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Cochineal Red: Travels Through Ancient Peru…
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Cochineal Red: Travels Through Ancient Peru

by Hugh Thomson

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The author gives a strongly personal account of his experiences organising and visiting archeological digs throughout South America. At the same time he gives a vivid picture of ancient lives, and the current controversies surrounding modern archeology. The description of the process of analysing the evidence is very well done, particularly in relation to the transformation of the authors own view about the significance of stellar and solar alignments on architecture. Perhaps the very best part of what is a surprisingly excellent book is the frantically chaotic but hugely lively description of the authors involvement in the modern day running of an ancient festival. There is a hint in the repetition of a phrase here and there that this book might have started life as a series of articles, but the overall effect does not suffer for that. ( )
  nandadevi | Feb 19, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0297645641, Hardcover)

Peru wears its ancient cultures wrapped around in layers, like one of the mummified bodies so well preserved by the nitrates of its deserts. After his acclaimed book on the Incas, The White Rock, Hugh Thomson unwraps those layers to show how civilisation emerged so early and so spectacularly in this toughest and most arid of terrains. Many of the extraordinary cultures of Ancient Peru, from the lines of Nasca to the temple-cult of Chavin, buried in the mountains, and the great pyramids of the coast, have only started to give up their secrets and antiquity in just the last few years. As one archaeologist put it: 'Imagine if all the discoveries of Ancient Egypt had been made so recently - the finding of Tutankhamen's tomb, of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, of Abu Simbel - and you have some idea of the great excitement at what has been happening in Peru.' Hugh Thomson has been at the forefront of some of these discoveries himself, having made headlines with his work near Machu Picchu. Now he takes the reader on a journey back from the world of the Incas to the first dawn of Andean civilisation, to give an immensely personal and accessible guide to the wonders that have been revealed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:30 -0400)

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The West is under threat. Russia has been granted sole access to the undersea Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic Ocean - home to oil reserves even greater than Saudi Arabia's. The US is determined to claim a share of the oil riches. The CIA send ex-KGB agent Anna on a mission to the brutal wilderness of Norilsk - the base of Russia's Arctic development and a new floating nuclear station. She must disrupt their plans, but Intelligence reports that a Russian group are already planning to destroy the precious power station. But why are they risking everything to sabotage their own country's resources? Is the US trying to force an outcome while keeping their hands clean? With the KGB hot on their tail, it's up to Anna and the CIA to prevent an attack that could destroy the entire Arctic region, and its oil reserves, for ever.… (more)

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