Johan Reinhard's discovery of the 500-year-old frozen body of an Inca girl made international headlines in 1995, reaching more than a billion people worldwide. One of the best-preserved mummies ever found, it was a stunning and significant time capsule, the spectacular climax to an Andean quest that yielded no fewer than ten ancient human sacrifices as well as the richest collection of Inca artifacts in archaeological history.
Here is the paperback edition of his first-person account, which The Washington Post called "incredible...compelling and often astonishing" and The Wall Street Journal described as "... part adventure story, part detective story, and part memoir an engaging look at a rarefied world." It's a riveting combination of mountaineering adventure, archaeological triumph, academic intrigue, and scientific breakthrough which has produced important results ranging from the best-preserved DNA of its age to the first complete set of an Inca noblewoman's clothing.
At once a vivid personal story, a treasure trove of new insights on the lives and culture of the Inca, and a fascinating glimpse of cutting-edge research in fields as varied as biology, botany, pathology, ornithology and history, The Ice Maiden is as spellbinding and unforgettable as the long-dead but still vital young woman at its heart.
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Johan Reinhard, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, has made more than 100 ascents over 17,000 feet and discovered more than 40 Incan ritual sites in the course of two decades as a high-altitude archaeologist in the Andes. He is associated with several research institutes, universities, and museums in both North and South America, has written a children's book and numerous scholarly books and articles, and won a Rolex Award for Enterprise in the field of exploration. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.From Booklist:
Although much of Incan society remains a mystery, we know a lot more now than we did a couple of decades ago--thanks, in large part, to the discoveries of Reinhard, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, high-altitude archaeologist, and expert on the Inca. In 1995, near the top of a Peruvian volcanic mountain, he and his longtime climbing partner discovered the Ice Maiden, the frozen, mummified remains of a female human-sacrifice victim. Books about monumental scientific discoveries can be tremendously exciting, if told in the right way (Johanson and Edey's classic Lucy). Reinhard, an experienced writer, sure knows how to tell this one. Presuming that many of his readers will not be well versed in the technical aspects of his story, he approaches his tale as a memoir rather than a scientific treatise. The book is as much about Reinhard himself and the way the Ice Maiden changed his life as it is about the historical and scientific repercussions of her discovery. Expect interest not only from archaeologists but also from armchair explorers and popular-science fans. David Pitt
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