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Book Cover
Author Thurston, Harry, 1950-

Title Secrets of the sands : the revelations of Egypt's everlasting oasis / Harry Thurston.

Published New York : Arcade Pub. : Distributed by Time Warner Book Group, 2004.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  932 THUR    AVAILABLE
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Physical description x, 388 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 373-383) and index.
Contents Part I Island of the Blessed -- 1. Other Egypt 6 -- Part II Garden C.400,000 - 12,000 B.P. -- 2. Everlasting Oasis 34 -- 3. Garden 55 -- Part III Crossers of the Sand 12,000 - 4000 B.P. -- 4. Great Stone Ring 72 -- 5. A Gift of the Desert 93 -- 6. Crossers of the Sand 120.
Summary Amid a sea of sand, in a part of Egypt so parched that decades pass between rain-storms, a green island may contain the whole of human history. It is called Dakhleh, the "ever-lasting oasis," and it holds a rich trove of archaeological clues. In Secrets of the Sands, acclaimed science writer and journalist Harry Thurston follows an international team of archaeologists as they unlock secrets of nearly half a million years -- secrets that may overturn commonly held notions about where, and with whom, lies the cradle of Egyptian civilization. Over the course of a thirty-year dig, the team has discovered a perfect Old Kingdom town, with buildings ranging from palaces to common bakeries; the oldest monumental architecture in Egypt, older even than the earliest of the pyramids; an archive of 10,000 papyri; huge caches of mummies, some still covered in ancient gold foil; an entire Roman city -- a desert Pompeii swallowed up by shifting sands; and the world's two oldest books, their pages of thin wood still bound together with age-old string. Perhaps most impressive of all is that these discoveries occurred in a single, magical place where it is possible to trace human habitation back more than 400,000 years ... before the advent of modern Homo sapiens.
Thurston is an inquisitive and insightful guide, blending the best of adventure, travelogue, and scientific mystery in his narrative. In an account as captivating as it is enlightening, he portrays both the dig itself and the surrounding archaeological culture, introducing us to maverick adventurers and trivia-touting professors as well as the rugged romance of the desert oasis. At the same time, Secrets of the Sands traces on a grand historical scale the way human civilization has been shaped by the changing environment of the Sahara. An enthralling detective story that sheds new light on the rise of Egyptian civilization, Secrets of the Sands lays bare a parable about the fragile balance between humankind and the world around us, a parable that is especially relevant in an era of diminishing resources.
Subject Dakhla Oasis (Egypt) -- History.
Dakhla Oasis (Egypt) -- Antiquities.
Egypt -- Civilization -- To 332 B.C.
Egypt -- Civilization -- 332 B.C.-638 A.D.
ISBN 1559707038 (alk. paper)