Read Lords of Sipan: A Tale of Pre-Inca Tombs, Archaeology, and Crime by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick Online

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In January 1987, archaeologist and museum curator Dr. Walter Alva was asked to examine a collection of strange artifacts found in the home of a poor grave robber on Peru's remote north coast. The subsequent police inquiry traced the cache to an ancient pyramid at Sipan, where looters had plundered a royal tomb of a little-known civilization called the Moche. This ransackinIn January 1987, archaeologist and museum curator Dr. Walter Alva was asked to examine a collection of strange artifacts found in the home of a poor grave robber on Peru's remote north coast. The subsequent police inquiry traced the cache to an ancient pyramid at Sipan, where looters had plundered a royal tomb of a little-known civilization called the Moche. This ransacking of the New World's richest archaeological discovery devastated Alva, who had been conducting a ten-year crusade to protect Peru's monuments of the past. What he did not know was that the looted artifacts had already been smuggled out of Peru and into England for re-transport to Los Angeles, where they would be sold to wealthy art collectors and dealers. At Sipan itself, the police, fearing for his safety, were demanding that Alva abandon his search for objects the looters might have missed. His own colleagues were also urging him to leave, believing he was wasting precious resources on an excavation doomed to failure. In the midst of this crisis, Christopher Donnan, the world's most respected Moche scholar, arrived with much-needed cash, supplies, and encouragement, along with the news that the precious artifacts were already in the hands of collectors and dealers. Donnan's information proved correct, for in the months to come, looted artifacts reached the hands of Los Angeles Museum of Art trustee Ben Johnson and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Man. In fact, many of the objects would soon go on display at the prestigious Santa Barbara Art Museum. Meanwhile, U.S. Customs agents had begun an investigation into the smuggling operation, and in March 1988, their unprecedented seizure of pre-Columbian antiquities sent shock waves through the art world. When reports of the raid reached Peru, Alva was having a celebration of his own. The pyramid at Sipan was not the burial place of a single Moche lord but was, like the Valley of Kings of ancient Egypt, a necropolis containing many lords....

Title : Lords of Sipan: A Tale of Pre-Inca Tombs, Archaeology, and Crime
Author :
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ISBN : 9780688103965
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lords of Sipan: A Tale of Pre-Inca Tombs, Archaeology, and Crime Reviews

  • Bettie☯
    2019-05-10 02:08

    Description: In January 1987, archaeologist and museum curator Dr. Walter Alva was asked to examine a collection of strange artifacts found in the home of a poor grave robber on Peru's remote north coast. The subsequent police inquiry traced the cache to an ancient pyramid at Sipan, where looters had plundered a royal tomb of a little-known civilization called the Moche. This ransacking of the New World's richest archaeological discovery devastated Alva, who had been conducting a ten-year crusade to protect Peru's monuments of the past. What he did not know was that the looted artifacts had already been smuggled out of Peru and into England for re-transport to Los Angeles, where they would be sold to wealthy art collectors and dealers. At Sipan itself, the police, fearing for his safety, were demanding that Alva abandon his search for objects the looters might have missed. His own colleagues were also urging him to leave, believing he was wasting precious resources on an excavation doomed to failure. In the midst of this crisis, Christopher Donnan, the world's most respected Moche scholar, arrived with much-needed cash, supplies, and encouragement, along with the news that the precious artifacts were already in the hands of collectors and dealers. Donnan's information proved correct, for in the months to come, looted artifacts reached the hands of Los Angeles Museum of Art trustee Ben Johnson and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Man. In fact, many of the objects would soon go on display at the prestigious Santa Barbara Art Museum. Meanwhile, U.S. Customs agents had begun an investigation into the smuggling operation, and in March 1988, their unprecedented seizure of pre-Columbian antiquities sent shock waves through the art world. When reports of the raid reached Peru, Alva was having a celebration of his own. The pyramid at Sipan was not the burial place of a single Moche lord but was, like the Valley of Kings of ancient Egypt, a necropolis containing many lords. Walter AlvaWalter with his archaeologist wife, SusanWhat an eye-scorching adventure, complete with a side-order of underworld art crime. Walter himself, such a humble upright soul with a reckless streak of doggedness running through, which is how we are able to view these treasures today.In the epilogue it states that Alberto Jaime became Huaca Rajada's official tour guide. Neat turnaround.

  • Michael Gerald
    2019-05-07 21:05

    When I was a kid, fired up by the Indiana Jones movies, I wanted to become an archaeologist. I thought that being an archaeologist meant having swashbuckling adventures. Later, I learned that archaeology is a serious field of study and involves conducting careful research, both in a university and in the field.But when I first read a condensed version of this book in Reader's Digest, I learned that archaeology is a serious discipline and also an adventure. Then just this year, I found a rare hardcover copy of the book at Booksale in SM North EDSA in Quezon City. I said rare because it's already out of print; it was published in 1992.Lords of Sipan is the true story of how an ancient Peruvian site held the remains of a king and other officials and other citizens of a civilization that preceded the Inca, the Moche. But one of the ancient site's secrets was first uncovered not by archaeologists, but local grave robbers called huaqueros. But it was a good thing that the authorities soon learned of the crime. Though some of the tomb's treasures soon found their way to unscrupulous dealers, smugglers, and buyers, the rest were saved by the police, some decent locals, and Dr. Walter Alva - the latter one of the greatest archaeologists in recent memory. Dr. Alva and his staff and allies worked to preserve what remained of the looted tomb's contents and something more - the intact tombs of two other officials buried in the place called Huaca Rajada.But it is not just the true story of uncovering and studying an ancient civilization. The book also tells how US authorities tried to recover most, if not all, of the looted artifacts that were in the hands of smugglers and shadowy buyers in the US. Though the legal cases soon became complicated and protracted due to delaying tactics and legalese by lawyers of the buyers/thieves, some of the treasures were soon confiscated and eventually returned to Peru, where they belong.

  • Lee
    2019-05-05 21:50

    A good book detailing how a Peruvian Archaeologist helped save an ancient Mochan tomb from tomb raiders. The raiders had started to plunder the tomb but with minimal help and a lot of pluck Walter Alva is able to save the site and find the first intact Mochan royal burial. The parallel story line covers the smuggling and sale of Peruvian artifacts to well heeled Western investors.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-05-09 20:41

    Couldn't put this one down-- a true account of one archaeologist's race against tomb robbers in Peru to uncover and preserve the remains of a Moche burial. Fascinating!

  • Wanda
    2019-04-25 22:54

    10 NOV 2015 - spied on Bettie's feed. This sounds super!

  • Linda
    2019-05-01 22:44

    This book is "A true story of pre-Inca tombs, archaeology and crime. I learned of this book through a course that I am listening too from the Great Courses. I really enjoyed reading about the work that is still ongoing in the archaeology of Peru. My only complaint with this book is it seemed that toward the end the author got tired of writing. It seemed suddenly it was just "The End" without some of the conclusions needing to be made. That being said however, it is a starting point for me to do more research and read more information on this exciting topic.

  • Meredith
    2019-05-12 20:10

    As someone who has been to Peru and even to Manchu Pichu, I was drawn to this story. It's heartrendingly similar to the Egyptian experience - priceless archaeology site, people who are wanting to survive, and the out country rich wanting to own this precious history, careless of how they play into ruining what we can learn about the history of the people of Sipan. The writing is... alright, but lacks the skill with turning a phrase. Because of that, my own interest in the topic had to keep me engaged until the story finally picked up a momentum of its own.

  • Debra Belmudes
    2019-05-15 23:50

    The storyline was interesting, but read like a dull history book. Making matters worse was the narrator. On the positive side, I learned a lot from this book and continue to find archaeology a fascinating subject. I could easily see this story in a Clive Cussler or James Rollins book!

  • Jackie
    2019-05-20 02:56

    interesting details and quite recent

  • Phil
    2019-05-08 01:59

    Quite an interesting book if one is interested in pre-Inca archeology. Fascinating procedures and discovery!