Lost Worlds of South America : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Edwin Barnhart
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Buried by the centuries on soaring mountain slopes and beneath arid deserts and lush jungles of South America, the remains of extraordinary, majestic civilizations - many unknown until recent decades - are now coming to light and raising tantalizing questions about what else may be awaiting discovery.
Take an adventurous trek to these wilds of South America and the great civilizations of the ancients. In 24 eye-opening lectures, you'll take an in-depth look at the emerging finds and archaeological knowledge of more than 12 seminal civilizations, giving you rich insight into the creative vision and monumental achievements of these wellsprings of human life.
The ancient South Americans show us striking models of how societies can function and organize themselves. The technologies and social structures seen here were wholly invented, using no preexisting models, as these dynamic peoples struggled to tame their environment and carve out societies and empires.
Recently unearthed marvels include elaborately prepared and adorned mummies that predate Egypt's by 2000 years; imposing palaces, solar observatories, and dramatically decorated pyramids; stunning art objects in gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, and ceramic; and evidence of huge urban civilizations in the Amazon.
In their amazing sophistication and scale, the sites reveal some of the most remarkable ancient artifacts found anywhere in the world. The breathtaking valleys, mountains, and deserts you will study in this course reveal wonders that rival anything we know of the ancient world. Travel with us to a lost and splendorous past - a fountainhead of civilization that speaks unforgettably of human striving, vision, and the indomitable will to endure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Thorough Review based on Archaeology

Any additional comments?

This was an enjoyable listen, but I would only recommend it for some. Essentially the teacher takes the listener on a journey of South American History (Note: Not Mesoamerican, Central American, Aztec, Mayan, or any other American/New World History). He starts with the earliest evidence of human life and continues all the way through the Inca and the Spanish conquest and ends by touching upon a few modern day connections to South American peoples afterwards. It is a bit shorter than most great courses (11 hours compared to 8 hours). This is not your typical history overview but really a highly archaeologically/anthropologically based overview. Much of the time is spent discussing archaeological sites and artifacts uncovered and what they might tell us about the people that lived back then. If you are not looking for something technical or you prefer a narrative style, I would not suggest this book. The professor is very knowledgeable and does a good job of presenting his topic in an interesting and enjoyable way. He has a few non-traditional perspectives which he emphasizes, but he also does a good job highlighting the latest discoveries as of his recording (2012 I think?). If you are interested and don't mind a slightly technical listen, I would recommend this book.

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- Mike

Lost Worlds Rediscovered

I really enjoyed this Lecture and would highly recommend it if archaic history is one of your interests. The book is not for everyone, but it sheds light on a history I didn't even know existed. The professor is very clear, easy to understand, and absolutely brings this subject to life.

This lecture is concerned with the ancient peoples and civilizations of South America. More specifically though, Peru and what would become the Inca Empire. The other groups mentioned, including the Amazonian peoples, are mentioned to highlight or emphasize their interactions with what we know as the Inca people.

It starts off with the earliest evidence of human life in South America and continues on until the fall of the Inca. Each lecture is half an hour long and covers a ton of detail. Each time a lecture ends I keep wishing he would continue on for another hour, the topics are very gripping.

Something I really enjoyed that this Professor does is he will discuss what is currently understood to be "true" as well as what the alternatives are. He also discusses a few of his own ideas, each time he does that he makes sure the listener is fully aware. I really enjoyed learning about the different theories that are out there.

This is a bit of a technical listen, but the Professor keeps it lively, interesting, and fun. I would highly recommend.
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- Linden L.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses