This story has a rather long, slow beginning with essentially two prologues before the story really begins--the first set in the year 1533, the secondThis story has a rather long, slow beginning with essentially two prologues before the story really begins--the first set in the year 1533, the second in 1578. Then the real story begins in 1998 when NUMA Agent Dirk Pitt becomes involved in the rescue of a couple of archaeologists in Peru. One thing leads to another and the entire party are captured by a group of violent artifact smugglers. The illegal smuggling operation is connected to a large international antiquities business. Ultimately the story focuses on the search for and acquisition of an Incan treasure trove of staggering size--golden artifacts worth a billion dollars. There's scuba diving (of course), helicopter dogfights, underground rivers, ancient artifacts, tons of gold, oh, and a demon of death....more
Nathan Lee Swift is an archaeologist who essentially loots the Golgotha site of the remains of many crucifixion victims. Then he's off into the HimalaNathan Lee Swift is an archaeologist who essentially loots the Golgotha site of the remains of many crucifixion victims. Then he's off into the Himalayas on another adventure which goes awry and he spends 17 months in a jail. When he emerges the world is dying. A plague is sweeping across the planet with devastating consequences. In the United States all attempts to counter the plague have failed; however, a band of young scientists have gathered at the Los Alamos facility and are attempting radical solutions to stay the plague. The author creates several very interesting threads in this novel, deftly weaving them together; however, the conclusion is anti-climatic and disappointing....more
Elizabeth Peters is a pseudonym for Barbara Mertz, who holds a PhD. in Egyptology from University of Chicago. So her fictional stories of a woman EgypElizabeth Peters is a pseudonym for Barbara Mertz, who holds a PhD. in Egyptology from University of Chicago. So her fictional stories of a woman Egyptologist are bound to have some degree of contextual authenticity. Unfortunately, although I made it through this mystery, I found that it never really engaged me. The "mystery" itself and the characters just didn't really seem very interesting. This book is the last in the series (following the internal chronology)--I may give her another chance by selecting one of the earliest in the series....more
A very enjoyable memoir of an archaeologist. As the sub-title indicates he is an "unconventional" archaeologist and this book goes into some of the deA very enjoyable memoir of an archaeologist. As the sub-title indicates he is an "unconventional" archaeologist and this book goes into some of the details of his unusual career path from rock-climbing into tomb-exploration in Egypt. The chapters dealing with his explorations in Egypt were (to me, anyway) the most interesting. His association with Thor Heyerdahl was quite interesting as well. The book made me want to learn more about the Valley of the Kings and the history of its exploration. The book is not technical at all and should appeal to wide range of readers....more
This is the truly fascinating tale of Percy Harrison Fawcett and his attempts to locate a lost city in the Amazonian jungle that he referred to as "Z"This is the truly fascinating tale of Percy Harrison Fawcett and his attempts to locate a lost city in the Amazonian jungle that he referred to as "Z". Fawcett was a British archaeologist and explorer. He had served in the Royal Artillery and in the British Secret Service. He undertook a series of expeditions between 1906 and 1925. A short while after the beginning of his final expedition to locate Z he and his party disappeared. Many remained hopeful for months, but as the months turned into years all but his wife concluded that he had been killed by hostile Indians. Myriad rescue expeditions went out, and most never returned.
Fawcett's story is told in alternating segments with the story of the author's exploration about Fawcett and his eventual trip to the Amazonian jungle in search of Fawcett's fate. Well written, with copious notes and a nice bibliography. ...more
The title is a little broad but entirely true. This tale of faith, greed & forgery revolves around a couple of artifacts that surfaced in 2002: thThe title is a little broad but entirely true. This tale of faith, greed & forgery revolves around a couple of artifacts that surfaced in 2002: the so-called “James Ossuary” and the “Jehoash Tablet”. The first was international news, as it was touted as the first archaeological evidence of Jesus existence. The James Ossuary is a small limestone box which was used to contain the bones of James, the “brother” of Jesus. The ossuary has an inscription reading “Ya’akov bar Yosef achui Yeshua” (James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus). The other item, the “Jehoash Tablet” purported to be an artifact dating from the time of and relating to the Temple of Solomon. This would be every bit as important to Jews as the James Ossuary would be to Christians (and probably more so).
Nina Burleigh details the unfolding stories of how these items came to light and subsequent investigations their authenticity. It is a fascinating tale. As you might discern from the title, the artifacts were forgeries. There are a number of sad tales here, not just the forgeries, but the destruction of genuine artifacts, the plundering of archaeological sites, and scale of deception and fraud involving ancient artifacts from the Middle East....more
This fascinating, convoluted tale is told in a fascinating, convoluted way. Much of this story is told through correspondence and diary entries, and iThis fascinating, convoluted tale is told in a fascinating, convoluted way. Much of this story is told through correspondence and diary entries, and it may take a little while to get a sense of what this story is really all about.
The main character, Philip Trillipush, is a British archaeologist who has discovered a fragment of a work written by a shadowy figure in ancient Egyptian history--the controversial “Atum-hadu”. The fragment Trillipush discovered is some of Atum-hadu’s erotic poetry. Trillipush wishes now to locate Atum-hadu’s tomb and his efforts to that end are detailed throughout the book. Some of this story is “told” through the letters of Harold Ferrell, a private investigator who attempted to track down Paul Caldwell, an Australian child who stood to inherit a small fortune. Ferrell’s investigation intersects closely with the career of Phillip Trillipush.
Part mystery, part historical fiction (1920’s mostly), part satire, and a smidgen of horror makes this a story for many but not for everyone....more
This is a fast-paced thriller involving a Kabalistic interpretation of the Book of Names. This ancient document, ostensibly written by Adam, containsThis is a fast-paced thriller involving a Kabalistic interpretation of the Book of Names. This ancient document, ostensibly written by Adam, contains an encoded text listing the names of 36 individuals of each generation whose righteousness preserves the earth and its inhabitants.
David Shepherd, a poli-sci professor at Georgetown U, has been prompted with names out of the blue since he was about 15 years old and he has been recording them in a notebook. He has no idea that the names he’s recorded are identical to those being deciphered from this Book of Names. There is an ancient, evil, organization, known as Gnoseos, working to identify and kill each of the 36 “hidden ones” in this generation. They have now nearly achieved their goal. When David Shepherd realizes that the names he has recorded over the years are all of dead people he begins to investigate—and not a moment too soon....more