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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the Mirror of Heaven, 15 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Breaking the Mirror of Heaven: The Conspiracy to Suppress the Voice of Ancient Egypt (Paperback)
I'm really glad that Robert Bauval (together with Ahmed Osman) decided to write a book like this one because it's about time that somebody voiced the issue, that can be summarised as "What is wrong with the current Egyptology" to the general public (as many other authors have very similar overall observations -> for example John Anthony West in "The Serpent in the Sky", Christopher Knight and Alan Butler in "Before the Pyramids" or even Schwaller de Lubicz in "The Temple in Man").

In 7 chapters, about 340 pages (with several pages of black & white, and colour photos) the authors are discussing the following: life of Zahi Hawass and his role in Supreme Council of Antiquities, various bits and pieces from daily life in Egypt between 1920-80s, history and importance of Egypt in ancient - and more recent - times (Solon, Plato, Pythagoras, Euclid, Alexander the Great, times of Roman Empire and Catholic Church, Napoleonic expeditions, and so on), history of Egypt's antiquities (like the author is saying: the "story of vandalism, looting and exploitation"; that part also include story of Jean-Francois Champollion), history of Egypt in more recent times (Muhammad Ali, Khedive Ismail, King Farouk I, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak and so on), story of Lord/Lady Carnarvon - the same who with Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 (if you have ever visited the Highclere Castle you probably already know the whole story behind it), story of Rudolph Gantenbrink's robot, ARCE Sphinx mapping project (and Hall of Records), and many other interesting subjects (simply too many to mention here).

There is also a little bit about Freemasonry, Zionist movements, Islamic Jurisdictional College (the most influential body of Islamic affairs), or even people like Edgar Cayce - but those are not the main points of the book (they do however give a great background to the main story).

Would the book change anything? Honest answer: I doubt it (and I wish that it would), but on the other hand (just like both authors are saying in the introductory chapter), I can still hope that this book will be one of the first small steps to change Egyptology for better:

"There still is today a strange silence from Egyptologist, both in Egypt and elsewhere, perhaps still spooked and intimidated by two decades of authoritarian rule and control from Hawass. And thus one of the purposes of this book is for us to speak out and break this barrier of fear. We also hope that now, with Hawass gone, Egyptology in Egypt will be democratized again and that the new ideas, no matter how controversial, will be allowed to be expressed and debated".

In overall, even though both authors seem to have a slight "aversion" toward Hawass, I greatly enjoyed reading it (personally I can't really blame them for that - but it maybe a negative point for you). It is quite obvious that not everything that we've been told by the orthodox Egyptologists or even archaeologists is correct, as our past in simply full of "anomalies" that are contrary to orthodox version of our (as humanity) beginnings. Maybe now some of "anomalies" can finally be discussed with an open mind.

If you are interested in "history of Egyptology and Egypt", you should probably read this book - but bear in mind that it is quite different from any other book written by Bauval or Osman. I would say that comparing with their other books, this one is definitely more about politics, corruption, greed and how various people did actually shaped and influenced the Egyptology - some of them in a negative way - from behind the scenes.
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