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Read on: a bibliographical essay
As far as stone masonry is concerned, many volumes have been published describing the surviving remains of pharaonic temples and tombs, whether in the form of traveller's accounts, archaeological reports or architectural histories (Badawy 1954-68, Smith 1958, being the first attempts to provide comprehensive historical surveys).
Although there have been many meticulous studies of specific sites or buildings, only a few - notably Petrie's surveys of the pyramids at Giza and Meydum in 1883 and 1892 - have focused on the technological aspects of the structures. On the other hand, it is remarkable that, despite Petrie's concern with the minutiae of many aspects of craftwork and tools, his general works include no study of the structural engineering of the Pharaonic period.
This gap in the literature began to be filled in the 1920s with Reginald Engelbach's studies of obelisks (Engelbach 1922, 1923), Ludwig Borchardt's many detailed studies of pyramid complexes and sun temples (eg Borchardt 1926, 1928), and the first edition of Alfred Lucas' Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries (Lucas 1926), which included a substantial section devoted to the scientific study of stone working.
However, the first real turning point arrived in 1930 with the publication of Ancient Egyptian Masonry, in which Engelbach collaborated with Somers Clarke to produce a detailed technological study of Egyptian construction methods from quarry to building site (Clarke and Engelbach 1930).
The meticulous excavations of George Reisner at Giza and elsewhere soon afterwards bore fruit in the form of the publication of The Development of the Egyptian Tomb down to the Accession of Cheops (Reisner 1936), and Reisner's work at Giza was later supplemented by the architectural reconstruction of the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara by Jean-Philippe Lauer, whose Observations sur les pyramides (Lauer 1960) was also informed by a sense of the fundamental practicalities of ancient stone masonry.
Both I.E.S. Edwards (1947, 5th ed. 1993) and Rainer Stadelmann (1985) produced general books on Egyptian pyramids which built on the observations of Borchardt, Reisner, Lauer and others, including substantial discussion of the technological problems encountered by Pharaonic builders.
Christopher Eyre (1987) has provided a detailed study of the textual and visual evidence for the organization of labour in the Old and New Kingdoms, which includes a great deal of data relating to quarrying and building (particularly covering such questions as the composition, management and remuneration of the workforce involved in procuring, transporting and working stone, as well as the timing of quarrying and construction projects).
Most recently, Dieter Arnold's Building in Egypt: Pharaonic Stone Masonry, published in 1991, is a wide-ranging study of the data, including meticulous discussion of the surviving evidence for quarrying and stone-working tools, and sophisticated, well-illustrated studies of the grooves and marks on stone blocks which can indicate many of the ways in which they were transported, manoeuvred into position and interlocked with the rest of the masonry. Like Clarke and Engelbach's Ancient Egyptian Masonry, it serves as an essential and welcome basis for all future study of Pharaonic stone masonry. Arnold's primary concern is with the technology rather than the materials; for a detailed discussion of the different types of stone utilised by the Egyptians in art and architecture, see De Putter and Karlshausen (1992).
The Giza Mapping Project.
Under the direction of Mark Lehner, the project is dedicated to research on the geology and topography of the Giza plateau, the construction and function of the Sphinx, the Great Pyramids and the associated tombs and temples.
PBS - Pyramids: The Inside Story.
The site allows you to tour the insides of the pyramids at Giza and includes interviews with Egyptologists such as Mark Lehner and Zawi Hawass.
Fathom: The World of the Pyramids.
Fathom offers online learning experiences, developed with leading scholars and experts, including in-depth courses and free seminars, shorter features, interviews and articles.
The Egypt Exploration SocietyThe Society was founded in 1882 to fund and mount archaeological expeditions to Egypt, and to publish the results. This work continues today at sites such as Amarna, Memphis and Qasr Ibrim in Egyptian Nubia, and is published in full in a series of monographs, the annual Journal of Egyptian Archaeology and bi-annual magazine, Egyptian Archaeology. Membership of the Society is open to all those interested in ancient Egypt, indeed without its members' subscriptions the Society could not continue to operate.