The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland
by Hugh Thomson
The lost cities of South America have always exercised a powerful hold on the imagination. The ruins of the Incas and other pre-Columbian ... Show synopsis The lost cities of South America have always exercised a powerful hold on the imagination. The ruins of the Incas and other pre-Columbian civilisations are scattered over thousands of miles of still largely uncharted territory, particularly in the Eastern Andes, where the mountains fall away towards the Amazon. Twenty years ago, Hugh Thomson set off into the cloud-forest on foot to find a ruin that had been carelessly lost again after its initial discovery. This was his introduction to the curious and confusing world of Inca archaeology. He has since travelled to many remote lost cities via the countless interconnecting paths the Incas laid across the Andes, and explored what they left behind - the remnants of a remarkable civilisation that is still only partially understood. Into his gripping narrative, Thomson weaves the accounts of some of the explorers who had gone before him: Hiram Bingham, who discovered Machu Picchu; brave Robert Nichols, killed looking for the mythical 'Paiti' (a temple-site in the Madre de Dios which has acquired the same lure for explorers as the original El Dorado had for the conquistadors); and the remarkable modern explorer Gene Savoy, who has discovered many impressive sites in just the last few years, including Espiritu Pampa, the last refuge of the Inca court after the Spanish Conquest. The book explores the Inca people as well as their heartland, vividly resurrecting their extraordinary culture and giving a true flavour of their strange and sometimes hostile world.