An unprecedented account of one of civilization's greatest achievements.
The great pyramids of Giza have intrigued humanity for thousands of years. Questions about the construction and the purpose of these majestic monuments have existed since the middle period of ancient Egyptian civilization; in the sixth century B.C., Herodotus was the first of generations of explorers to travel to Egypt in an attempt to unlock their secrets. Recent cutting-edge research has uncovered information about how and why they were built unimaginable to previous generations. In Mountains of the Pharaohs, Zahi Hawass, a world-renowned archaeologist and the official guardian of Egypt's timeless treasures, weaves the latest archaeological data and an enthralling family history into spellbinding narrative.
Nearly five thousand years ago, the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom reigned over a highly advanced civilization. Believed to be gods, the royal family lived amidst colossal palaces and temples built to honor them and their deified ancestors. Hawass brings these extraordinary historical figures to life, spinning a soap opera-like saga complete with murder, incest, and the triumphant ascension to the throne of one of only four queens ever to rule Egypt.
The magnificent pyramids attest not only to the dynasty's supreme power, but also to the engineering expertise and architectural sophistication that flourished under their rule. Hawass argues that the pyramids-including the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World still standing-were built by skilled craftsman who took great pride in their work.