by David Macaulay

Hardcover, 1975


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Call number

J 932.01 Ma


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1975), Edition: First Edition, 2nd Printing, 80 pages


Text and black-and-white illustrations follow the intricate step-by-step process of the building of an ancient Egyptian pyramid.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member AlCracka
I used to love these books when I was a kid. Turns out they're still pretty awesome.
LibraryThing member scnelson
This book is an old friend, a magnificently illustrated story of how the pyramids were built, or as close to our understanding of it came at the time. While it is a bit dated, the pictures of the process still give this book great value in showing us that one way or the other, these incredible
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structures were built by people not that different than you and I, though there world was quite a bit different indeed.
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LibraryThing member raizel
Lots of details about the ancient Egyptian pyramids were built. An explanation of how the Egyptians determined which way was north by marking off where the stars rose and set on a circular structure.
LibraryThing member nbmars
David Macauley has written a series of informative books about architectural wonders. Pyramid describes the burial monuments of the Egyptian pharaohs, who ruled the country between 3000 and 1100 BC.

The author writes:

“Death in ancient Egypt was considered the beginning of a new life in another
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world. This life, assuming certain precautions were taken, would last forever. Because life on earth was relatively short, the Egyptians built their houses of mud. They built their tombs of stone since life after death was eternal.”

He informs us that the tomb had two main functions: one was to protect the body and the riches buried along side it. The second was to house the “ka” or spiritual duplicate of a person separate from the body.

Macauley then proceeds to describe in great detail the structure of pyramids and the complex of surrounding temples and tombs, how all of it was built, and what kind of labor force was required for the huge undertaking. He illustrates the history with fine pen and ink. He also reviews the complicated process of preparing the bodies for burial by mummification.

A glossary is included in the back of the book.

Evaluation: This book will more than satisfy both kids and adults curious about the amazing steps taken in Ancient Egypt to create such enormous buildings without any modern equipment, as well as perfecting of techniques to preserve the bodies put inside them. Some of what we know today is just conjecture, but the author sheds a great deal of light on how these wonders could have occurred.
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Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 1978)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 1980)


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Original publication date


Physical description

12.25 inches


0395214076 / 9780395214077


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