An award-winning author and veteran mountain climber takes us deep into the Southwest backcountry to uncover secrets of its ancient inhabitants.
In this thrilling story of intellectual and archaeological discovery, David Roberts recounts his last twenty years of far-flung exploits in search of spectacular prehistoric ruins and rock art panels known to very few modern travelers. His adventures range across Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado, and illuminate the mysteries of the Ancestral Puebloans and their contemporary neighbors the Mogollon and Fremont, as well as of the more recent Navajo and Comanche.
About the Author
David Roberts (1943–2021) is the author of thirty books on mountaineering, exploration, and anthropology. His books have won the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature and the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Competition.
An utterly fascinating, beautifully written and elegiac exploration.
— Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cities of Gold and Blue Labyrinth
Stimulating, provoking, mournful…[Roberts] has a deep and infectious passion for the landscapes, history and people of the Southwest.
— Gerard Helferich - Wall Street Journal
Roberts captivates the reader with the thrill of finding artifacts…Full of insights.
— Durango Herald
— Alex Heard - Pasatiempo
A funny, witty and highly personal account.
— Sandra Dallas - Denver Post
Part ethnographer, part archaeologist—with healthy doses of skeptical enquirer, curiosity seeker, and professional mountain climber mixed in—this talented writer navigates the secret canyons and hidden watercourses of the American Southwest in search of a lost civilization.
— Alex Beam, author of American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church
With the verve of his great mountaineering books, David Roberts takes us inside a lost ‘genius climber’ civilization and its mysteries, introducing the looters, ruin baggers, warring academics and wary tribal descendants who frame the ethical conflicts of modern archeology—while never losing his own explorer’s energy and thirst for the thrill of wilderness discovery. These tales should be told around a campfire.
— Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
The rare sequel that stands alone yet also takes its rightful place as a classic alongside its predecessor volume.
— Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La
[H]as the pull and excitement of a suspense novel and appeals to a wide range of readers interested in this region’s deep past and great beauty.
— Booklist (starred review)
Fascinating…While the book is historical and biographical, it reads more like an intense novel with an invitation to explore the canyons that share the lives of these ancient peoples.
— Katrina Lynn Hawkins - Deseret News