Jungle of stone: the extraordinary journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the discovery of the lost civilization of the Maya

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Publisher:
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Pub. Date:
2017.
Edition:
First William Morrow paperback edition.
Language:
English
Description

A New York Times Bestseller * THE "MASTERFUL CHRONICLE"* OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE LEGENDARY LOST CIVILIZATION OF THE MAYA-AN "ADVENTURE TALE THAT MAKES INDIANA JONES LOOK TAME"*

In 1839, rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world's most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood--both already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome--sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they found would upend the West's understanding of human history.

In the tradition of Lost City of Z and In the Kingdom of Ice, former San Francisco Chronicle journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist William Carlsen reveals the remarkable story of the discovery of the ancient Maya. Enduring disease, war, and the torments of nature and terrain, Stephens and Catherwood meticulously uncovered and documented the remains of an astonishing civilization that had flourished in the Americas at the same time as classic Greece and Rome--and had been its rival in art, architecture, and power. Their masterful book about the experience, written by Stephens and illustrated by Catherwood, became a sensation, hailed by Edgar Allan Poe as "perhaps the most interesting book of travel ever published" and recognized today as the birth of American archaeology. Most important, Stephens and Catherwood were the first to grasp the significance of the Maya remains, understanding that their antiquity and sophistication overturned the West's assumptions about the development of civilization.

By the time of the flowering of classical Greece (400 b.c.), the Maya were already constructing pyramids and temples around central plazas. Within a few hundred years the structures took on a monumental scale that required millions of man-hours of labor, and technical and organizational expertise. Over the next millennium, dozens of city-states evolved, each governed by powerful lords, some with populations larger than any city in Europe at the time, and connected by road-like causeways of crushed stone. The Maya developed a cohesive, unified cosmology, an array of common gods, a creation story, and a shared artistic and architectural vision. They created stucco and stone monuments and bas reliefs, sculpting figures and hieroglyphs with refined artistic skill. At their peak, an estimated ten million people occupied the Maya's heartland on the Yucatan Peninsula, a region where only half a million now live. And yet by the time the Spanish reached the "New World," the Maya had all but disappeared; they would remain a mystery for the next three hundred years.

Today, the tables are turned: the Maya are justly famous, if sometimes misunderstood, while Stephens and Catherwood have been nearly forgotten. Based on Carlsen's rigorous research and his own 1,500-mile journey throughout the Yucatan and Central America, Jungle of Stone is equally a thrilling adventure narrative and a revelatory work of history that corrects our understanding of Stephens, Catherwood, and the Maya themselves.

*Missourian

*Tampa Bay Times

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ISBN:
9780062407405
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 97486c30-b308-28e5-7615-019fe96e4c07
Grouping Title jungle of stone the extraordinary journey of john l stephens and frederick catherwood and the discov
Grouping Author carlsen william
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-12 04:37:36AM
Last Indexed 2018-10-16 04:52:56AM

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author Carlsen, William, 1945-
author_display Carlsen, William
available_at_aacpl Glen Burnie Library, Odenton Library, Severna Park Library
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display_description Documents the true story of the nineteenth-century rediscovery of the Mayan civilization by American ambassador John Lloyd Stephens and British architect Frederick Catherwood, illuminating how their findings profoundly changed Western understandings about human history.
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owning_location_aacpl Glen Burnie Library, Odenton Library, Severna Park Library
primary_isbn 9780062407405
publishDate 2017
record_details ils:a1535268|Book|Books|First William Morrow paperback edition.|English|William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,|2017.|528 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps, portraits ; 21 cm
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subject_facet Archaeological expeditions -- Central America, Archaeological expeditions -- Mexico, Catherwood, Frederick, Explorers -- Central America -- Biography, Explorers -- Mexico -- Biography, Mayas -- Antiquities, Stephens, John L., -- 1805-1852
title_display Jungle of stone : the extraordinary journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the discovery of the lost civilization of the Maya
title_full Jungle of stone : the extraordinary journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the discovery of the lost civilization of the Maya / William Carlsen
title_short Jungle of stone :
title_sub the extraordinary journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the discovery of the lost civilization of the Maya
topic_facet Antiquities, Archaeological expeditions, Catherwood, Frederick, Explorers, Mayas, Stephens, John L