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Mysteries of the Ancient World by National…
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Mysteries of the Ancient World (1979)

by National Geographic, Toni Eugene

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406341,711 (3.25)1
The Greatest of the ancient mysteries are explored by experts in the field, in a dramatic re-evaluation of man's past, using archaeology, geology, history and astronomy. Ancient Empires rose and fell, new worlds were conquered and lost. Who were the people and how did their civilizations unfold? In this exciting new series, the reader travels into lost worlds, re-examining ancient history to discover the secrets of the past.In a drastic re-evaluation of man's history, using the high-tech tools of modern archaeology, geology and astronomy, civilizations lost for thousands of years are revealed; only now beiong recognized for the advanced societies they were.… (more)

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Ancient history with photos of antiquities
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
This book presents archeological artifacts and art in a manner that makes us appreciate the diversity and sophistication of ancient peoples. The first known "art" which has been preserved lies in the darkness of France's Le Tuc d'Audoubert cave -- bison figures sculpted in clay during the harsh period toward the end of the Ice Age 16,000 years ago.
We then explore the pyramids of Egypt built without iron tools, horses or wheels. How did Mycenaeans of Greece amass vast treasures, only to end quickly? A startlingly rapid demise also overtook the Harappans and Etruscans.
The probe of Jericho reveals the origins of Cities. Summer solstice at Stonehenge is observed, and subterranean crypts of various peoples are excavated. Even the caves of Isla de Pascua are found to be preserving astonishing art.
Wonderful photos: Earliest known portrait (woman), earliest calendar,
Female figurines play a "prominent but unexplained role" in the ancient campsites from the Atlantic to Siberia. [24] Most appear pregnant and obese.
What subjects are depicted in the 110 caves from Spain to the Urals containing art and paintings? More than 50 species of animals and plants, documenting mixed ecology, and seasonal or sexual behavior of the species. Not necessarily food species. Man playing musical instrument. Woman giving birth. They decorated dark caves. In Niaux, a cave has a circle of heel prints left in clay. In Gonnersdorf, a tent village of horse hunters was uncovered and some 1000 slate plaques engraved with symbols and dancing figures have been excavated. [27] {No comment on absence of weapons of war, gods, kings, etc}
Jericho, still inhabited as Tell es Sultan in the West Bank in the valley of the Jordan River, is the site of the "world's oldest known community" -- permanent, built by Neolithic people around 9000 BC. [32] This culture is notable for preserving human skulls, and a 30'x 30' tower. No trace of Joshua's destroyed walls have ever been found.
In Catal Huyuk, on the Konya Plain, male fertility symbols dominated more than 40 shrines used by more than 5000 people in dense clustered mud-walled houses 6500-5700 BC. First known wall paintings -- found in 1961 -- depicting hunting and dancing. Houses were entered through the roof by ladder. Inhabitants were 5' - 5'7", 30-34 years of age at time of death. Central diety was a mother goddess, with strong role for priestesses. And like Jericho, a skull cult.
Pyramids. Standing for 5000 years. No real explanation for "how or why" they were built--even ancient texts contain few references. [56]. They are pre-historical. The biggest, the Cheops at Giza, seems to float above the khamseen, but there are hundreds within 50 miles of Cairo, mostly built from 2685 to 2180 BC. Islamicists stripped the 481' Cheops of its smooth limestone sheathing to build Cairo's mosques. Significantly, many of the ancient sarcophagi (including Cheops', Sekhemkhet's) were sealed, but were empty. [70]
Photo of the schist statue of Mycerinus "with one of his queens". [76]
Mohenjo-daro, "Mound of the Dead" to the people of Sind province in Pakistan, emerged 7000 and flourished 4000 years ago. Fired brick homes. After 500 years of prosperity it rapidly declined, and now has not even left its name. This site of Harappan culture may have had 40,000 occupants. "Dancing girl" sculpture [93]. Bust of Priest-King [95].
Megaliths: Stonehenge was begun 2800 BC and remains poised on the Salisbury Plain. Other sites throughout Europe.
Minoans: a joyous people, and Europe's first great civilization. [126] Discovered in 1900 by Arthur Evans, after he bought Kephala, the legendary site of Knossos, and unearthed a magnificent palace. Excelled in ceramics, first of the Ageans to use potter's wheel. Legend has it that King Minos' brother, Rhadamanthus, was a wise just law-making man. Women are portrayed as athletic, freely and frequently, in Minoan art. Script is not deciphered -- the Phaistos Disk contains 241 pictographs and 45 stamps-- the earliest known example of printing. [136] Around 1500 BC, 70 miles from Knossos, one of the most violent series of volcanic events known to man erupted on the island of Thera.
Mycenaeans: warrior-merchants of Greece. At the zenith of power in 1250 BC. Flourished 400 years and disappeared. Heinrich Schliemann began with the contention that Homer portrayed history. [146] He excavated cities and in 1876 five royal shaft graves with hoards of treasure echoing Homer's description of Mycenae as "rich in gold". No trace of foreign conquest has been found.
  keylawk | Jun 6, 2010 |
I used to think I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up. But then I found you can't dig for ancient civilizations indoors in the airconditioning!! Now I am a librarian - and the next best thing is digging for information. ( )
1 vote | MerryMary | Apr 17, 2007 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
National Geographicprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eugene, Tonimain authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersen, RoyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benn, NathanPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blair, James P.Photographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de la Haba, Louissecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eckstrom, Christine K.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fisher, Ronsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Freson, RobertPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gahan, Gordon W.Photographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Loftin, Teesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maroon, FredPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Melham, Tomsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrison, H. Robertsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ramsay, Cynthia Russsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stuart, Gene S.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stuart, George E.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vertut, JeanPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woolfitt, AdamPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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 Evidence of the past lies all around us.
The first Flakes of a February snowstorm brushed silently against the windows of the small three-car electric train I rode through the winding river valleys of southwester France.
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Photography, Antiquities
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Massive sentinels of stone guard the rock-bound shores of tiny Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. Man-made mountains, the pyramids of Egypt loom above the Nile. Sprawling ruins of Minoan palaces share the hillsides of Crete with age-old olive groves.

Despite decades of research, many such intriguing remnants of the past remain enigmas, often provoking questions rather than providing answers. In Mysteries of the Ancient World you will search through the secrets of long-dead cultures and civilizations and discover the riddles that still persist.

Ice Age hunters of more than 10,000 years ago painted the walls of scores of caves in France and Spain. Why? What do the drawings of these earlier artists mean? Without iron tools, horses, or even wheels, how did the Egyptians build the pyramids - and for what purpose? I a short span of time, the Mycenaeans of Greece amassed vast treasures. How? And what fears haunted their final decades?  A startling demise overtook two other flourishing peoples: the Harappans of ancient India and the Etruscans of Italy.  What chains of events brought these mighty civilizations to ruin?

In their attempts to understand the mysteries of the past, the authors and photographers of this book have combed the glove for clues. Prove the ruins of Jericho with them to investigate the origins of cities. Observe a summer solstice at the awesome monument of Stonehenge. Penetrate the eerie subterranean crypts of the Etruscans. From dusty archaeological sites to book-lined dens, seek the expert advice of scholars who help interpret the enticing realms of old.

Striking photographs capture the land and the legacies of the ancients, and more than a dozen specially commissioned paintings re-create their lives. Mysteries of the Ancient World enriches the present by evoking the grandeur, the glory, and the puzzles of the past.

[It's so nice when the dust cover hasn't disappeared, isn't it?]
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