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AMAZEing Art™ : Wonders of the Ancient World
by Christopher Berg

For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Berg
Tel. (510) 579-0743
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Mazes and labyrinths have existed in a myriad of forms throughout history. Recently, however, they have begun to experience a resurgence, showing up in gardens, churches, home décor—and even cornfields. AMAZEing Art: Wonders of the Ancient World (October 2, 2001 HarperResource, $15.00) is the first book to combine original maze artwork with descriptions of ancient civilizations: complex puzzles that inspire an interest in antiquity.

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A rare and delightful blend of whimsy and knowledge. Mr. Berg's labyrinths delight the eye while he offers an introduction to some of the most fascinating monuments of the ancient world."

—Sean Hemingway, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Berg has created more than 30 mazes, drawn to scale, that illustrate the artistry of design found in architectural wonders from the distant past. His essays on these monuments explore their methods of construction, look at the people who created and lived with them, and ponder their eventual fates. He draws on recorded history, scientific facts, and recent archaeological discoveries, as well as anecdotes from long-lost travelers and writers like the renowned ancient historian, Herodotus, and Pausanias, a Greek travel writer from the second century AD.

AMAZEing Art brings to life the often surprising stories behind the monuments of ancient civilizations. Readers discover:

  • The evidence linking Plato's lost civilization of Atlantis with one of the four famous architectural labyrinths of antiquity, the Minoan palace at Knossos (1600 BC).
  • How the 19th Century tyrant Mohammed Ali once had plans to completely tear down the Great Pyramid at Gîza—the last surviving Wonder of the Ancient World and the tallest building in the world for more than 4,000 years—for its stone. He was dissuaded only when he learned that a quarry closer to Cairo was more economical.
  • Why an opulent bedchamber, occupied each night by just one woman, was all that lay atop the lofty peak of the ancient Sumerian stepped pyramid at Ur (2100 BC).
  • The history of the Colossus of Rhodes (290 BC), a bronze statue comparable in size to the Statue of Liberty, that was built to commemorate a military victory. Toppled by an earthquake just 65 years after it was completed, its remains were ultimately carried off on the backs of 900 camels to be melted down, probably into bronze lamps.

Berg also describes what little is known about the Egyptian Labyrinth, a lost monument that was said to have "surpassed the pyramids" by the only two eyewitnesses whose accounts of it have survived. Located on the shores of an artificial lake seven days journey up the Nile from the Pyramids, nothing but a vast field of scattered rubble now occupies the site where this mysterious structure once stood.

Designed to inspire an appreciation of the ancient Wonders of the World by offering a clever new way of looking at them, AMAZEing Art challenges people of all ages and puzzle-solving skills to sharpen their pencils, start at S, and find their way to E. The mazes are printed on special erasable paper, so no one needs to worry about making mistakes. In the back of the book, there are solutions for the mazes and, for further information, a bibliography of books and websites on mazes, the ancient world, and ancient civilizations.

About the Author

Christopher Berg has been creating puzzles since the fifth grade, when he first began drawing mazes of various exotic and formless objects such as amoebas. While studying archaeology at Dartmouth College, he traveled to Greece and was inspired to draw a maze of the Parthenon. Thus began the second phase of his drawing career, which has culminated in the artwork and essays in AMAZEing Art. He has worked as a management consultant and an astronomer, and was the lead author of an article in one of the top international journals for astrophysical research. He lives in Berkeley, California.

AMAZEing Art: Wonders of the Ancient World
Christopher Berg
HarperResource/$15.00
ISBN: 0-06-095674-7

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The Pyramids likewise surpass description, but the Egyptian Labyrinth surpasses the Pyramids."

—Herodotus, Greek historian, 5th century BC

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