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Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt: Advanced Engineering in the Temples of the Pharao
Title: Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt: Advanced Engineering in the Temples of the Pharaohs
Author(s): Christopher Dunn
Published 2010 by Bear & Company
Paperback, 400 pages
View this Book on Amazon
Reviewer: Mike Gleason
I wish I had read this book prior to reading Ancient Egypt 39,000BCE (see my previous review), as much of Mr. Dunn's work presented herein is referenced in that book, and I may have been better able to appreciate the references.
On the other hand, this is a much more technical book than the preceding one, and it might have discouraged me from getting into it quickly. Mr. Dunn is an engineer by trade, and that is abundantly evident from his treatment of the monuments of ancient Egypt and the procedures which went into their production and erection. Whereas most visitors to the wonders of Egypt come away in awe of the grandeur which is evident, Mr. Dunn looks deeper.
In fact, looking deeper is only the start of his investigations. It is the appearance which draws him to, whenever possible, get "hands on" and feel the workmanship which may not be evident to the naked eye. And, working in the manufacturing field gives him access to the tools which can verify or disprove what the eyes apparently see. It has often been remarked upon that the precision with which the pyramids were assembled is astounding. This precision carries over to monuments, temples, and (alleged) sarcophagi. The question Mr. Dunn raises is "Why?" Since many of these items were not intended to be viewed "up close and personal" why go to all the extra effort.
Of course, an even more vexing question is "How did they do it?" Stone hammers, copper chisels and wooden wedges hardly seem capable of producing the fineness which is such a hallmark of Egyptian monumental workings. These are the only tools which have survived to the modern day, but were they the only tools available is the question he raises. If more sophisticated tools existed, why haven't they been found?
Without resorting to "ancient astronauts," "Atlantean power crystals," or any of the other fanciful projections he attempts to provide reasonable answers. How well he succeeds is for the individual reader to decide. His attempts may or may not provide the correct interpretation, and we may never know for sure, but he has provided much food for thought.
With the advent and proliferation of computers and advanced software, as well as digital cameras, it is possible to see items which previous generations could never have considered. Details may be examined in three dimensions while sitting in comfort, far from the heat and sandstorms which limited so many earlier investigations. It is now possible to examine artifacts which have never left the sites where they were originally installed, thus providing the opportunity to see relationships which may not have been considered important at the time of discovery.
The color plates, while not enough to justify the cost of the book in themselves, certainly are both interesting and impressive. They are augmented by a proliferation of black and white photos and line drawings which help to illustrate what Mr. Dunn is saying.
Unless you are really interested in the engineering aspects of ancient Egyptian stone working, you are liable to find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of detail which is provided in this work. It is, however, in my opinion, well worth the effort to follow what Mr. Dunn has laid out in this book. Whether you can fully grasp the intricacies of what he says, he makes it very easy to look at ancient monuments with new eyes, and a greater appreciation for the effort involved in creating them.
At $25, this is not an inexpensive book, but it is worth the cost. Mr. Dunn does not attempt to say that these are the only possible explanations. He freely admits that he has not got all the answers; but he does raise interesting questions which should be pursued by other researchers.
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