Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth Behind Ancient Egypt by Robert Temple
|Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth Behind Ancient Egypt by Robert Temple|
|Reviewer: John Harding|
|Summary: Fascinating insight into Ancient Egypt using new dating techniques and exploration of new theories.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 528||Date: September 2010|
This is latest book from Robert Temple in which he documents new theories on the Ancient Egyptians. There are some startling claims in the book, not least regarding the Pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid and the proposal that there were in fact two Egyptian civilisations that existed alongside each other in different parts of Egypt. If the author is correct in all of his assertions then it would certainly point to the location of amazing new archaeological discoveries and shine a new perspective on how we view the Ancient Egyptians and the Pyramids.
I found the first chapter particularly heavy and difficult to follow. In it, Robert Temple,exposes the big lie and details the geometric relationships between the pyramids and points of interests on the Giza Plateau. Even as a former A-Level and University Mathematics student, I had trouble following the text with what the author was describing. I think it is important from a historical perspective, but it was very heavy and made me a little apprehensive about the following chapters.
It is a pity that Chapter 1 is so difficult to read as the remainder of the book addresses its subject matter in a very readable way. He explains some fairly complex ideas and presents them very well with particular mention being made of the new revolutionary stone dating technique used on his trip. The author uses an energetic and candid writing style that makes the material more readable than would otherwise be the case, but unfortunately does refer to some other Egyptologists a little disrespectfully. It is unnecessary and a touch disappointing.
The book is populated with slides and these certainly bring the text to life. The author collected a number of these during his trip to Egypt where he had unprecedented access to some archaeological sites and therefore these are not found elsewhere. I should also mention the website that is referenced throughout the book. The author uses his online presence to complement the book and support the material contained on the printed page. There are also additional slides that were not included in the book, as well as full sized versions of those photographs that are included. While it is good that the book is so well complemented, I can envisage readers on holiday or without an Internet connection not being able to access this additional material and be disappointed because of it.
It is clear that the book is painstakingly researched with loads of little stories thrown into the text. One particular example of the noted 19th-Century Egyptologist, Howard Vyse, who used dynamite to blast his way into the historical sites and whom the author claims forged graffiti in the discovered chambers. To prove this, the author quotes from his publications, his diary and his journal records to ensure the reader is in no doubt as to what Vyse did. This is done throughout the entire book with Robert Temple drawing on as many sources of evidence at his disposal to underline and prove his point.
The book will certainly appeal to Egyptologists or people with a firm interest in ancient history, but the material is captivating enough and well presented to be readable and enjoyed by people outside of historical circles. It is not a textbook at all, but is actually a very good and intriguing read and well worth a punt, if you can get past the first chapter that is.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: If this book appeals then you might enjoy The Rosetta Stone by John Ray.
You can read more book reviews or buy Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth Behind Ancient Egypt by Robert Temple at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth Behind Ancient Egypt by Robert Temple at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.