Ancient Mysteries: Discover the latest intriguiging, Scientifically sound explinations to Age-old puzzles

Peter James; Nick Thorpe

Published by Ballantine Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 0345434889 / ISBN 13: 9780345434883
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Synopsis: For centuries, philosophers, scientists, and charlatans have attempted to decipher the baffling mysteries of our past, from Stonehenge to the lost continent of Atlantis. Today, however, DNA testing, radiocarbon dating, and other cutting-edge investigative tools, together with a healthy dose of common sense, are guiding us closer to the truth. Now historian Peter James and archaeologist Nick Thorpe tackle these age-old conundrums, presenting the latest information from the scientific community–and the most startling challenges to traditional explanations of mysteries such as:

· The rise and fall of the Maya
· A lost cache of Dead Sea Scrolls
· The curse of Tutankhamun
· The devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah
· The Nazca Lines and the Vinland Map
· The existence of Robin Hood

These true mystery stories twist and turn like a good whodunit, as James and Thorpe present the evidence for and against the expert theories, shedding new light on humankind’s age-old struggle to make sense of the past. Ancient Mysteries will entertain and enlighten, delight the curious and inform the serious.

Review: There may be a wide gap between uncritical belief and hard-line skepticism, but that doesn't mean many writers have chosen to explore this territory. Now science writer Peter James and archaeologist Dr. Nick Thorpe have teamed up again to examine Ancient Mysteries, pledging allegiance to no theory or theorist, free to explore any explanation supported by the evidence. As often happens, they must finally throw up their hands in confusion, but getting there is half the fun.

Did King Arthur really exist? Who was Robin Hood? How did the enormous stone heads of Easter Island find their way to their resting places? Why did the Mayans disappear? These are some of the 37 big questions tackled by James and Thorpe in nearly 700 pages. A few of their selections may seem curious when compared to the puzzles that have gripped us for centuries, but overall their penetrating analyses of legend and archaeological data are fascinating and engagingly written. For those who can tolerate a bit of uncertainty in their reading, Ancient Mysteries will be a profoundly satisfying look into the fuzzy boundaries of our knowledge. --Rob Lightner

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Title: Ancient Mysteries: Discover the latest ...
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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