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» » Stone of Kings: In Search of The Lost Jade of The Maya

Stone of Kings: In Search of The Lost Jade of The Maya by Gerard Helferich

Stone of Kings: In Search of The Lost Jade of The Maya
Stone of Kings: In Search of The Lost Jade of The Maya
Gerard Helferich
Size fb2:
1741 kb
Size epub:
1910 kb
Lyons Press; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (December 6, 2011)
304 pages
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A book perfectly timed for the re-setting of the Maya calendar in 2012.... Part history, popular science, armchair travel, and real-life treasure hunt, this is the story of pre-Columbian jade—the precious stone revered by ancient Aztecs, Incans, and Maya—and the scientists, collectors, explorers and entrepreneurs who have been searching for the mythical jade mines for century.

  • Alsalar
I have visited mesoamerica many times and have spent quality time in many Olmec and Mayan sites referred to in this great book. As fascinating as I have found my past travels, I can't wait to revisit them with a new found appreciation for jade and jadeite. This book sheds an exciting new light on the subject.

The author has done his homework and framed his subject well. I'm pleasantly surprised at the way he is able to take what many may regard as a 'dry' subject and make it exciting. The way it's written should appeal to anyone who has even a modest interest in mesoamerica. For those of us who have a deeper interest in mesoamerican archaeology, it's a 'must read' in the style of an Indiana Jones thriller.

What's even more fascinating is that the search continues for further information about this mysterious and precious stone...and the possible connection to the ancient Chinese culture. We may never know all the answers, but the search can take on a life of its own as suggested in the pages of this fine work.

Good stuff!
  • allegro
There a good amount of particular history in this book. The first third of the book gives some good history, the second third gives more of the story of archiologist and their journey with little tidbits of history, and the remaining part of the book refers more on jade and the people finding it. I would say that the first half of the book was somewhat exciting to read, but towards the second half til the end, I couldn't wait to finish the book.
  • HappyLove
I never really thought much about jade, now I can think of little else. I'm anxious to revisit some museums with a new appreciation for Olmec and Mayan jade artifacts. In addition to an overview of the stone's importance in pre-hispanic cultures and the rare geological conditions required for true jade's formation, Stone of Kings follows various archeologists, adventurers and entrepreneurs as they search for jade in the Americas. From the suprising discovery of thousands of jade artifacts in Mexico and Central America to very recent discoveries, the mystery of its source is a facinating story. Highly recommended for armchair travellers, rock-hounds, history buffs, and anyone who enjoys a good story.
  • Niwield
Enjoyable read...
  • PanshyR
I wish we had this book available when we took a rapid tour of the precolumbian areas of Mexico and Guatemala in 1998.

I think the author did an excellent job of summarizing the history of the area as well as describing the recent "rediscovery" of the areas. Also, he delves into the geology of "jade" and the techniques of measuring various parameters, which I found interesting.

I had no idea what the green material, being shown in a local shop was at the time. We purchased an interesting mask and (assuming my mask really is jade) this book adds another dimension to my understanding of it.

John Rich
  • Alianyau
Had to get this book after meeting the author at a family reunion, very interesting reading, and an amazing lady.
  • Wrathshaper
Indiana Jones......Geologist? This book took me a while to get into, but once I was there, I was hooked! This story is about so much more than the stones themselves, it is the people, well-drawn and compelling, that really make this a winner! A Book club book I'd recommend to anyone.
The book was interesting, though much too centered on a single family of entrepreneurs. I would have preferred that it pursue a more general archaeological overview instead. Consequently, while fascinating to begin with, it rather flagged as time went on.