Cover image for The seventy wonders of the ancient world : the great monuments and how they were built
The seventy wonders of the ancient world : the great monuments and how they were built
Scarre, Christopher.
Publication Information:
London : Thames & Hudson, 1999.
Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color), portraits ; 27 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CC165 .S48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CC165 .S48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Abu Simbel, Angkor Wat, Petra: today we stand in awe before the great monuments of the past as we wonder who built them and for what purpose. This authoritative and profusely illustrated compendium celebrates the achievements of those ancient builders who created huge and impressive structures without the benefit of modern technology. Expanding upon the theme of the traditional Seven Wonders, The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World incorporates marvels from around the globe, spanning the centuries from the first stone monuments of the fifth millennium b.c. to the Great Temple of the Aztecs in the sixteenth century a.d. The shaping of the Great Sphinx at Giza, the raising of the stones at Stonehenge, the laying out of the Nazca Lines on the face of the Peruvian desert, or the construction of the Great Wall of China (probably the greatest building project ever attempted in ancient times) are all described and explained in light of the most up-to-date archaeological research. So too are the erection of Egyptian obelisks and Easter Island statues, and the building of Roman roads and Inca bridges. Neglected monuments such as the giant stelae of Aksum or the mountain palace at Sigiriya are set beside the great Baths of Caracalla in Rome and the palace of Persepolis. Packed with factfiles, diagrams, photographs, and newly commissioned perspective views, The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World provides a testament to the skill of the ancient engineers and architects who created lasting memorials--some for practical ends, others for prestige and propaganda--that have continued to impress successive generations through the ages.

Author Notes

Chris Scarre is Deputy Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and editor of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal. He has also written Chronicle of the Roman Emperors (Thames and Hudson) and coauthored Civilizations.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Scarre has assembled a compendium of essays, photographs, and diagrams detailing how 70 ancient architectural gems were actually conceived and built. Beginning with the traditional seven wonders of the ancient world, each structure is analyzed in terms of design, engineering, and construction. Individual articles are arranged in sections devoted to tombs and cemeteries; temples and shrines; palaces, baths, and arenas; fortifications; harbors, hydraulics, and roads; and colossal statues and monoliths. This lavishly illustrated volume celebrates the vision, the ingenuity, and the tenacity of the ancient architects and builders responsible for erecting an array of enduring, awe-inspiring structures. Margaret Flanagan