A brief overview of ancient Egyptian civilization revealed mostly through the excavation of the products of its stone craftsmen. Janet Van Duyn begins with the Nile and its early settlements, scanning the three periods of the great pharaohs during which spectacular building booms took place. Though she describes with relative clarity some of the equipment and methods used in creating the pyramids, somehow the scope and scale of the projects fail to come alive. And somehow, Ms. Van Duyn is not too convincing when she states that the pharaoh's builders ""held him in such respect that they labored willingly under the blazing sun to erect his palace, set up his temple. . . ."" Little more than a utilitarian review of the types of structures erected, the religious beliefs responsible for some of their features, and some of the archaeological finds which revealed the secrets of the civilization Charts of chronology, diagrams, and a list of museums with Egyptian collections are appended.