Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating Read That Won't DisappointJuly 15 2010
Jay W. Lundgreen
- Published on Amazon.com
Having read Dunn's first book, The Giza Power Plant, at least a dozen times, I must say that this work represents a big step forward. The previous book by Dunn left me starving for more information about ancient Egypt and their technologocal prowess. This book delivers that in spades. Not only has the level of detail been amplified, but it is clear that the author has become a lot more comfortable with the written word. His voice is clear and confident and each chapter has been edited and polished quite a bit.
For a very casual reader the book may seem a little bit intimidating due to its technical nature, but Dunn does a superb job of finding the balance between too technical and not detailed enough. The end result is a book that is very easy to read and one that presents an extremely compelling bunch of evidence regarding what the ancient Egyptians were actually capable of.
I found myself re-reading several chapters, not because I didn't understand them, but beacause what I had read was so astounding that I needed another read through just to let it sink in. This is a truly remarkable book that is surely to become one of the "standard works" in the field.
87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Don't Let the Title Fool YouAug. 4 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Here is a book the world has been waiting for. Do not let the clinical sounding title fool you, either. If they had asked me, I'd have called it The Joy of Discovery: A Humble Materials Engineer's Adventures In Ancient Egypt. It's a great ride, not a text book. It is a truly rigorous analysis of the artifacts the ancient Egyptians left behind, but it's also the story that surrounds Chris Dunn's exploration of this astonishing world. It makes you feel like you were along on an amazing adventure.
Dunn wrote the indispensable The Giza Power Plant, an astonishing analysis of the Great Pyramid, and his fans have been eagerly awaiting this new effort. None will be disappointed. This time, he's writing about the places in Egypt many of us have overlooked. Trust me, the Ramses statues at Luxor are every bit as astounding an accomplishment as the Great Pyramid, although I had no idea 'til I read this book.
Dunn has been a materials engineer for decades. He works for a company that you might hire if you have an idea on paper, a drawing, for instance, and want someone to make a physical object out of it in stone or steel. When he looks at a cell phone, his mind sees the tools that were required to make the curved plastic shell the guts of the phone are packaged in. It's how his mind works. So where most of us glance at nice statues and columns, and walk on to the next nice thing to glance at, Chris Dunn stops in his tracks. How did they DO that?, he asks. He photographs them, and subjects the photos to cutting edge Computer Aided Design analysis. He measures them carefully. He zooms in, and notices almost invisible flaws that are evidence of the manufacturing processes that human beings used to craft these objects.
He's cheerful amateur. The world of academic egyptology is as stodgy and calcified as any stuffy field. Dunn has no credentials there. But he has a fresh set of eyes, and a mind not preprogrammed to interpret what he sees when he looks at these artifacts. Egyptologists have no doubt that these masterfully crafted objects were created using stone and soft copper tools, even though the objects are made of the hardest stone, granite, which even we in our advanced stage of technology find quite difficult to work. Dunn sees the extreme depth of very narrow, very sharp-edged engraving in a granite obelisk, and knows better. It's impossible.
But he has no agenda. You never sense he has an ax to grind. He's unfailingly kind and respectful of all he encounters, even when the reader (me) would have reacted with scathing sarcasm when presented with preposterous propositions (like the idea that deep, sharp, curved, writing can be cut into granite with copper chisels).
He never hypes the possible implications of his findings, but presents them with the hope that others will replicate them, and carry on the work. In fact, he often takes the opportunity to revisit his prior speculations, from The Giza Power Plant, and corrects them when he finds out he was wrong. Science at its best.
Reading the book, we see his life in this realm unfolding, almost reluctantly, like an old road map. We learn that his normal life, his job, constrained his options to travel (only so many vacation days in a straight job), but his employer came to recognize the value of what he was doing in his avocation, and made it possible for him to travel back to Egypt many times, as he discovered more clues and found he needed better pictures and measurements. What a joy it is to learn that.
Another thing we see is how the greats of the new egyptology (as I think of it) befriended Chris Dunn, which is incredibly heartening, considering that his work draws elements of their theories into question. I love that, even though only those who've read Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, John Anthony West, et al, would notice it--all Dunn does is mention their kindnesses to him. I detect a collegiality going on there. Dunn comes across as a cheerful amateur with no agenda, who delights to finds himself amongst the stars, but never becomes star struck. Just pursuing the questions, and happy to be doing it.
And everything he was doing through those years was as consequential as any of the greats who befriended him. It's a very good life we get a glimpse into.
Dunn's two books are essential to our understanding of the ancient world. I'd say they are the launching pad for a whole new realm of research, and can't wait to read all the books that come out of the researchers who pick up the glove he's thrown down.
Ever since I stumbled upon Tompkins, 25 or so years ago, I've described the Great Pyramid as a glove the ancients have thrown down, a challenge for all of us to pick up. I've read Hancock and the rest, with great delight, but it was The Giza Power Plant that caused me to regale friends--and in doing so I always say that Chris Dunn is simply a materials engineer who picked up the glove the ancients threw down, and went to the trouble of describing that challenge in a way that challenges us all to do the same. The rest of the great writers in this category (the independent analysts not connected to academic egyptology) tend to include a metaphysical theory to explain what we find in Egypt, but Dunn is a pure scientist. A pure scientist, moreover, who writes to to the rest of us. He carefully measures the artifacts, and presents the physical requirements involved in making that happen. He doesn't ask WHY they made these things, he asks HOW they did it. And he asks how WE would go about it if called upon to duplicate those achievements.
The new book throws down that familiar old glove with new alacrity. It is delightful.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Buy this erudite bookJuly 13 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This is, said with familiarity of what has been written, the most important book on ancient Egypt since the 1971 publication of Secrets of the Great Pyramid by Peter Tompkins and Livio Catullo Stecchini. It is a good buy even for a person of casual interest, because, due to the excellent color photographic plates, it would be a stunner of a coffee table book.
In the law, there are three commonly encountered standards of proof: 1) A preponderance of the evidence, sometimes taught as "just over half," -- enough to prove the point: 2) Clear and Convincing evidence, which means what it says, evidence so strong that a reasonable person would be convinced by it, and: 3) Unlike the preceding two, which are civil law terms, the proof standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the hurtle to be met by a jury in a criminal case. Dunn, like Flinders Petrie long before him (who wrote convincingly of the use of high speed lathes in ancient Egypt), writes with a level of detailed example not previously seen, and provides, at the least, clear and convincing evidence of the use of powerful large machine tools of very high calibration as having been necessarily used to obtain the exquisitely detailed and bilaterally symmetrical statuary to be found in those places in Egypt to which he has turned his camera, tripod, CAD capable computers, and decades of engineering skill.
This book is a "10," and a very important intellectual achievement, capable of being recognized as an opened window to the panorama of high machine technology from an epoch long ago. It is suggested that the writings of Charles Hapgood, particularly the now-titled Path of the Pole, to which Albert Einstein committed an endorsing Forward, is one of the logical sources of companion reading for this masterful work, cumulatively providing, perhaps, clues to the long time line upon which we proceed; if, intellectually Dunn be a rebel, he is a well documented one, with a clear cause, that being respect for accuracy, including as to the past, as only that can provide a firm foundation for reasoned contemplation of the future.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This book gives glory to the geniuses who created the temples in ancient Egypt!Aug. 7 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Christopher Dunn has created a masterpiece in his quest to understand the extreme precision and high technology used in stone cutting in ancient Egypt. This book is at times highly technical but it needs to be because so is the subject matter. His book gives glory to the ancient but extremely advanced engineers and stonecutters who created the sculpture and temples of the Nile valley.
Reading Dunn's book will change your understanding of our distant past. At the very least after reading his book you will have to understand that the stories told by Egyptologists are wrong. You will understand that the books written by Egyptologists which are in the libraries around the world are filled with errors, unscientific storytelling presented as fact, and disingenuous information. This book will compel you to come to the realization that virtually everything Egyptologists say about how the temples were made and the stones were cut is incorrect.
If you are interested in breaking away from the myths and fables of Egyptology and want to replace those falsehoods with a truer understanding of the high technology possessed by people in ancient Egypt than you must read this book!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Truly a most important scientific discoveryJuly 17 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I wanted to tell you how excited I am about your important new book "Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt. I just received my copy and have started my slow, deliberate consumption. Your collection of images and illustrations are the food I need. Well, except for the need to now visit these sites! I will give you a complete review when I get thru it.
This subject is at my very core, always nagging me for more real data/detail since most of my research has left me still hungry (believe me I have devoured most that is available on these subjects).
I too work for a large aerospace company (25yrs) and have many close friends who are tooling and metrology guru's. I must say the looks on their faces when I shared a few pictures with them at lunch today (priceless!). That 'type' is pretty well cemented in today's gathering of knowledge, so this type of evidence caused a bit of a hic-up in their response. I love to make them think for themselves, I can tell it hurts :) Your work is very important.
I have a request/question in your research.
I see these tooling marks, especially the drilling cores with what appears to be a continuous grove spiraling around like an old Edison Cylinder. Have you ever thought of 'playing' these grooves like a record? There are methods to do this graphically/digitally (a graphic representation of the groove is re-converted to audio) ...used in the process of old vinyl restoration. I'm not expecting to hear music or even intended audio but I thought the sound may lend itself to understanding the machine used to make such grooves. Just a thought.
Again, congratulations on a most important body of work (love your Ghiza Power Plant work as well),