©2005 Sidney D. Kirkpatrick; (P)2007 Recorded Books
"[A] mesmerizing tale [based] on interviews with Alva, the Peruvian police, U.S. customs agents and collectors, and the looters themselves. It's a book the reader won't be able to put down." (Library Journal)
I'm a geologist and I use Audible books to while away long hours on the road... My pickup truck is my reading room!
A fascinating tale about a jaw-dropping discovery of an incredibly rich pre-Colombian burial site in Peru.
The story is compelling on several levels. There are the revelations about the highly advanced but previously poorly known Moche culture that pre-dated the Inca. There is the adventure of archarological discovery - an itinerant treasure hunter who made the discovery, and a professional archaeologist who understood its significance. There is the tense stand-off between the two, the penurious villager who wants to spend the gold and the academic who wants to preserve the cultural treasure. And in the wings there are government agents and art smugglers and hapless ne'er-do-wells who seek to turn the artefacts to profit.
John McDonough's narration is excellent. The only thing that the audio version lacks is the portfolio of detailed drawings and photos that the published book contains. These are beautiful and very helpful in explaining how the burial site was laid out. Fortunately, these images are available on the internet (search "Lords of Sipan" in Google). I recommend downloading them before you start listening to the audiobook.
While the discovery of a previously unknown cache of Central American artifacts and treasures, with far-reaching implications for the history of the area, has much potential for a great story, I found myself upping the speed of the playback to get through much of the prolix narrative. The book would probably be of more interest to a person involved in the field than to the average reader. Still, an interesting read.
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