THE SILENT PAST by Ivar Lissner


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The author of The Living Past, known for his travels and his research into the world's cultural past, now gives us a glimpse into civilizations vanished and in some cases not even remembered by their descendants. The material comes from the usual anthropological sources---artifacts, diggings, art objects, occasional fragments of writing---but the treatment of this material is more creative than one usually finds in such attempts. In a series of short chapters, the author deals with such subjects as Jericho; with the famed Phoenicians and their adjunct Carthage; with Knossos of early Cretan times; with early Greece itself, and the tantalizing possibilities of the existence of fabled Atlantis, of Buddha and his effect on the Far East; of the ancient Silk Road of the East which buried its travellers and treasures for eons under savage sand storms; of the legendary Scythians; of the Mayan Indians and their culture even now being unearthed and pieced together in Mexico-Guatemala; and of an early civilization which once existed in New Guinea. Not only is all this material of great fascination for the intelligent lay reader, but it is presented in a life-like way, as if the author were gifted with glimpses into the past at the time these civilizations existed. Very good, but one must add, not radically different from several similar books recently published.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1962
Publisher: Putnam