Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Voyages of the Pyramid Builders

Book review 2010.09

Author: Robert M. Schoch

One of my other passions has always been anthropology. If my university had offered it, it would've been one of my several majors, maybe even the one I got a degree in. In this book, Schoch synthesizes an incredible amount of historical and anthropological data to create a picture of history that is far-seeing and, well, just frikkin' neat.

The first chapter covers the high incidence of pyramids located all over the world. Then Schoch moves into comparing the myths of the many pyramid-building cultures to build a ground work for his later discussions.

Apparently, if you're not a professional anthropologist, archaeologist, or historian of the ancient world, there is lots you don't know about ancient cultures and how they spread around the world. Schoch spends lots of time discussing the accepted theories of the spread of peoples into the North America, and then discusses what the evidence shows. It's WAY more interesting than crossing the Bering land bridge.

There's a lot of information collected in this book. Personally, I thought that the author spends a little too much time showing how ancient peoples could've traveled and related with one another. Just when I was getting bored, he moved into chapter eight, which is the crux of his presentation. Essentially, his theory for why people originally settled the Americas has as much to do with comets and meteors as it does with hunting and gathering. While Schoch does wax poetic on occasion, he incorporates geological data, mythology, and physical evidence to support every statement he makes.

After a deep and very believable treatise on ancient cultures and their pyramids, Schoch then sets all that explanation aside as the set up for his closing remarks: If we're only now in this modern era learning how culturally advanced and well-traveled our ancient ancestors were, couldn't it be possible that THEY had ancient ancestors of their own? Even older civilizations and cultures who influenced THEIR growth and development.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have done enough prior research that not everything hit me out of left field. I recommend it for all of my friends who are into cultural anthro or ancient history. He knows who he is.

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