Archaeology

Book Reviews the Road to Ruins by Ian Graham



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Nothing intrigues and summons up the adventurous spirit inside of languid readers more than a rare glimpse into the history of mankind along with a remarkable series of vivid recollections of first-hand experiences from The Mayan Ruins of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Ian Graham’s book ‘The Road to Ruins’ taps into this intrinsic interest in unique stories on ancient civilizations to raise awareness against the dangers ancient Mayan artifacts are exposed to on one hand  and  flash out the outstanding heritage passed down from generation to generation on the other hand.

The Road to Ruins was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2010 and a book launch was held at the Peabody Museum in the spring of the same year.  In over 500 pages, Ian Graham undertakes the strenuous yet pleasant task of imparting his vast knowledge to fellow archeologists and amateurs alike. A fervent advocate for the protection and preservation of Mayan archeological sites as well as a courageous explorer of pristine areas, Graham tests his mettle on an adventure trip that takes him from the Mexican coast to the lush jungles in Guatemala and Belize.  Accompanied by a few local people as his helpers, Graham plunges into the heart of the jungle in pursuit of the Maya hieroglyphics waiting to be deciphered. His road is riddled with dangers and obstacles, but he manages to surmount them like a valiant comic strip hero would, because what he discovers at the end of this long journey is worth the trouble.

Graham proceeds to call attention to the high-risk situation Mayan artifacts find themselves in in recent times over and above a depiction of the people and places he encounters during his journey. In the face of death and threats, he remains adamant about his goal: exposing artifact looting, theft and smuggling. In point of fact, there are a few episodes of humans tampering with Mayan ancient monuments and artifacts narrated in the book which further substantiate Graham’s concern over the future of this gem of humanity.

The story would not have an instant effect of the reader if there were no suggestive photos every now and then. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that many memorable moments along the journey were captured in photos published in the book.

Archeology freak or mere fervent reader, “The Road to Ruins” must definitely be on your must-read list for its comprehensive insight into the Mayan civilization and its adventurous vein.

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