Saturday, March 07, 2009

Crazed Victorian Explorer Finds Lost Civilization in Amazon

In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett ventured into the Amazon, vowing to make one of the most important archeological discoveries in history. He was searching for an ancient civilization, which he had named, simply, the City of Z . . .

Fawcett had warned that no one should follow in his wake due to the danger, but scores of scientists, explorers, and adventurers plunged into the wilderness, determined to recover the Fawcett party, alive or dead, and to return with proof of Z. In February 1955, the New York Times claimed that Fawcett's disappearance had set off more searches "than those launched through the centuries to find the fabulous El Dorado." Some were wiped out by starvation and disease, or retreated in despair; others were murdered by tribesmen firing arrows dipped in poison. Then there were those adventurers who had gone to find Fawcett and, like him, simply disappeared in the forests that travelers had long ago christened the "green hell."

. . . Yet in recent years archeologists have begun to find evidence of what Fawcett had always claimed: ancient ruins buried deep in the Amazon, in places ranging from the Bolivian flood plains to the Brazilian forests. These ruins include enormous man-made earth mounds, plazas, geometrically aligned causeways, bridges, elaborately engineered canal systems, and even an apparent astronomical observatory tower made of huge granite rocks that has been dubbed "the Stonehenge of the Amazon."

Much more here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Ralf the Dog said...

The Amazon also lead to the greatest online bookstore of all time.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Foxessa said...

There was a very long review of the book in the NYT Sunday Book Review last month.

My humble opinion is that Fawcett is an extremely cool looking dude, more so than Indy!

Deeply interesting material, certainly.

Love, C.

12:44 PM  

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