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Besides being among the most marvelous architectural achievements of ancient history, the pyramids are the most visible aspect of the unique religious and metaphysical beliefs of ancient Egypt. As the point of contact between earth and heaven, the human and the divine, the pyramids were the means by which the soul of the pharaoh ascended to heaven to join his celestial father, Ra.
The pyramids are still shrouded in mystery—despite all the research and studies carried out, for example, we still do not know for certain how they were built—but recent excavations and research have thrown new light on these monuments, on the lives of the workers who built them, and on the court dignitaries who were granted the privilege of a burial place near that of their king. Although the pyramids at Giza are the best known, there are others that are more ancient and less grandiose, and here for the first time, all the most important Old Kingdom pyramids and the great necropolises of Memphis are brought together, examined, and reinterpreted in light of the most recent discoveries. Their descriptions are accompanied by maps, plans, and reconstructions that take the reader on a journey of discovery into the exalted world and unique civilization that developed on the banks of the Nile during the fourth and third millennia BC.
Edited by Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and the excavator of many recent discoveries, and with texts written by some of the world’s leading Egyptologists, Treasures of the Pyramids reveals the secrets of the pyramids, describes the vicissitudes of the most famous dynasties, and illustrates—with specially commissioned photographs—the most famous tombs in the world and the treasures they contained.