Mysteries of the ancient world

by Toni Eugene

Book, 2005



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Publisher Unknown


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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member keylawk
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.
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