By Douglas Preston
Assessment: A five-hundred-year-old legend. An historical curse. a gorgeous scientific secret. And a pioneering trip into the unknown center of the world's densest jungle.
Since the times of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated a few misplaced urban of sizeable wealth hidden someplace within the Honduran inside, known as the White urban or the misplaced urban of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes communicate of ancestors who fled there to flee the Spanish invaders, they usually warn that anybody who enters this sacred urban will get sick and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde back from the rainforest with 1000's of artifacts and an electrifying tale of getting stumbled on the misplaced urban of the Monkey God-but then dedicated suicide with out revealing its situation.
Three quarters of a century later, bestselling writer Doug Preston joined a workforce of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine airplane wearing the computing device that may swap every thing: lidar, a hugely complicated, categorised expertise which may map the terrain lower than the densest rainforest cover. In an unexplored valley ringed by way of steep mountains, that flight published the unmistakable snapshot of a sprawling city, tantalizing facts of not only an undiscovered urban yet an enigmatic, misplaced civilization.
Venturing into this uncooked, treacherous, yet breathtakingly appealing desolate tract to verify the invention, Preston and the crew battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying bugs, jaguars, and lethal snakes. however it wasn't till they lower back that tragedy struck: Preston and others stumbled on they'd shrunk within the ruins a frightening, occasionally lethal-and incurable-disease.
Suspenseful and surprising, packed with colourful historical past, hair-raising experience, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE misplaced urban OF THE MONKEY GOD is the completely precise, eyewitness account of 1 of the nice discoveries of the twenty-first century.
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Additional info for The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story
Just how far east and south of Copán the Maya influence stretched was also difficult to ascertain. In the vacuum, tantalizing rumors grew of even greater, wealthier cities—perhaps Maya, perhaps not—hidden in those impenetrable thickets, stories that fascinated archaeologists and treasure hunters alike. By the dawn of the twentieth century, these stories and rumors had coalesced into a single legend of a sacred and forbidden Ciudad Blanca, a rich cultural treasure yet to be found. The name probably originated with the Pech Indians (also known as the Paya) of Mosquitia; anthropologists collected stories from Pech informants of a Kaha Kamasa, a “White House” said to lie beyond a pass in the mountains at the headwaters of two rivers.
The two trekked for weeks through Honduras with native guides, pursuing rumors of a great city. Deep in the interior, they finally arrived at a miserable, unfriendly, mosquito-ridden village called Copán on the banks of a river near the Guatemalan border. They learned from the locals that across the river there were indeed ancient temples, inhabited only by monkeys. As they reached the riverbank, they saw on the far shore a wall of cut stone. After fording the river on muleback, they climbed a staircase and entered the city.
The work of Stephens and Catherwood established the romance of lost cities in the American mind and introduced the notion that the jungles of Central America must hold many more secrets waiting to be revealed. Before long, the Maya became one of the most intensively studied ancient cultures in the New World, and not just by secular scientists. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints identified the Maya as one of the lost tribes of Israel, the Lamanites, as chronicled in The Book of Mormon, published in 1830.