Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt: The Astonishing and Unlikely True Story of One of the Twentieth Century's Greatest Paleontological Discoveries by William Nothdurft and Josh Smith

Title: The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt
Author: William Nothdurft and Josh Smith
Release Date: September 9, 2003
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Format: Trade Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: Non-Fiction

"The date is January 11, 1911. A young German paleontologist, accompanied only by a guide, a cook, four camels, and a couple of camel drivers, reaches the lip of the vast Bahariya Depression after a long trek across the bleak plateau of the western desert of Egypt. The scientist, Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach, hopes to find fossil evidence of early mammals. In this, he will be disappointed, for the rocks here will prove to be much older than he thinks. They are nearly a hundred million years old. Stromer is about to learn that he has walked into the age of the dinosaurs.

At the bottom of the Bahariya Depression, Stromer will find the remains of four immense and entirely new dinosaurs, along with dozens of other unique specimens. But there will be reversals—shipments delayed for years by war, fossils shattered in transit, stunning personal and professional setbacks. Then, in a single cataclysmic night, all of his work will be destroyed and Ernst Stromer will slip into history and be forgotten.

The date is January 11, 2000—eighty-nine years to the day after Stromer descended into Bahariya. Another young paleontologist, Ameri-can graduate student Josh Smith, has brought a team of fellow scientists to Egypt to find Stromer’s dinosaur graveyard and resurrect the German pioneer’s legacy. After weeks of digging, often under appalling conditions, they fail utterly at rediscovering any of Stromer’s dinosaur species.

Then, just when they are about to declare defeat, Smith’s team discovers a dinosaur of such staggering immensity that it will stun the world of paleontology and make headlines around the globe.

Masterfully weaving together history, science, and human drama, The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt is the gripping account of not one but two of the twentieth century’s great expeditions of discovery." (

 About the Author:
"William Nothdurft is the author, coauthor, or ghostwriter of nearly a dozen books, including the award-winning Ghosts of Everest, about the search for the missing mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.  
Josh Smith served six years in the U.S. Army before getting his B.Sc. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an assistant professor at Washington University." (

This book greatly appeals to my nerdy side. I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and archaeology, and this was a great book to read that included both interests. Very well written, it is easy for anybody to read and understand. A ton of information is given on the history of the world, geological practices and knowledge, as well as background information on the team who participated in this project. There are some great pictures so the reader can get a sense of the environment in which the dig took place, as well as the conditions worked in. I do not recall hearing about this discovery back in the early 2000s, but now that I have I want to know more! I really hope you will give this book a shot. Like I said, anyone could read it and understand it, and it's fascinating to hear different theories about how the Earth used to be formed, how the continents split, what creatures lived at what time. Let me know what you thought if you read it! Happy Reading!

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