New York occasions Bestseller (Expeditions)
“Thrilling. … A desirable background of 2 males who dramatically replaced their contemporaries’ view of the past.” — Kirkus (starred review)
"[An] experience story that make[s] Indiana Jones look tame.” — Library Journal
In 1839, rumors of extraordinary but baffling stone ruins buried in the unmapped jungles of crucial the United States reached of the world’s such a lot intrepid tourists. Seized via the studies, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood—both already celebrated for his or her adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome—sailed jointly out of latest York Harbor on an day trip into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they discovered would upend the West’s knowing of human history.
In the culture of Lost urban of Z and In the dominion of Ice, former San Francisco Chronicle journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist William Carlsen finds the remarkable tale of the invention of the traditional Maya. Enduring affliction, battle, and the torments of nature and terrain, Stephens and Catherwood meticulously exposed and documented the continues to be of an stunning civilization that had flourished within the Americas even as vintage Greece and Rome—and have been its rival in artwork, structure, and tool. Their masterful ebook concerning the event, written via Stephens and illustrated through Catherwood, grew to become a sensation, hailed through Edgar Allan Poe as “perhaps the main attention-grabbing e-book of commute ever released” and well-known this present day because the beginning of yankee archaeology. most vital, Stephens and Catherwood have been the 1st to understand the importance of the Maya continues to be, figuring out that their antiquity and class overturned the West’s assumptions concerning the improvement of civilization.
By the time of the flowering of classical Greece (400 b.c.), the Maya have been already developing pyramids and temples round relevant plazas. inside a number of hundred years the constructions took on a huge scale that required hundreds of thousands of man-hours of work, and technical and organizational services. Over the following millennium, dozens of city-states developed, every one ruled via robust lords, a few with populations better than any urban in Europe on the time, and attached by means of road-like causeways of beaten stone. The Maya built a cohesive, unified cosmology, an array of universal gods, a construction tale, and a shared inventive and architectural imaginative and prescient. They created stucco and stone monuments and bas reliefs, sculpting figures and hieroglyphs with sophisticated creative ability. At their height, an expected ten million humans occupied the Maya’s heartland at the Yucatan Peninsula, a quarter the place merely part one million now dwell. And but by the point the Spanish reached the “New World,” the Maya had all yet disappeared; they might stay a secret for the following 300 years.
Today, the tables are grew to become: the Maya are justly recognized, if occasionally misunderstood, whereas Stephens and Catherwood were approximately forgotten. in line with Carlsen’s rigorous research and his personal 2,500-mile trip in the course of the Yucatan and significant the USA, Jungle of Stone is both an exhilarating experience narrative and a revelatory paintings of heritage that corrects our figuring out of Stephens, Catherwood, and the Maya themselves.