C.W. Ceram visualized archeology as a wonderful combination of high adventure, romance, history and scholarship, and this book, a chronicle of man's search for his past, reads like a dramatic narrative. We travel with Heinrich Schliemann as, defying the ridicule of the learned world, he actually unearths the remains of the ancient city of Troy. We share the excitement of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter as they first glimpse the riches of Tutankhamen's tomb, of George Smith when he found the ancient clay tablets that contained the records of the Biblical Flood. We rediscover the ruined splendors of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient wold; of Chichen Itza, the abandoned pyramids of the Maya: and the legendary Labyrinth of tile Minotaur in Crete. Here is much of the history of civilization and the stories of the men who rediscovered it.
Mass Market Paperback
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This wonderful book was first published in 1949. Fifty years of new archeological discoveries and theories had elapsed. Nevertheless it stands, undiminished, as magnificent introduction to Archeology and the Worlds of the Past: Egypt, Sumeria, Greece and Yucatan.
Mr. Ceram (pen name of the author) writes passionately about his subject. The reader starts a discovery travel going along with amazing characters: with Schliemann in his search of Troy; with Champollion in search of the key for reading Egyptian hieroglyphs; with Carter and Howard for the unearthing of Tutankhamen's tomb. The list continues jumping from one era to other; from one continent to a different and distant one. They constitute a heterogeneous bunch united by a burning desire for knowledge, wild imagination and undaunted persistence to make their dreams real.
I first read this work when I was seventeen and discovering Europe. It helped me a lot to understand and appreciate the...
This is one of the best books I ever read. Reading it with 14 for the first time I didn't know very much about archeology. Through this book I got so interested in Archeology that I read many more books about ancient Crete, Egytpt, Greece, Sumer, and the Mexican civilizations. Although anyone who really is looking for exact facts can easily find them, it is not just a simple heap of facts. Its purpose was never to be a sober school book, but Ceram himself wrote that it is intended to be a "novel of archeology that shows the suspence in reality, but lets imagination sparkle". Masterfully written this book pays it's respect not only to the masterfinds but also to the masterminds of archeology. This book will open anyone's mind to appreciate this fascinating science.
If there's an archeologist inside you struggling to get out, here's an inspiring book.
This is an old book and much has happened in the field since its publication, but since this book presents the stories behind past archeological discoveries, that is not a crucial weakness.
It's great strength is the writing. Author C.W. Ceram (actually German journalist Kurt Wilhelm Marek) has a knack for turning drudgery into the sort of adventure that stirs the romantic dreamer in us. An intellectual's idea of adventure.
I haven't been the same since I first read it.
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