Friday, April 9, 2010

Further Links: The Lost City of Z

Kuikuro Men

Here are a few links and a video for you to explore, armchair-style, the question of  lost civilizations or organized societies in the Amazon. 

The first is a press release from the University of Florida announcing Michael Heckenberger's paper on his findings which were published in Science magazineThe second is a National Geographic article which provides some of the illustrations from the academic paper itself.  And last is an interesting article and video about the bioengineering of Amazon Basin soil in ancient times.  This "biochar" indicates that the unusually rich soil there was actually man-made centuries ago and would have supported cultivation, thereby sustaining organized settlements.

Monday, April 5, 2010

David vs.Goliath

Percy Fawcett would never have picked David Grann to join his expedition to the Amazon.  That much is clear.  And yet, Grann has emerged from his own Amazonian quest intact and with a walloping good story to tell in The Lost City of Z.

Grann is a book author and writer for The New Yorker magazine who considers himself to be something of a couch potato.  He certainly lacked camping and survival skills when he first sought answers to Fawcett's last (and lost) expedition.  What a break for Grann that technology has advanced to the point where he had better odds than Percy Fawcett to survive a trek into this unwelcoming, unknown territory.

I thought you might find the interview above to be interesting.  It was conducted last year by newspaperman Phil Bronstein and is quite extensive.  You can hit the play button for the entire interview or link here to select topics in the interview you want to cover.