For more than 5,000 years the Ancestral Puebloans--Native Americans who flourished long before the first contact with Europeans--occupied the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. Just before AD 1300, they abandoned their homeland in a migration that remains one of prehistory's greatest puzzles.Read more...
For more than 5,000 years the Ancestral Puebloans--Native Americans who flourished long before the first contact with Europeans--occupied the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. Just before AD 1300, they abandoned their homeland in a migration that remains one of prehistory's greatest puzzles. Northern and southern neighbors of the Ancestral Puebloans, the Fremont and Mogollon likewise flourished for millennia before migrating or disappearing. Fortunately, the Old Ones, as some of their present-day descendants call them, left behind awe-inspiring ruins, dazzling rock art, and sophisticated artifacts ranging from painted pots to woven baskets. Some of their sites and relics had been seen by no one during the 700 years before David Roberts and his companions rediscovered them.
In The Lost World of the Old Ones, Roberts continues the hunt for answers begun in his classic book, In Search of the Old Ones. His new findings paint a different, fuller portrait of these enigmatic ancients--thanks to the breakthroughs of recent archaeologists. Roberts also recounts his last twenty years of far-flung exploits in the backcountry with the verve of a seasoned travel writer. His adventures range across Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado, illuminating the mysteries of the Old Ones as well as of the more recent Navajo and Comanche.
Roberts calls on his climbing and exploratory expertise to reach remote sanctuaries of the ancients hidden within nearly vertical cliffs, many of which are unknown to archaeologists and park rangers. This ongoing quest combines the shock of new discovery with a deeply felt connection to the landscape, and it will change the way readers experience, and imagine, the American Southwest.
- ISBN-13: 9780393241624
- ISBN-10: 0393241629
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: April 2015
- Page Count: 352
- Dimensions: 9.35 x 6.95 x 1.13 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-20
- Reviewer: Staff
This rather puzzling book, a sequel of sorts to In Search of the Old Ones (1996), is a detailed guide to the archaeology of the American Southwest, particularly the areas inhabited by the Anasazi, or (in what Roberts terms "p.c." parlance) "Ancestral Puebloans." Roberts, a mountaineer and amateur archaeologist, received both praise and criticism for his earlier work, notably for the amount of attention it drew from visitors to Utah's Cedar Mesa site. In this followup, Roberts states that his goal is to offer readers an account of the most exciting and revealing research that has been produced about the region in the past 20 years—but instead he includes only long-winded anecdotes about his fellow climbers, archaeologists, and colorful local characters. The book is awkwardly situated among the genres of travelogue, adventure story, and scholarly monograph; it is insufficiently dramatic to satisfy on the first two counts, and the lack of footnotes undermines its success on the third. Puzzlingly, the book's illustrations include neither maps nor photos of artifacts, such as the Telluride blanket, to whose discovery and interpretation Roberts devotes an entire chapter. Roberts's love for the Southwest and its precolonial cultures emerges clearly, but his execution in producing this book is far less successful. (May)