn of Human Culture written by Richard G. Klein and Blake Edgar is a upon which human evolution relates.

This book says with reasonable certainty that humans, defined by their habit of walking bipedally, evolved about 6 million years ago from an African ape; that multiple bipedal species appeared between 6 million and 2.5 million years ago; that all these early biped remained remarkably ape-like in brain size and upper body form; that some human species, perhaps the first whose brain exceeded that of an ape in size, invented stone flaking about 2.5 million years ago; that the earliest stone tools makers used their tools to add animal flesh and marrow to a mainly vegetarian diet.

Recent advances in our understanding of human evolution owe as much to methods of dating as they do to new fossil and archeological discoveries. This book describes the principal dating methods in the text, since the descriptions are scattered, fossils and artifacts provide the hard evidence for human evolution and culture.

This book explores the evolution of man into the being and culture that exists today from the fossil record. From the earliest beginings in Africa to the rest of the world man has made his impression felt throughout the world. There is comparative anatomy throughout the book as it is easily readable and the prose well-wriiten and understandable.

For a book on early human existance, this is a good book to start with as it all of the known species variations of man are in this book. Brain case volume and bone structures are very much in evidence while reading this book are explored.

4-0 out of 5 stars A jerky epic
The sweep of human evolution has received much attention in recent years. This book is among the more sweeping efforts aspiring to reveal who we are. Fossils of our ancestors are being revealed at an increasing rate. From these scattered bones and teeth [and a few artefacts], a more complete picture of our evolutionary path is emerging. The evidence from the bones is being complemented by genetic studies filling in the details of human migration over the planet. If nothing else has been derived from these multi-disciplinary studies, our ancient origins in Africa is now undisputed, say the authors.

There's another element almost hidden away by the growing amount of evidence. What kind of path did hominid species follow in becoming human? That question forms the basis of Klein and Edgar's "bold new theory" clamouring from the cover. They contend the fossil and genetic evidence displays human evolution as a series of long, slack stretches of development, both physical and mental, interrupted by bursts of innovation in body and brain. Each burst, building on what had gone on before, seems to them a form of the "great leap forward". They contend the evidence in bones, especially skulls, indicates spurts of brain encephalisation. This means not only larger brains, but more elaborate ones - capable of complex thoughts, foresight, enhanced communication skills and symbolism - in short, culture. Although the bones and skulls are geographically scattered and the art and artefacts few and far between, the authors contend they have drawn the path of human development clearly and conclusively. Human evolution followed a path of long stretches of equilibrium, punctuated by episodes of rapid change.

"Punctuated"? "Equilibrium"? The authors concede early in the book that this isn't an original idea with them. It's derived from the attention-seeking proposal of Stephen Gould and Niles Eldredge a generation ago. "Punk eek" keeps struggling for survival and the road of human evolution is its sole remaining support. There's a delicious irony in this, given Steve Gould's ambivalent attitude toward human evolution. Ostrich eggshell beads are intriguing, but far less important than how we developed hunting strategies. Rock tools and stick weapons are features we share with our chimpanzee relatives - a notion "punk eekers find distasteful.

Klein's bringing Blake Edgar's writing talents to this book was inspired thinking. What Edgar granted to Don Johanson in clarity he has duplicated here. Combining his prose skills with Klein's wealth of illustrative material and wide knowledge of the discipline has produced a cogent, readable text. Unfortunately, Edgar's campaign strategy of inserting Gould into the scenario is less compelling. The theory is thus neither "bold" nor "new". How significant it is in describing the human condition awaits more evidence than is currently available. Given that so much of it rests on brain development, real data is unlikely to be forthcoming. However, it's worth waiting for. Pass the time delving into the wealth of information in this book. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

4-0 out of 5 stars Very plausible synthesis
Klein tells the six million-year-old story of human evolution from a "splitter's" perspective. Accordingly, H. habilis is distinguished from rudolphensis, and the Asian H. erectus from the African ergaster and the European antecessor. Neandertals are accorded some humanity, but are treated as a separate species. They evidently lacked the inferred genetic mutation for modern speech that supposedly arose some 50 kya. While Klein avoids any mention of the earlier evidence for speech, and argues away inconvenient dates, he offers a coherent synthesis of all the recent data.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Anthro but Misleading Cover
I had a hard time deciding whether to give this book four or three stars. Richard Klein is,indeed, one of the top bioanthropologists in the U.S. But the cover and flap's trumpeting of a purported new theory inside, as one other reviewer pointed out, were hardly contained in the text. Very little space is dedicated to the discussion of why they thought there was a dawn of human culture (basically, art) around 50 thousand years ago. There's some text on it in the beginning (including a discussion of Gould's puncuated equilibrium theory) and a brief revisit towards the end, but, all in all, this is a rehashing of the current state of bioanthropology, aka, human evolution. There is very little here that's new to anyone who's taken anything above Anthro. 100/Intro. to Human Ev.
Therein lies the reason many have given the book five stars and I was tempted to give it four. Klein and Edgar provide and excellent overview of the finds, including very recent discoveries such as O. tungensis in E. Africa in 2001 and K. platyops (don't have the spelling in front of me) by Leakey in 2001. One of the best aspects of this book are its excellent drawings and diagrams. The maps are great.
The most interesting aspects for experts and students of antho. will be Klein's opinions on cannibalism and whether neandertals created art. I can't agree with his conclusion on the latter. While he refutes the evidence of ochre on remains as the possible presence of rodents burrowing in the soil, I don't recall any discussion of the largely accepted belief that Neandertals had the ability for abstract thought, as evidenced by the use of ibex horns in the burial of a Neandertal boy at Teshik Tash in Uzbekistan. They fail to mention him.
All in all, a great introduction for the general audience. Too bad their book was published before the HUGE Chad find in 2002. I would recommend Klein's textbook The Human Career for more technical descriptions. The bibliography listing various journal articles is a great place for further reading. ... Read more


43. The Early Settlement of North America : The Clovis Era
by Gary Haynes
list price: $28.99
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Asin: 0521524636
Catlog: Book (2002-11-14)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 249361
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This history of the first people to settle in the New World starts with a summary of the archaeology of Clovis-fluted point-makers in North America. Gary Haynes evaluates the wide range of interpretations given to facts about the Clovis. He then presents his own fully developed and integrated theory, which incorporates vital new biological, ecological, behavioral and archaeological data. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clovis Tradition, first Americans?
This book is a gem. There is no other book about the first Americans that has such an even handed thoughtful analysis of the complex array of data involved in the controversy. Haynes is one of the key players in this controversy and his research has cleared up much of the confusion around what can be considered reliable archaeological evidence of human presence. His work with African elephants throws considerable light on how bones can be broken or otherwise altered by natural processes and appear as pseudoartifacts. The book provides a rich background and is written in a readable style for most scientically literate readers. It should be on the shelf of any anthropologist, archaeologist, geologist, ecologist, or enthusiast interested in the peopling of the Americas at the end of the Pleistocene.

5-0 out of 5 stars Human Behavior Ecology in Clovis
This book was a thoughtful reinterpretation of the existing data pertaining to the nature of Clovis lifeways and settlement in the New World. Rather than concerning himself with the nature or timing of the first Americans, Haynes introduces an ecological perspective to the study of Clovis, a population movement model in which adopting a very specialized adaptive strategy would enable a 'fugitive' culture such as Clovis to spread rapidly throughout the New World.

2-0 out of 5 stars Attack of the establishment
The info and analysis on the Clovis period is pretty good. However, the emphasis on the "authoritative" position that the Clovis people were the first settlers in the face of a tremendous quantity of mounting evidence that Homo sap. settled North and South America at least 20,000 years before Clovis, greatly detracts from the value of the book. ... Read more


44. Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
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Asin: 0300097638
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 29593
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Book Description

Situated high in the Peruvian Andes, the fifteenth-century Inca palace complex at Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world. In this beautifully illustrated book, leading American and Peruvian scholars provide an unprecedented overview of the site, its place within the Inca empire, the mysteries surrounding its establishment and abandonment, and the discoveries made there since the excavations by archaeologist Hiram Bingham III in the early twentieth century.Drawing upon the most recent scientific findings, the authors vividly describe the royal estate in the cloud forest where the Inca emperor and his guests went to escape the pressures of the capital. In addition to Bingham's exciting account of his first expedition in 1911, the book includes new and archival photographs of the site as well as color illustrations and explanations of some 120 gold, silver, ceramic, bone, and textile works recovered at Machu Picchu. ... Read more


45. The Civilization of Ancient Egypt
by Paul Johnson
list price: $40.00
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Asin: 0060194340
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 46473
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A leading historian and bestselling author re-creates the growth, decline, and legacy of 3,000 Years of Egyptian civilization with an authoritative text splendidly illustrated with 150 illustrations in full color.

Ancient Egypt, with its legacy of pyramids, pharaohs and sphinxes, is a land of power and mystery to the modern world. In The Civilization of Ancient Egypt Paul Johnson explores the growth and decline of a culture that survived for 3,000 years and maintained a purity of style that rivals all others. Johnson's study looks in detail at the state, religion, culture and geographical setting and how they combined in this unusually enduring civilization. From the beginning of Egyptian culture to the rediscovery of the pharaohs, the book covers the totalitarian theocra-cy, the empire of the Nile, the structure of dynastic Egypt, the dynastic way of death, hieroglyphs, the anatomy of preperspective art and, finally, the decline and fall of the pharaohs, Johnson seeks, through an exciting combination of images and analysis, to discover the causes behind the collapse of this, great civilization while celebrating the extra-ordinary legacy it has left behind.

Paul Johnson on Ancient Egypt and the Egyptians

"Egypt was not only the first state, it was the first country.... The dura-bility of the state which thus evolved was ensured by the overwhelming simplicity and power of its central institution, the theocratic monarchy."

"The Egyptians did not share the Babylonian passion for astrology, but they used the stars as one of many guides to behavior. No Egyptian believed in a free exercise of will in important decisions: he always looked for an omen or a prophecy or an oracle."

"The development of hieroglyphics mirrors and epitomizes the history of Egyptian civilization. . . . No one outside Egypt understood it and even within Egypt it was the exclusive working tool of the ruling and priestly classes. The great mass of Egyptians were condemned to illiteracy by the complexities (and also the beauties) of the Egyptian written language."

"The affection the Egyptians were not. ashamed to display towards their children was related to the high status women enjoyed in Egyptian society."

"If we can understand Egyptian art we can go a long way towards grasping the very spirit and outlook on life, of this gifted people, so remote in time. The dynamic of their civilization seems to have been a passionate love of order (maat to them), by which they sought to give to human activities and creations the same regularity as their landscape, their great river, their sun-cycle and their immutable seasons."

... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Cool pictures in this book
Text book Egyption history is what you like get this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A first-rate popular synthesis--surprisingly uncontroversial
Like many of Mr. Johnson's admirers, I can just barely see how he manages to read so much. But how he is able to write so much on top of that--incredible. Now he has turned his attention to ancient Egypt. Because this is a dead civilization, there is not much occasion here for political controversy, and so some of Mr. Johnson's fans may miss his pungent polemics. They needn't. He has compiled an largely satisfying popular account of the land of the pharaohs, which also leaves the reader curious to read more deeply.

The book is not a history. The historical narrative portion stops at the last great pharaoh, Ramesses III, and we turn instead to chapters devoted to the Egyptian attitudes of government, religion, art, and death. Johnson does a great job taking us inside the minds of the ancients by showing how, to them, these ideas were inseparable. His sources and illustrations are well chosen, though he continues to be plagued by sloppy editing. A couple of incorrect captions, a reference to an work of art "now in Leningrad", that sort of thing.

Each of his chapters are distillations of subjects which could have been (and are) the subjects of entire books. The account of the Western rediscovery of Egypt during the Age of Science flitted by too quickly for me--I wanted to read more about the adventures of Napoleon's very talented egyptologists. And the classical Greek historians like Herodotus are dismissed as little more than purblind tourists. Well, sure; based on what we now know.

This is a fast-paced book about a static civilization, a coffee-table book with serious, substantial text. Sounds oxymoronic? Well, it's true. Paul Johnson does it again!

4-0 out of 5 stars Think Like An (Ancient) Egyptian
I just came off of reading another book by Paul Johnson, "A History Of The American People", so this was quite a switch! Once again, Mr. Johnson has impressed me with his erudition and pleased me with his smooth style. Right up front, let me say that I was as ignorant as you can get concerning this subject before I read this book, so my knowledge level had nowhere to go but up! If you already know a lot about this subject you may not find this book worthwhile. That being said, if you don't know much about ancient Egypt this book is a good starting point. Mr. Johnson gives you some actual history as far as talking of events and dynasties, etc. but the majority of the book deals with the religious beliefs of the Egyptians and their art, and how the two were intimately connected. There is also an excellent chapter on hieroglyphs. One of the strong suits of the book is how it gets you into the mind of the ancient Egyptians and you start to see things the way they might have. Mr. Johnson explains such things as why, on wall paintings, people were shown in profile rather than giving us a frontal view and why the Egyptian artist intentionally chose not to use aerial perspective. (Sorry, you'll have to read the book to find out!) Suffice it to say, when you look at things after knowing what the Egyptians believed you will be able to appreciate their achievements all the more. The book is also useful in showing the link between Egyptian art and religion and what came later (Greek and Roman culture; Christianity; Judaism, etc.) Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Civilization of Ancient Egypt
I visited Egypt in October and received this book for Christmas. I could not put it down. It is the most informative book I have ever read about ancient Egypt. It includes excellent photographs and well designed and well placed tables. It answered all of my questions about the various dynasties, religion, culture, daily life and the fall of the kingdom. The geographic isolation of Egypt is an important factor in its development that I had not considered. As is the fact that Egypt was the first unified nation and that it was ruled by relgious principles, not militarism. This is an excellent book and should be on every educated person's bookshelf. ... Read more


46. Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory: Second Edition (Special - Reference)
by Eric Delson, Ian Tattersall, John Vancouvering, Alison S. Brooks, John A. Van Couvering
list price: $225.00
our price: $225.00
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Asin: 0815316968
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Garland Publishing
Sales Rank: 510647
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Book Description

Praise for the first edition: "The most up-to-date and wide-ranging e ncyclopedia work on human evolution available."--American Reference Books Annual "For student, researcher, and teacher...the most complete source of basic information on the subject."--Nature "A comprehensive and authoritative source, filling a unique niche...essential to academic libraries...important for large public libraries." --Booklist/RBB ... Read more


47. The Early Mesoamerican Village : Archaeological Research Strategy for an Endangered Species (Studies in Archaeology)
by Kent V. Flannery
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Asin: 0122598520
Catlog: Book (1982-07-28)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 822657
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48. Ancient Mexico And Central America
by SUSAN TOBY EVANS
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
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Asin: 0500284407
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 351069
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49. Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look at the Last Days of Pompeii, How Towers Fall, and Other Strange Connections
by Charles Pellegrino
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
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Asin: 0380973103
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Sales Rank: 16447
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Book Description

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 and the subsequent destruction of the thriving Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum are historic disasters of monumental proportions, resonating across millennia and remembered to this very day. Now Dr. Charles Pellegrino -- the acclaimed author who unearthed Atlantis, returned readers to Sodom and Gomorrah, and revealed startling new secrets about the most fabled sea tragedy of all in his superb New York Times bestseller Her Name, Titanic -- takes us back to the final days of an extraordinary civilization to experience an earth-shattering catastrophe with remarkable and unsettling ties to the unthinkable disaster of September 11, 2001.

Through the modern wonders of forensic archaeology, astonishing facts about the everyday lives of the doomed citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum have been brought to light, revealing a society that enjoyed "modern" amenities such as central heating, sliding glass doors, penicillin, hot and cold running water -- and a standard of living and life expectancy that would not be achieved again until the 1950s. But these thriving twin cities would be buried along with every hapless citizen in less than twenty-four hours when Vesuvius came frighteningly alive, sending a fearsome column of smoke and fire twenty miles into the sky.

Employing volcano physics, Pellegrino shows that the Vesuvius eruption was one thousand times more powerful than the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, bringing to vivid life the frightful majesty of that volcanic apocalypse. Yet Pellegrino digs deeper, exploring fascinating comparisons and connections to other catastrophic events throughout history, in particular the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. As one of the world's only experts on downblast and surge physics, Pellegrino was invited to Ground Zero to examine the site and compare it with devastation wreaked by Vesuvius, in the hope of saving lives during future volcanic eruptions. In doing so, he offers us a poignant and unforgettable glimpse into the final moments of our own "American Vesuvius."

A stunning combination of science, history, humanity, and riveting storytelling, Charles Pellegrino's Ghosts of Vesuvius is an extraordinary accomplishment, an electrifying, edifying, astonishing, and powerful work of literary art. ... Read more


50. The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army
by Maurice Cotterell
list price: $25.00
our price: $15.75
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Asin: 159143033X
Catlog: Book (2004-03-30)
Publisher: Bear & Co
Sales Rank: 193631
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Book Description

Explains esoteric secrets of the sacred solar science encoded in the massive army of terracotta warriors that guards the tomb of Chinese emperor Ch'in Shi Huangdi.

• Decodes the farewell message of the first emperor of China concealed more than 2,000 years ago in the 8,000 terracotta warriors that guard his tomb.

• Shows the spiritual principles of this sacred solar science and its remarkable insights into heaven, hell, and the immortality of the soul.

• Latest book by the bestselling author of The Tutankhamun Prophecies and The Lost Tomb of Viracocha.

When the first emperor of unified China, Ch'in Shi Huangdi, felt his death approaching, he decreed that he be entombed within a pyramid and that his tomb be protected by an immortal army of terracotta soldiers. In 1974 archaeologists discovered the first of more than 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors, each weighing half a ton, buried circa 220 B.C.E.--near this emperor's pyramid tomb.

Maurice Cotterell shows how Shi Huangdi--like the pharaoh Tutankhamun, the Mayan lord Pacal, and Viracocha in Peru--was a keeper of the sacred solar science of the ancients, a science that included a sophisticated understanding of the effect of the sun on earthly affairs, fertility rates, and personality. The keepers of this science taught that the soul was immortal and was destined to transform into star energy or be reborn on Earth, depending on an individual's spiritual progress in his or her lifetime. Using his unique understanding of how and why ancient civilizations encoded this extraordinary knowledge, Cotterell decodes the emperor's farewell message concealed in the terracotta warriors--a message that reveals the true purpose of life and the imperishable nature of the soul. ... Read more


51. When Time Began: : Book V of the Earth Chronicles (Earth Chronicles)
by Zecharia Sitchin
list price: $7.99
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Asin: 0380770717
Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
Publisher: Avon
Sales Rank: 26716
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Architects of Stonehenge

They came to Earth thousands of years ago to usher in mankind's first New Age of scientific growth and spiritual enlightenment. Under the guidance of these ancient visitors from the heavens, human civilization flourished -- as revolutionary advances in art, science and thought swept through the inhabited world. And they left behind magnificent monuments -- baffling monoliths and awesome, towering structures that stand to this day as testaments to their greatness.

In this extraordinarily documented, meticulously researched work, Zecharia Sitchin draws remarkable correlations between the events that shape our civilization in millennia past -- pinpointing with astonishing accuracy the tumultuous beginning of time as we know it . . . and revealing to us the indisputable signature of extraterrestrial god indelibly written in stone.

... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Once again Sitchin shows us the obvious road signs
This book, and I've read them all, is terrific! The signs are so obvious, modern archeologists would be well advised to read Sitchin before they take themselves too seriously!

5-0 out of 5 stars A NOTHER "MUST READ" FROM ZECHARIA SITCHIN
Like ALL of his books, this one too is amazing, compelling, persuasive, enlightening, builds rationally and logically to each of its points BUT (there's alway a "but")is a bit difficult to read. Also, as with ALL his books, Zecharia draws his concise conclusions by bringing the knowledge of many sciences together. It is a must read for anyone with an open mind and thirst for knowledge.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting...
Honestly speaking everything about life and it's origin is a theory. Sitchin has written a great book (I have read most of his) and the theory of time and origin of life on earth explained in this book is quiet remarkable and astonishing. If you are one of those who think 'where did we come from', 'was there a begining' or 'is there an end' then I'd recommened this book. However, a lot of maths has been used in this book which requires reading it over again at times. But in short, I love the book, it has made my understanding of origin more broader and I can think in multiple lines!

4-0 out of 5 stars Another good book by sitchin
What can you say about Sitchin, he writes great books.Read this one too, it's great.

1-0 out of 5 stars DOCUMENTATION PLEASE
Do to a misguided recommendation I wasted my money on several of Sitchin's books. At least they're cheap. His entire argument is a house of cards. The appalling thing is that he didn't even bother to provide the source material with which he constructed it. There are no footnotes, endnotes or bibliography. You have to take his word that his translation of a text is accurate or that the text even exists. He does not provide any means of verifying his assertions. There are established ways to document these things. If he wanted to have any intellectual credibility at all, he should at least document his sources.
A lot of people want really badly to believe that aliens are true and that the movie Stargate was for real, but if what you believe is true, then approach the thing with intellectual integrity and let the chips fall where they may. The truth will come out. ... Read more


52. Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison : A True Story of Abuse and Exploitation in the Name of Medical Science
by Allen M. Hornblum
list price: $42.95
our price: $42.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415919908
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 188696
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At a time of increased interest and renewed shock over the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, Acres of Skin sheds light on yet another dark episode of American medical history. In this disturbing expose, Allen M. Hornblum tells the story of Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison. For more than two decades, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, inmates were used, in exchange for a few dollars, as guinea pigs in a host of medical experiments.
Based on in-depth interviews with dozens of prisoners as well as the doctors and prison officials who performed or enforced these experimental tests, Hornblum paints a disturbing portrait of abuse, moral indifference, and greed. Cantral to this account are the millions of dollars many of America's leading drug and consumer goods companies made available for the all too eager doctors seeking fame and fortune through their medical experiments.

In addition to testing innocuous commerical products such as detergents, shampoos and diet drinks, the experiments at Holmesburg evolved into a far more dangerous corrupted human laboratory. Hundreds of prisoners were subjected to painful skin hardening experiments, fingernail extraction studies, chemical warfare agents, and frighteningly high does of dioxin and radioactive isotopes. Many of the test subjects became ill, required hospitalization and are scarred for life. However, as prisoners were viewed by corporate America and US government as valuable "raw materials" for product development.

In often graphic detail, Acres of Skin exposes what really happened behind the locked doors of this American prison where men were treated like laboratory animals. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Shocking Expose Relevant in Today's World
And you thought that horrible "medical" experiments on humans only took place in Germany and Japan during World War II?This exhaustively researched and documented book about using prisoners in Pennsylvania as guinea pigs to test the safety and efficacy of various types of medical, pharmacutical, cosmetic, and military products during the post-war years was an enormous surprise to this reader.

How so many highly respected and educated Americans could take part in these such immoral behavior is extremely instructive in light of the involvement of American military reservists in the recent Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq.Apparently normal human beings taking part in abberant behavior as a result of certain unusual circumstances, occurred in Nazi Germany and Japan during the war, in Pennsylvania during the post-war years, and now at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.Although the physicians and scientists in this book were studying the effects of pharmacuticals on human beings, often with horrific results, this book is a fascinating study of the persons conducting the experiments and how they came to justify their actions.

2-0 out of 5 stars Fluff
My god man. How much fluff can you put into one book. Mr. Hornblum, I have so much information to attain and so many books waiting on a list to be read that anything with useless time wasting fluff, aka long drawn out paragraphs, automatically goes on my "how not to write a book" list. I am sorry but your book made me more frustrated than enlightened, with all of your redundant repeats of what people said, told in eight differing ways, I am not sure if you thought the audience needed this much repeating or if you just needed to add a couple 20 pages to the final draft for appearances. But nonetheless I cannot sit and waste my precious time reading words of nothingness when there is an eternity of usefull information sitting out there waiting for me. *No arrogance intended, "I" as in us, humans.* I just don't see any excuse for this. Out of the 100% of book I would say there is about 25-35% of usefull concise information in it. Au Revoir`

5-0 out of 5 stars A book you can't find anywhere else!
I know the author of the book. He has a strong personality, the same time a kind and loving person! He went through many difficulties for publishing this book but none stopped him from revealing the truth!

4-0 out of 5 stars Shocking!
We are all aware of the nuclear experiments done during the cold war, right? Well insight shows from this book that many prisoners and people of lower social classes were experimental guinea pigs in the name of Modern Science. It is horrifying to read, and yet interesting at the same time. We also brought over experimental Nazi Doctors from the Holocaust to help the US Government on some experiments and were even given alias names to keep their identities and whereabouts secret. This is even happening today believe it or not, and it is horrifying to think what they have done during the Cold War, I come to think, what ... are they doing now? It's a scary thought!

5-0 out of 5 stars New York Times is wrong: very solid book.
I looked up the negative New York Times book review to see what Higbie's problem was. She thinks Hornblum is biased because he supports "prison reform." The book sticks quite close to the issue of medical experiments in prison, which must be at the very least something in prison in need of "reform". Higbie is also offended by the comparison to Nazi medical practices. But that's not exaggeration by Hornblum. As the book relates, the Nazi doctors at Nuremberg successfully avoided the death penalty by arguing that their own pointless torture experiments were similar to that conducted by U.S. doctors in U.S. prisons.

It's an excellent book. The book focuses on the specific prison, but has a lengthy chapter on experiments on prisoners throughout the U.S.

My only real criticism is the optimistic ending of chapter 3 that the FDA banned prisoner experimentation in the 1980s. As far as I can tell, the regulation was suspended at passage and then repealed in 1997. Fifty years after Nuremberg, experiments on prisoners unable to give informed consent continues. ... Read more


53. The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru (Revised Edition)
by Michael E. Moseley
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500282773
Catlog: Book (2001-06)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 114868
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1532, when Pizarro conquered Peru, the Inca realm was one of the largest empires on earth, graced by gold masterpieces, towns with great palaces and temples, and an impressive network of roads. But this glittering culture only obscured the rich and diverse civilizations that had preceded it: Chavin, Moche, Nazca, Tiwanaku, Huari, and Chimú. Described as a "masterly study" and an "outstanding volume" on its first publication, The Incas and Their Ancestors quickly established itself as the best general introduction to the cultures and civilizations of ancient Peru. Now this classic text has been fully updated for the revised edition. New discoveries over the last decade are integrated throughout. The occupation of Peru's desert coast can now be traced back to 12,000 BC and ensuing maritime adaptations are examined in early littoral societies that mummified their dead and others that were mound builders. The spread of Andean agriculture is related to fresh data on climate, and protracted drought is identified as a recurrent contributor to the rise and fall of civilizations in the Cordillera. The results of recent excavations enliven understanding of coastal Moche and Nazca societies and the ancient highland states of Huari and Tiwanaku. Architectural models accompanying burials provide fresh interpretations of the palaces of imperial Chan Chan, while the origins of the Incas are given new clarity by a spate of modern research on America's largest native empire. 225 b/w illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great resource
I use this book a great deal as a resource for research on ancient Peru. Although this book is not "made pretty" with lots of color photographs and has a textbook feel, it does contain a wealth of information and scholarship. It is a must read for anyone wanting to learn about the ancient cultures of Peru in depth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancestors more advanced than the Incas
It is a shame that THE INCAS has to be stressed to sell a book that is so good on their ancestors. In North Peru, for example, the Moche left a wealth of advanced (& colorful) information & technology skills of which Peru does not take advantage, especially in terms of tourism. See unitru.edu.pe/arq for the cultures of North Peru. We await the revised edition. Michael White & Clara Bravo, Trujillo Peru Tour Guides.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Peru Incas reference book
The Incas and Their Ancestors has a textbook feel and is a good aid to research on the culture. The book is structured around the various periods of history and addresses art, survival, lifestyle and the design of structures and communities. The book is primarily enhanced with black and white photos of Inca art and drawings, although some color photos are included with the book. Drawings of the layouts of communities are helpful for research projects, but would have benefitted from being larger. Bought as a reference book for a school project, it will clearly meet the need, but it is not likely to be picked up for any casual reading! ... Read more


54. Chronicle of the Roman Republic
by Philip Matyszak
list price: $34.95
our price: $22.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500051216
Catlog: Book (2003-06)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 51951
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book in the Chronicles series examines the succession of kings, consuls, and tribunes who took Rome from a small fortified hilltop to the greatest empire of antiquity. Here we meet the builders of Rome—at times superstitious, brutal, and utterly uncompromising, they were also capable of acting with great honor and unflinching bravery. The Roman Republic was one of the most civilized societies in the ancient world, ruled by elected officials whose power was checked by a constitution so well crafted that it inspired the founding fathers of the United States of America.

Philip Matyszak describes fifty-seven of the foremost Romans of the Republic, spanning the centuries from its birth to its bloody death. In this history we see the best and worst of the Roman elite: Licinius Crassus, a kind father and loving husband who crucified captured slaves by the thousands, or Cato the Censor, upright and incorruptible, xenophobic and misogynistic. Some families run through this history—the proud Claudians, the cultured Scipios, the noble Valerians—while others make but a single appearance on the stage.

Illustrated with a wealth of pictorial and archaeological detail, together with firsthand anecdotes from contemporary writers, these personal histories provide an overview of the development and expansion of Rome, encompassing foreign and civil wars as well as social strife and key legislation. The biographies are supplemented by time lines and data files as well as special features highlighting different aspects of Roman culture and society. 320 illustrations, 110 in color. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, but some problems.
This is a very good exploration of the men who made Rome from a small village among 7 hills into the greatest power in the known world and led it into an empire. There are so many less famous Romans in this book that I never heard of, listed with great detail of their life, including titles and offices held during the republic. The only gripe I have is that the author has an extreme dislike of Caesar, which leads him to make comments such as how a million Gauls died and another million were enslaved when Caesar conquered Gaul solely to make the reader think less of Caesar and his accomplishments. He also says that "...history has been kinder to Caesar than he deserves." If he had been less contemptous of Caesar this would have been a superb book. As it is, the book is a great compilation of the Romans who forged the Roman Republic and made Rome.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining...
A very enjoyable read for those curious about the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
The Chronicle of the Roman Republic is a great book. If you enjoy history, this book is for you. Most of us are familiar with the Emperors of the Roman Empire such as Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula, but many people do not know about the times before the Emperors came into power. This book dives into the Republic of Rome covering every aspect of life from those times. The first chapter of the book is on the kings of Rome. The founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus are in this chapter. The kings came right before the beginning of the Republic. The next chapters of the book tell how the Republic was created and how it eventually ended. What is so good about this book is that it tells you every leader of Rome and gives them each their own profile. The famous leaders such as Pompey the Great, Crassus, Sulla and Julius Caesar are inculded in the book. Even lesser known people are shown, such as Cato the Censor and Spartacus. Not only does this book cover who the leaders were, but it tells you about Romes birth as a city, Romes many enemies, such as the Sabines and Etruscans, Romes accomplishments as a city and Romes great archicture. This book is a great addition to any history lovers collection. A great book that would go with this one is called Chronicles of the Roman Emperors. This book covers the time after the fall of the Republic to the eventual fall of Roman Empire. This book contains the same interesting features that this book has.

1-0 out of 5 stars turned me off
I was looking through this book at Borders and I came across a statement that bothered me. The author says (actually quotes another author saying) something along the lines that Caesar's exploits in Gaul resulted in a level of carnage and destruction not seen again until the Europeans settled in the Americas. I don't know how much more such anti-American garbage this book contains (for I put it back on the shelve after reading that) but that was enough to make me look elsewhere for material on the Roman Republic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and impressively accessible historical study
Chronicle Of The Roman Republic: The Rulers Of Ancient Rome From Romulus To Augustus by Roman history expert Philip Matyszak is a fascinating and impressively accessible historical study of the fifty-seven kings, consuls, and tribunes who ruled during Rome's gradual evolution and transformation from a republic into that of an empire. From such famous figures such as Julius Caesar, to lesser-known leaders like Cato the Censor, these Roman leader's great deeds, cruelties, and political acts that shaped the flow of history for good or for ill are straightforwardly presented in this highly recommended, pictorially illustrated, historical survey, which was written for (and is especially recommended to the attention of) non-specialist general readers. ... Read more


55. America's Lost Treasure
by Tommy Thompson
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0871137321
Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Sales Rank: 43208
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Picture Companion to Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea
Tommy Thompson is one methodical scientist. He found a ship that sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1857 that had eluded searchers for 130 years. He has taken the same methodical approach in creating this book "America's Lost Treasure".

Gary Kinder wrote a 1998 bestseller on Thompson's search entitled "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea". It is one of the best pageturners I have ever read! More amazing is that it actually happened! The ship was the United States Mail Steamship "Central America" which was making rounds between the Atlantic coast of Panama and New York City during the California Gold Rush era. She was a side paddlewheeler steamship and was hauling a huge cargo of gold ingots, freshly minted gold coins, gold nuggets, and gold dust along with 38,000 pieces of mail and 578 passengers. Much of the gold was being brought to New York to shore up the bullion holdings of banks that had been putting out too much paper money without the available gold reserves to back it. Most of the passengers were returning from the Gold Rush; many were women and children. The ship sank after a heroic battle with a hurricane in 1857 off the Carolinas taking about 425 lives with her and all the gold. Both books chronicle Thompson's epic adventure finding the ship and recovering the gold down 8000 feet underwater where even the US Navy couldn't effectively recover items. Kinder's book clocks in at over 500 riveting pages but, is largely without pictures of all the incredible finds. "America's Lost Treasure" fills in that photographic void quite admirably in it's 186 pages.

"America's Lost Treasure" is broken down into a background history of America at the time leading up to the Central America's sinking, a detailed account of the CA's fateful last voyage, a background of the equipment and people involved in the search and rediscovery of the CA, the discovery of the ship and the 'Garden of Gold', a review of the personal items found at the bottom other than the gold, and a section on the other scientific discoveries made at the site such as decay processes and new species of life found. There are hordes of very appropriate photographs that perfectly illustrate the topic discussed in the very readable and concise narration. The page layout is very well done and makes full use of the book's ten inches by ten inches size. Particularly interesting is the discovery and opening of several intact passenger's trunks revealing intact clothing and still visible photographs! The gold, however, is the expected showstopper.

Overall, I can't recommend this book enough when read in companion with "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea". Some people will bristle with disfavor on the efforts in general to recover items from this wreck feeling it is a desecration of history and wrong. I couldn't help but be astounded by the disciplined and rigorous scientific and engineering skills put on display in the efforts. This is an absolutely fascinating pictorial account of a remarkable period in the history of America. It will rivet your attention from beginning to end and have you looking back at sections again and again. It is one of the best coffee table books in existence. The lost treasure found is truly breathtaking and this book is an absolutely worthy account of it! VERY highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars American's Lost Treasure
America's Lost Treasure by Thommy Thompson may be the only "coffee table" book that readers literally cannot put down and will ultimately read from cover to cover. Anyone who has read Gary Kinder's book Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea knows the tale of Tommy Thompson's discovery of the SS Central America that sunk in 1857, laden with gold from the California Gold Rush. The two books compliment each other with very little overlap. Ship of Gold tells the fascinating story of the shipwreck itself and how a young engineer, Tommy Thompson, made his dream come true in locating and salvaging the wreck under incredibly difficult conditions and with scientific precision. Thompson's book demonstrates the story in beautiful, glowing color photographs with an equally interesting narrative. The precision, scientific knowledge and attention to detail that led him to the treasure in the first place is evident in this carefully prepared book that shows the reader what was found and emphasizes the importance of the historic artifacts located.

5-0 out of 5 stars As exciting as any mystery novel!
Tommy Thompson is one of those unusual individuals with the fantastic mind of an inventor/engineer, yet with the ability to work with people to bring out their best. Our government should take note of this man, or hopefully they have, and give him the freedom to let his mind find solutions to many of our problems, as he has shown he can do in this book. It was an adventure, filled with suspense and I would recommend the picture book to go along with the text so you can see the magnificent photos of his find.

3-0 out of 5 stars Splendid Book, Manipulated Reader, by fermed
This book is chronologically a sequel to the narrative "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder, in which this writer masterfully described the tragic history of the "Central America" and the details of the successful recovery (by Tommy Thompson's group) of the gold she carried when she sank in 1857. Kinder's name is not mentioned in the body or the index of this book. What happened?

The good news is that this is a spectacular book: it is beautifully printed and illustrated. The pictures of the sunken "Central America" loaded with gold and lying in deep waters since it went under are simply breathtaking. The gold ingots, and coins and nuggets and dust have acquired a queer beauty during the years they have rested in the sea bed; the luster of the metal is still there even as it has been affected by is 131 year immersion in the depths: to be crawled over and probed by the strange denizens that thrive down there, and to react to the mysterious chemistry that is created in the deep.

Yes, this is a beautiful book that is irresistible to look at. When exposed to the passinge gaze of others it is invariably picked up and held, and exclamations of awe become intermingled with "Can I borrow it?" One must be strong if the book is to remain ours.

The not so good part is the feeling of sheer manipulation that the book imparts, based on what the book does not say--but should. I remember how distressing it was that "Ship of Gold" lacked clear photographs of the treasure found. It seemed downright stingy not to publish at least a few pictures of the loot. Well, here are the missing photos, yours for [item price] plus shipping. So what is missing in this one?

For one there is no manifest of what was taken out of the "Central America." While in the previous book (if I remember correctly) it was stated that the ship sank with 20 (or so) TONS of gold, in this book the author is ever so elusive about totals.Here he speaks in these tersm: "In addition to many tons of gold..." or "This was compounded by the sinking of the "Central America," which sent its huge load of gold...to the bottom of the sea." It isn't that Tommy Thompson doesn't know how to count: "Bound for New York with 578 passangers and crew and 38,000 pieces of mail, the "Central America" also contained tons of gold..."

Yes, there are lots of beautiful pictures of the artifacts and even clothing that was brought up, but no accounting of exactly what was extracted. The absence of this accounting (just how many tons of gold, how many coins, bars, ingots, how many glass bottles) renders the book of limited historical value. It would have taken no more than a couple of pages to furnish such information, but one feels the absence of this data was a conscious decision of the author.

In summary, if you want to regale your eyes with the treasures of this ship, get the book. I you are interested in the exact details of this find and recovery, don't.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indeed a treasure
After reading Ship of Gold, I ordered this book for both my son and son-in-law. Whereas Ship of Gold was a great book, this one is filled with pictures as well as text of the adventure. Loved it! ... Read more


56. Heaven's Mirror : Quest for the Lost Civilization
by GRAHAM HANCOCK
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609804774
Catlog: Book (1999-10-26)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 50111
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

It could be true! That's the enthusiasm that author and scholar-mystic Graham Hancock counts on--in himself and in his readers--as he lays down his theories of an ancient (Atlantean, perhaps?) civilization that disseminated a sophisticated religion of ground-sky dualism and a "science" of immortality. Hancock's previous work, including the popular and controversial Fingerprints of the Gods, has drawn criticism for its leaps of faith and allegedly pseudoscientific conclusions, but Heaven's Mirror proves at least a little more substantial. His chief thesis is that numerous ancient sites and monuments--the pyramids of Mexico and Egypt, the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the monuments of Yonaguni in the Pacific, and the megaliths of Peru and Bolivia--are situated in such a way, geodetically, that they point towards some separate and uniform influence, some lost civilization or "invisible college" of astronomer-priests. And that civilization, as evidenced in the mathematics and architecture of the sites, points towards some gnosis, or body of knowledge, that would allow humanity to transcend the trap of mortality, a worldview in which the knowledge-giving serpent of Eden is not a villain but a hero.

Whatever you think of Hancock's ideas and theoretical musings in archaeo-astronomy, Heaven's Mirror is a gorgeous book, thanks to the photography of Santha Faiia. Lush, evocative photos of the monoliths on Easter Island and temples deep in the Cambodian jungle are enough to set the mind to introspective wandering--maybe, just maybe, Hancock's got it right after all. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bring A Calculator.
Hancock's basic premise is that an ancient civilization built monuments around the world that are astronomically aligned to the year 10,500BC (thus backdating human history several thousand years.) And somehow these monuments are linked to the search for immortality.

Hancock and his wife travel around the world and try to tie a lot of historical sites together with magic numbers (72 being the most prevalent but any even number being almost as good.) The problem I had was that the linking of the monuments to stars degrades as the book moves along. The link is clear in Egypt, possibly present in Mexico, requires squinting in Cambodia, and then devolves to a lot of "as ifs" and "rough alignments".

The pictures in the book are pretty even if they don't always offer the clearest view of the idea the book is trying to convey. Most of the diagrams involving star alignments are oversimplified and practically useless.

This book barely advances the ideas put forth in "Fingerprints of the Gods". It mainly takes the format of "Message of the Sphinx" and applies it to other mysterious places around the earth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Subject the Hypothesis to the Process of Scientific Enquiry
As I write about this heated debate/book, I have realized how each one of us will subjectively react to Graham Hancock's current book and the previous others. My subjective reaction we know is not the proof. The answer to end this debate is simple, find the means to test the hypothesis being put forth...That there was an ancient advanced civilization around 10,500 BC whose knowledge we all share through stories, myths and structural evidence that employs some advanced astronomical principles...

For a true Scientist, classifying Graham Hancock is not important, testing his theories and the evidence he presents, however is and to do so with an open mind. As a researcher Hancock has taken the time to observe the same sites, texts and myths as have others in the past. He is postulating different conclusions from what others have done..Not in vaccuum either...He provides you with plenty of evidence, contextual information and interpretation....more definitive than the "Fingerprints of the Gods"... Others have interpreted differently..He is willing to test it...Are there any takers?

The BBC program's attempt to prove/disprove Graham Hancock's theories is not sufficient. Debunk a theory proposed on physical evidence on a tv program? We have not come so far in our scientific advancement by disproving a hypothesis in that fashion...Why not consider the physical evidence and evaluate/re-evaluate the evidence..Then subject the idea through the rigourous of the scientific process...Let this be done with ideas put forth by Graham Hancock and some of his collabarators...

If people disagree with Graham Hancock, test the hypothesis...If we cannot test it, treat it as fiction and read it and forget it...But let us not jump to "scientific" conclusions by doing what Graham Hancock is accused of doing...being unscientific...Either take the time to prove / disprove it or just let it be....

And as a reader, keep your mind open when reading this book. Personally I find Hancock's hypothesis very interesting and believe that more research is needed..to prove or disprove..What exists as evidence for the players in this debate is necessary but not completely sufficient to prove their position beyond doubt..Why so?

Let us compare the field of Physics with Cultural Anthropology. A famous Scientist made a very definitive end-of-the-19th-Century declaration that Physics can explain all physical phenomena save for a few, one of them being the Photo-Electric effect. However, one Einstein was willing to think differently and has changed our thinking about physical reality. His discoveries have not finished off Physics, but re-energized it and given the power to explain even more about the universe we live in and opened our eyes to how life can truly be stranger than fiction. Was the opinion stated by a prominent scientist and held by a majority of scientists of that time really the truth and the whole truth? Far from it as it turns out. An additional advantage with Physics is that, many of the hypothesis can be confirmed through lab based experiments and observable physical phenomena. These are repeatable or tend to repeat themselves and so can be re-tested and theories can be revised. Let us also not forget that we are human. This should actually be sufficient!

The orthodox hypothesis about rise of civilizations and Graham Hancock's new hypothesis and other alternate theories,however do not have such luxury. They are working with languages, texts, myths and physical pieces of evidence that no one person can completely claim to understand or explain. They may be able to recreate the skies in 5000 BC and 10000 BC, but nothing like physics. So the researchers in such a field should pay attention to all the data and whatever secondary data they can lay their hands on. I have read quite a few articles by the proponents of different theories.. Still I believe for reasons stated above, a lot more rigorous research is needed...and I will look forward to such research.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where are the charts to keep track of all of these ideas?
This book was interesting to read. His theories are infectious and at times you find yourself marvelling at all of the wonderful coincidences and halfway believing Mr. Hancock. Other times, he takes liberal use of supposition (even going so far as to suppose what Albert Einstein would have thought of one of his ideas) and he throws out so many ideas that he reminds me of a desperate defense attorney who throws out any idea to throw doubt on the prosecutor's case. Here, Mr. Hancock throws out any number of theories, including Atlantis; aliens (but never says it - but he leads you that way); Egyptians coming to Europe, Asia, South America and Polynesia; the use of magic or an unknown force to build ancient megaliths and more.

I enjoyed the book but there are occassional bad photographs that mar the book - he refers to one picture two or three different times and the picture is not clear - the image has been worn too much over time. That would have been the perfect time for a traced outline of the picture, like he does at other times. Sometimes shadows obscure the images he would like us to see - the shadows make the pictures quite beautiful but the images are the point of the exercise. However, in general the quality of the pictures reminds me of those of National Geographic.

Mr. Hancock poses so many theories that he is sorely in need of a chart in the back of his book so that we can quickly see some of the theories and how the data looks when compared across the board.

However, in defense of his book, he quite freely admits that this is a work in progress and the research has barely begun. I would not consider this to be the final word from Mr. Hancock - rather, I would treat this as more of an interim report stating some of the interesting things he has found and a few theories that might help to explain them.

I give this book "5 stars" because he writes about so many of the interesting ancient sites and, if nothing else, has thrown an interesting new light on them (Graham points out that most 'legitimate' researchers won't even come to Easter Island anymore for fear of being thought to be one of the 'crazy' researchers). I don't quite buy his theories, but I'm open to reading more of what he has to say.

YOu may also see Mr. Hancock on TLC or Discovery Channel with entertaining documentaries that cover most of these same topics in a less thorough but highly entertaining manner.

4-0 out of 5 stars Myths and Monuments as Signs
There are essentially five types of arguments for one or more intelligent ET civilizations having visited and exploited earth and influencing (if not helping "create") humanity and continuing to do so. The first is the logico-statistical, which is essentially that in a universe as large and as old as ours, anything that can happen has happened, does happen, and will happen in a mulititude of spacetime locales. The second is the mythological: Our sacred histories are full of accounts of the gods, sons of god, angels, demons, faeries, etc. coming to earth from the sky, out of the sea, etc. The third is the testimony of all those who have seen flying saucers and met various intelligent non-humans (some of whom allegedly advise that, yes indeed, they have been coming and going for milleinia). The fourth are the megalithic monuments found all over the world whose origins, engineering, and construction are inexplicably sophisticated and, in some cases, beyond any known human technology, past or present. The fifth is the aesthetic argument, to the effect that in our time, science fiction is prophecy, from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to Gene Roddenberry, and within such genre, intelligent non-human civilizations are fundamental. The fact that current human science and technology (whether or not inadvertently a/o secretly assisted by ETI), much of it classified, has either accomplished or is now on the verge of such things as "anti-gravity" field propulsion vehicles (i.e. "flying saucers"), particle beam weaponry, and bio-engineering transgenic species and increased longevity, makes it all the more plausible (if not demonstrable) that the sons of adam may simply be tracing the same paths pursued by other, more mature civilizations. Hancock's explorations of the megalithic monuments and myths and the questions he raises are truly worth pondering. However, his hypotheses about a secret society of astronomer-priests which many find too fanciful and preposterous, are, in my opinion, to the contrary, insufficiently imaginitive if one merely accepts the conclusion of the first argument above. It is not crop circles (which humans can make with computer controlled directed energy devices such as masers) that are the "signs" we should attend to; they are the myths and megalithic monuments. The "gods" have left far more than their fingerprints; they have left all sorts of messages for the sons of adam. (Among these messages, for example, are that man has both a body and soul, his body is subject to death, and his soul must reckon with divine judgment concerning the good and evil he does. Eternal life as enjoyed by those who live in the heavenly realms is an ancient quest for the sons of adam.) Hancock and his talented wife are to be commended for calling our attention to some of these myths and monuments so expertly and helping us better see how truly marvelous they are. Wonder if they had any help from on high?

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating for history buffs and window shoppers alike
What Hancock and Faiia do in this book is, in my opinion, amazing. Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, it does what few books can - it teaches us the history of various cultures, AND keeps us interested at the same time, with fascinating theories and factual evidence that is hard to dispute. I actually felt chills when the authors presented the relationship of the various sites on the globe to one another. The two achieve seemless transition and the book is divided very usefully into "parts" based on each civilization. Well worth the read, even if you have a busy schedule ... Read more


57. Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory, Second Edition
by Brian M. Fagan
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Asin: 0131115537
Catlog: Book (2003-04-08)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 441540
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Book Description

This wide-ranging introduction to the most fundamental principles, methods, and theoretical approaches of archaeology, combined with coverage of the major developments of human prehistory, is a book for complete beginners. Using first-person experience, a conversational narrative, and unique, truly global coverage reflected in examples from all parts of the world, it paints a compelling portrait of archaeology, science, and the past.The first half of the book covers the basic principles, methods and theoretical approaches of archaeology. The second half is summary of the major developments of human prehistory: the origins of humankind and the archaic world, the origins and spread of modern humans, the emergence of food production, and the beginnings of civilizationWritten for people who want to know more about archaeology and prehistory, not necessarily with a view to becoming a professional archaeologist. ... Read more


58. The Message of the Sphinx : A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind
by GRAHAM HANCOCK, ROBERT BAUVAL
list price: $17.00
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Asin: 0517888521
Catlog: Book (1997-05-27)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 27267
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this riveting account of historical and archaeological investigation, the authors present hard evidence that the Sphinx, the Pyramids, and the other monuments at Giza are of far more ancient origin than previously believed. Complete with evidence of a conspiracy between the Egyptology establishment and various confidential organizations to keep the secrets of the Pyramids from the world, The Message of the Sphinx is also a modern-day detective story. of photos. ... Read more

Reviews (60)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Sphinx for people who don't care about the Sphinx
After I first read this book, I was inclined to give Hancock and Bauval at least some benefit of the doubt. I believed that at minimum they had succeeded in raising some interesting questions that _might_ suggest an origin for the Great Sphinx some 3000-8000 years before most historians and archaeologists believe it was carved (about 2500 BCE). Hancock and Bauval tell an interesting yarn, with hints of lost civilizations of startling technological and scientific prowess, and of hidden chambers waiting beneath the sands of Giza for a daring Indiana Jones to unearth.

As I read more on the subject of the Sphinx, the pyramids and other great structures of antiquity, however, I am less inclined to view Hancock and Bauval as anything more than incompetent cranks. Their yarn is just that, a yarn and nothing more. Their edifice of "archaeo-astronomical" reasoning is built on extremely shaky grounds, and in arriving at 10,500 BCE as the date of the Sphinx's origin, and as the apex of some great lost civilization, they must ignore a truly enormous amount of careful scientific reasoning. The reader of this book will not be provided with any real feeling for the rationale behind the "conventional" Egyptological views, for if he/she was to have such an understanding, Hancock and Bauval would be revealed for the sad pseudoscientists they are. In point of fact, the polemic of "Message of the Sphinx" is less about a rational basis for reevaluating everything we know of ancient Egypt than it is a retrospective justification for the pre-formed idea that there must be a lost, highly advanced Atlantis-like civilization in the distant past. To Hancock and his ilk, the ends justify the means.

If read by itself, this book will doubtlessly persuade you that what the authors claim has some basis in fact, since it is written so one-sidedly and so deceptively. If you read this book, then, you owe it to yourself and to anyone you foist it on to also read Paul Jordan's recent "Riddles of the Sphinx," which provides a well-written counterpoint to the wild claims of Hancock and Bauval. If all you read is this book, and others by these authors, then you really aren't interested in the Sphinx at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Controversial and thought-provoking
This is a controversial yet thought-provoking book in which the authors put forward a theory, based primarily on archeo-astronomy, which suggests that certain man-made structures at the Giza necropolis (e.g. the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the temples nearby) may have had their origin traced back to around 10,500BC, making them vastly more ancient than most orthodox Egyptologists would have us believe.

While it is difficult at this stage to prove conclusively whether or not such a provocative theory is correct (although, as this work has become a best-seller, it would hopefully lead to more transparency in future excavation work at Giza, which, after all, houses one of the greatest heritage of human civilisation), the arguments put forward in support of the authors' views are very interesting and, at times, even enlightening. In particular, with the aid of well-produced diagrams, the authors have successfully led the reader step by step through a historical and astronomical minefield towards the startling revelation that the heaven (as represented by the stars) and the earth (as represented by the mega-structures at Giza) actually mirrored each other to an astonishing extent in that mysterious early epoch and that such heaven-earth symmetry appears to be consistent with the ideas apparently expressed in certain ancient Egyptian texts, leaving the reader wondering whether it is all mere coincidence or whether there has indeed been some clever planning by our forebears which is now lost in the mist of time.

It is evident that the authors have put in much effort in explaining their propositions clearly from basic principles and thus knowledge in astronomy or Egyptololgy is not a prerequisite before one can follow their train of reasoning. Nevertheless, this is bascially a one-sided analysis where those who have opposed to the theory and some others in the orthodox academia are often portrayed as narrow-minded bigots or are having a secret agenda of their own. The style of writing is not that remarkable and there is a fair amount of repetition and some not too judiciously considered section divisions, which sometimes impede the flow of argument. Nevertheless, this is one of the books which have opened up an entirely new dimension in a much debated and researched field and those who like subject matters relating to mysteries of ancient civilisation will certainly find it indispensible. Personally, I would hope that, whatever the merits of the arguments contained therein, it will encourage everybody, including orthodox archeologists, to examine the Giza necropolis more thoroughly so that one day, we can unravel all the mysteries (if any) which the Sphinx has been guarding throughout the ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
In the future the founders of astro-archeology will be Hancock and Bauval.

This work is simply 'brilliant'.

The 'history' of man is polluted with falsehoods.

This book sheds light on material that proves 'mans history' has been based upon lies.

Brilliant.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very educational with excellent engineering explanations
The pyramid is an 1:43,000 scale model of the earth, the height and base measurements are geometries based on PI and calculus used 4,000 to 15,000 years ago. Inside the pyramid are the King Chamber, Queens Chamber, and Terrestial Chamber mapped out against a siliquotte it produces an image of a throne with a seated God-king, whose feet are horizonal with the terrestial chamber, symbolizing a reigning God-King over the earth: 8.5 million tons of rock, 2.3 million blocks, one pyramid the stone weighted in over 200 tonnes. About 2500 BC Khufu built the first pyramid of Giza, followed by Kharfe, and last by Menekura. These pyramids formed a project of Orions belt and a map to milky, 12 constellations and their movements, and the path of the sun through the constellations. The suns path eventually intersect with the paws of Leo and when the earths poles flip, the order through the constellations will reverse.

The sphinx faces the east, it aligns with Leo constellation and is orthogonal with the Orion constellation. These building map to constellation projections and represent projections of constellation positions, as they existed 10,000 years ago. Four star chambers point to various constellations. Winter and Summer solace deviate 28 degrees off due east which is the direction the sphinx faces. The walkways between the structures form angles pointing to Leo, the Vernal Point, and the Sun; as of about ten thousands years ago.

There is a lot of proof that alignment with the stars means a lot. Alignment has an observable effect on gravitional pull. Stone Hendge is aligned. The pyramids are aligned, the Sphinx is aligned, etc.

The Nile represents a projection of the milk way. The layout proves the designers saw and understood the coordinate system and location of the earth in relationship to the universe and how the milkway moves in relationship to the other constellations: Aquarius, Pices, Aries, Tarus, Cancer, Gemni, and Leo.

The Pyramid is thought to be a cosmic clock or perhaps a monument. The pyramid demonstrates orientation and the power of the cosmos and mans relationship to the cosmos.

How do we gain True understanding? Why did the designers use pyramids to prove the power of creation?

Why did the pyramid designers build the pyramid as an universal clock? The pyramid is a constellation clock mapping out the sun's path as it overlays various constellations. Each one degree of movement represents 72 years. So, using these constants, the sun path through the twelve constellations completes its cycle every 25 thousand years. The Khufu pyramid is positioned perfected to the earth's center of mass. The meridian lines South to North with Orion and East with Leo off center of the vernal point. The path of Orion is moving from South to North along the Meridian.

The three pyramids are orthogonal projections of the three stars on Orion's belt. The red pyramid is a projection of Sirus.

How come the length of a day is so standard in our solar system? That couldn't have happened by chance.

Who built the pyramids? The slave theory is very weak. Slaves could not have build such a percise architecture. To suggest such an idea is like suggesting a clock maker could build an atomic clock. Some think, man did not come into the pyramid picture until 2500 BC. Egyptian myth says the Gods themselves designed, dictated measurements; and in the first 15 thousand years engaged directly with the people. The last 11 thousand years, the Horus Kings ruled and built pyramids with 33 dynasties of power.

The pyramid is a compass orientating the earth observer with the milkway and the milkway to other constellations. The end result is the sun path demonstrated in relationship to other constellations, as a measurement of time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get a cup of coffee--you'll want to be up all night
Message of the Sphinx is just as interesting as watching a program on the Discovery Channel--only with this book you get much more information. Hancock offers theories about the actual age of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids. He gives you the evidence to back up his claims. In his book, he gives accounts from noted archaeologists who have dared to think outside the norm, but they later end up changing their minds about their unaccepted theories. It makes the reader wonder if the theories are being kept quiet for some reason.

This book is not simply by any means, but it is also not packed so full of technical terms that a reader will not be able to understand what he or she is reading. Hancock and Bauval masterfully get their point across without hinderig the reader. This book is well worth the time to any fan of archaeology, Egypt, or Discovery channel show. So, if you are up for the ride brew yourself a pot of coffee or a cup of tea, sit back and get ready to be amazed. ... Read more


59. Excavation (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology)
by Steve Roskams
list price: $28.99
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Asin: 0521798019
Catlog: Book (2001-03-26)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 356673
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Book Description

Fieldwork in archaeology has been transformed over the past three decades. Drawing on a wealth of experience in excavating some of the most complex, deeply-stratified sites in Britain, Steve Roskams describes the changes that have taken place in the theory and practice of excavation. He provides a clear account of pre-excavation reconnaissance and site evaluation, the preparations for full excavation, the process of excavation, and the recording of photographic, spatial, stratigraphic, and physical evidence. This manual will be welcomed by the professional excavator, academic researchers, students, and the interested amateur. ... Read more


60. The Canon Debate
by Lee Martin McDonald, James A. Sanders
list price: $39.95
our price: $27.17
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Asin: 1565635175
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers
Sales Rank: 118071
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What does it mean to speak of a “canon” of scripture? How, when, and where, did the canon of the Hebrew Bible come into existence? Why does it have three divisions? What canon was in use among the Jews of the Hellenistic diaspora? At Qumran? In Roman Palestine? Among the rabbis? What Bible did Jesus and his disciples know and use? How was the New Testament canon formed and closed? What role was played by Marcion? By gnostics? By the church fathers? What did the early church make of the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha? By what criteria have questions of canonicity been decided? Are these past decisions still meaningful faith communities today? Are they open to revision?

These and other debated questions are addressed by an international roster of outstanding experts on early Judaism and early Christianity, writing from diverse affiliations and perspectives, who present the history of discussion and offer their own assessments of the current status.

Contributors: William Adler, Peter Balla, John Barton, Joseph Blenkinsopp, François Bovon, Kent D. Clarke, Philip R. Davies, James D. G. Dunn, Eldon Jay Epp, Craig A. Evans, William R. Farmer, Everett Ferguson, Robert W. Funk, Harry Y. Gamble, Geoffrey M. Hahneman, Daniel J. Harrington, Everett R. Kalin, Robert A. Kraft, Jack P. Lewis, Jack N. Lightstone, Steve Mason, Lee M. McDonald, Pheme Perkins, James A. Sanders, Daryl D. Schmidt, Albert C. Sundberg Jr., Emanuel Tov, Julio Trebolle-Barrera, Eugene Ulrich, James C. VanderKam, Robert W. Wall. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Canon- Origins and Changes
The word "debate" well summarizes the character of the vast scholarly output of the past half-century dealing with the Jewish and Christian biblical canons. It is probably not accidental that the burgeoning interest in canonical issues coincided with the discovery (beginning in 1947) and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which "canonical" and "non-canonical" writings appear in great quantity in the same location. Indeed, of the 511 items in the bibliography of this book, 471 were published after 1950. This collection of 32 essays traces the contours of the contemporary debate in admirable detail.

Even the section titles hint at the unsettling of old conventions. Following the introduction, part two is labeled "The Old/First Testament Canon," and part three is "The New/Second Testament Canon." In the essays themselves, however, only James Sanders adopts these neologisms, and he only partially; even the Jewish contributors to the volume continue to use the conventional designations, "Old Testament" and "New Testament."

In the introduction McDonald and Sanders outline eight major questions in the debate, which can be collapsed into five: 1) What is the relationship between "scripture" and "canon"? 2) What is the scope of the respective OT and NT canons? 3) In view of the high profile of some non-canonical gospels in research on the life of Jesus, should the gospel canon be expanded? 4) Which form of the text is canonical, i.e., the most ancient form (as critically reconstructed), the final form (as known at the time of closure), or some other form? 5) What were the criteria for determining canonicity, and how should these criteria be evaluated by contemporary Jewish and Christian communities? These and related questions are central to the 15 essays on the OT canon and the 16 on the NT. The references that follow illustrate how lively and controversial the discussion remains.

Eugene Ulrich ("The Notion and Definition of Canon") claims that three elements are essential to the definition of canon. "First, the canon involves books, not the textual form of the books; secondly, it requires reflective judgment; and thirdly, it denotes a closed list" (34). But Eldon Jay Epp asks, "When two meaningful variants occur in an authoritative writing, which reading is canonical, or are both canonical? (512). That is, is the "reflective judgment" that yields canonical authority for a book different somehow from the reflective judgments that have given us variant forms of biblical texts? The status of the Septuagint in both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity shows that Epp's question goes far beyond the issue of individual variant readings. Essays by Albert Sundberg ("The Septuagint: The Bible of Hellenistic Judaism"), Emmanuel Tov, ("The Status of the Masoretic Text in Modern Text Editions of the Hebrew Bible: The Relevance of Canon"), and Craig Evans ("The Scripture of Jesus and His Earliest Followers") all point to the indissoluble connection between text and canon.

With respect to the criterion of a "closed list," some contributors suggest that the canon is much more about process than product (James Sanders, "The Issue of Closure in the Canonical Process," Joseph Blenkinsopp, "The Formation of the Hebrew Bible Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case"). The relevant importance of closure separates those who view the decisive period of canon formation as the second century (Everett Ferguson, "Factors Leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon," Peter Balla, "Evidence for an Early Christian Canon [Second and Third Century]) from those who judge the fourth century as the crucial era (Albert Sundberg, "The Septuagint . . . ," Geoffrey Mark Hahne-man, "The Muratorian Fragment and the Origins of the New Testament Canon"). In sum, however much we may wish, with Ulrich, to "formulate and agree upon a precise definition of the canon of scripture for the sake of clarity, consistency, and constructive dialogue" (35), this is probably too much to hope for.

Nevertheless, this collection does offer much constructive dialogue and advances the debate about the canon in several particulars: 1) It subjects conventional arguments to fresh and vigorous re-examination (Steve Mason, "Josephus and His Twenty-Two Book Canon," John Barton, "Marcion Revisited"); 2) It underscores the vital relationship between textual criticism, codicology, and canon formation (Robert Kraft, "The Codex and Canon Consciousness," Daryl Schmidt, "The Greek New Testament as a Codex," Eldon Jay Epp, "Issues in the Interrelationship of New Testament Textual Criticism and Canon,"); 3) It provides up-to-date surveys of scholarship on a number of ancillary issues (James VanderKam, "Questions of Canon Viewed through the Dead Sea Scrolls," Pheme Perkins, "Gnosticism and the Christian Bible," Kent Clarke, "The Problem of Pseudonymity in Biblical Literature and Its Implications for Canon Formation"). Best of all, it offers the mature scholarship of the most seasoned veterans of canon research. A good two-thirds of the contributors are either emeritus faculty or senior scholars; and they represent an international, interconfessional, and theologically varied field. They are not only willing to engage each other in dialogue but to respond to and carry forward their own earlier research and reflections (Jack Lewis, "Jamnia Revisited," James Dunn, "Has the Canon a Continuing Function?").

The end matter is almost worth the price of the book. Lee McDonald has assembled appendices in which are collected primary sources for canon study and lists of catalogs for both the OT and NT canons. In addition to the generous bibliography, there is a subject index, an index of modern authors, and an index of ancient and medieval sources.

Although not a reference work in the usual sense of the term, the range and depth of discussion of canonical concerns assure that this book will be used as a standard reference work for many years to come.
Robert F. Hull, Jr.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy quickly, read slowly!
McDonald and Sanders have done an excellent job of convoking the best and brightest to discuss issues around the formation and understanding of the biblical canon.(Their use of the word "debate" for the title may be a bit of an overstatement considering the respectful collegiality of the participants.) Every contributor is a highly credentialed major player in the field. The editors express disappointment that Bruce Metzger, Roger Beckwith, Earle Ellis, Brevard Childs, and Gerald Sheppard were unable for various reasons to contribute articles. While their thoughts would have been interesting, the 31 Jewish and Christian scholars who did contribute are not to be considered second string (many of whom quote and reference the five absent giants anyway).

My enthusiasm for the thought contained in this 662-page book is based on having read the introduction and five randomly selected articles: "The Notion and Definition of Canon" (Eugene Ulrich), "Jamnia Revisited" (Jack P. Lewis), "The Old Testament Apocrypha in the Early Church and Today" (David J. Harrington, S.J.), "The Codex and Canon Consciousness" (Robert A. Kraft), and "The Problem of Pseudonymity in Biblical Literature and Its Implication" (Kent D. Clarke). As far as I can tell, these are new papers, not reworkings of existing materials. Harrington's thoughts on the Apocrypha, for instance, go far beyond anything he expressed on this subject in his own excellent book, INTVITATION TO THE APOCRYPHA (1999). Clarke's article on Pseudonymity answered a lot of questions I've had about this issue and I felt it did a good job of showing how a person's assumptions about a biblical book's pseudonymity (whether the practice is honorable, innocent, and licit or dishonorable, deceptive, and illicit) affects how a person is likely to judge that book's status within the canon. So far I've been impressed with everything I read. I look forward to savoring the remaining 26 articles.

Editor McDonald provided four interesting appendices and the bibliography is worth the cost of the book (they seem to identify English translations of scholarly works created in other languages when possible, though I noticed they did not do so with Trobisch's FIRST EDITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, Oxford, 2000; otherwise, the bibliography seems to be quite current).

If you're at all curious about how the Bible came to be and why different religious traditions have different Bibles, THE CANON DEBATE will give you lots to mull over. Accessible, but challenging. ... Read more


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