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From Stonehenge to Samarkand : An Anthology of Archaeological Travel Writing - Brian Fagan

From Stonehenge to Samarkand

An Anthology of Archaeological Travel Writing

Hardcover

Published: 20th July 2006
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Ever since Roman tourists scratched graffiti on the pyramids and temples of Egypt over two thousand years ago, people have travelled far and wide seeking the great wonders of antiquity.

In From Stonehenge to Samarkand, noted archaeologist and popular writer Brian Fagan offers an engaging historical account of our enduring love of ancient architecture - the irresistible impulse to visit strange lands in search of lost cities and forgotten monuments.

Here is a marvellous history of archaeological tourism, with generous excerpts from the writings of the tourists themselves. Readers will find Herodotus describing the construction of Babylon; Edward Gibbon receiving inspiration for his seminal work while wandering through the ruins of the Forum in Rome; Gustave Flaubert watching the sunrise from atop the Pyramid of Cheops.

We visit Easter Island with Pierre Loti, Machu Picchu with Hiram Bingham, Central Africa with David Livingstone. Fagan describes the early antiquarians, consumed with a passionate and omnivorous curiosity, pondering the mysteries of Stonehenge, but he also considers some of the less reputable figures, such as the Earl of Elgin, who sold large parts of the Parthenon to the British Museum.

Finally, he discusses the changing nature of archaeological tourism, from the early romantic wanderings of the solitary figure, communing with the departed spirits of Druids or Mayans, to the cruise-ship excursions of modern times, where masses of tourists are hustled through ruins, barely aware of their surroundings.

From the Holy Land to the Silk Road, the YucatAn to Angkor Wat, Fagan follows in the footsteps of the great archaeological travellers to retrieve their first written impressions in a book that will delight anyone fascinated with the landmarks of ancient civilisation.

About the Author

Brian Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and one of the world's leading archaeological writers and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory. His many books include The Rape of the Nile, Chaco Canyon, The Long Summer, and The Little Ice Age.

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From Stonehenge to Samarkand
 
5.0

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5.0

This is worth buying.

By avidreader

from Kempsey NSW Australia

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deeply Informative
  • Easy To Understand
  • Rich Resource
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Reference
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about From Stonehenge to Samarkand:

    This is great for reference about ancient buildings and people.

    Comment on this review

    "Fagan introduces each writer or site in engaging witty paragraphs.... I would far rather spend a week with this crowded book, amply supplied with photographs as it is, than step out into the world it describes with such feeling."--The Boston Globe "Smart collection."--The New York Times "Brian Fagan is a prolific author, who always manages to write in a way that is a pleasure to read, while remaining grounded in a thorough mastery of the subject matter. His latest book, From Stonhenge to Samarkand, is no exception."--Johan Reinhard, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence and author of The Ice Maiden: Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods, and Sacred Sites in the Andes "With deft narrative skill and imaginative flair, [Fagan] peels away the layers of time...to capture all the delirious excitement of rediscovering the lost empires of the past."--Tony Perrottet, author of Pagan Holiday and The Naked Olympics "Stitched together with Fagan's knowledgeable, often wry commentary, this book contains centuries of good writing about humankind's romantic, confused, and always enthralling encounter with its own past."--Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the America's Before Columbus

    Maps and Timelinep. xi
    Introductionp. xvii
    Beginningsp. 1
    The Desolation of Babylonp. 4
    Herodotus at the Pyramidsp. 8
    The Colossi of Memnonp. 12
    The Antiquariansp. 17
    "The Backward-looking Curiosity"p. 19
    William Camden and Britanniap. 21
    John Aubrey and Edward Llwydp. 25
    William Stukeley and Stonehengep. 28
    The Grand Tourp. 33
    An Excursion to Acquire Tastep. 35
    The Attractions of Naplesp. 37
    The Rome of the Grand Tourp. 39
    Pompeii and Herculaneump. 43
    Wastrels and "Macaronis"p. 47
    Greece Bespoiledp. 49
    The Parthenon and Eleusisp. 52
    Charles Cockerell and Friends at Aphaiap. 55
    Pharaohs and Pyramidsp. 61
    Napoleon's Donkeysp. 63
    Champollion Visits the Nilep. 65
    The First Touristsp. 66
    "Far more beautiful than I had expected"p. 67
    From Babylon to Persepolisp. 75
    Karsten Niebuhr at Persepolisp. 77
    Claudius James Rich at Babylon and Birs Nimrodp. 80
    Sir Robert Ker Porter Sees Desolationp. 85
    Rich at Persepolisp. 89
    Palmyra and Petrap. 93
    First Visitors to Palmyrap. 96
    Baalbekp. 100
    Inaccessible Petrap. 101
    Tourists Along the Nilep. 111
    Thomas Cook and Mark Twainp. 114
    "A boating trip interspersed with ruins"p. 121
    A Thousand Miles up the Nilep. 122
    Maya and Incap. 129
    The Almost-forgotten Mayap. 132
    John Lloyd Stephens Reveals the Mayap. 134
    Ephraim Squier and Inca Civilizationp. 144
    Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchup. 150
    The World of the Pueblosp. 157
    Chaco Canyonp. 159
    William Henry Jackson and the Pueblosp. 160
    Frank Cushing, "1st War Chief of the Zuni, U.S. Assistant Ethnologist"p. 165
    Early Touristsp. 175
    To Desert and Steppep. 181
    Sven Hedin, Explorer and Adventurerp. 184
    Sir Aurel Stein and the Caves of a Thousand Buddhasp. 186
    Individualistsp. 197
    Maillart and Flemingp. 199
    Byron in Oxianap. 203
    Travel as Commodityp. 223
    Paul Theroux Along the Nilep. 226
    Crowds, Crowds ...p. 233
    Solitude on the Great Wallp. 237
    Tom Bissell in Central Asiap. 242
    Obsessed with the Never-lost Incap. 251
    Notesp. 259
    Guide to Further Readingp. 269
    Acknowledgmentsp. 275
    Creditsp. 277
    Indexp. 281

    ISBN: 9780195160918
    ISBN-10: 0195160916
    Audience: General
    Format: Hardcover
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 291
    Published: 20th July 2006
    Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 16.5  x 2.8
    Weight (kg): 0.61