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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: This is the critically acclaimed "Raiders of the Lost Art" true story of the looting, recovery and excavation of priceless art and artifacts from the tombs of Sipan, on the north coast of Peru. Written by award-winning New York Times best-selling author Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Lords of Sipan has all the elements of great fiction: Priceless antiquities entombed in an ancient pyramid; sinister looters; slick black-market smugglers; and a brilliant and dedicated archaeologist who risks his life to restore the treasures to their native country. But for all its heroics and its compelling plot, the real dramatic twist is that this story is true. Not since Howard Carter excavated Tutankhamun's tomb has an archaeological narrative been so engaging and rich with suspense and intrigue.Tracking a crime trail across three continents, Kirkpatrick meticulously researched one man's struggle to excavate and protect the greatest archaeological discovery ever made in the Western Hemisphere. For more than a millennium, tons of rock and brick had preserved priceless treasure of an ancient Peruvian civilization known as the Moche. Deep in a pyramid at Sipan, hidden in a long-lost tomb of a pre-Incan Moche Lord, were golden masks, jeweled artifacts, and invaluable remnants of a mysterious, vanished civilization.Looters were picking up seemingly insignificant gold beads when the leader stumbled into a king's ransom of artifacts. Within hours, most of it was headed for the black market-and out of the country.Dr. Walter Alva, noted Peruvian archaeologist and museum curator, was soon racing against time to halt the exodus of the antiquities and to prevent further looting. Police and U.S. Customs agents, employing secret informants and antiquities experts, began an undercover investigation that sent shock waves through the international art world, culminating in: *the most comprehensive seizure of pre-Columbian antiquities in U.S. history, *the conviction of David Swetnam, the first man in the U.S. sent to prison for smuggling pre-Columbian art, *an important precedent regarding the private ownership of national treasures.In the kind of chase usually reserved for fictional crime thrillers, customs agents traced the artifacts to England and the U.S., and then reeled in the smugglers. Ironically, research for Lords of Sipan found Kirkpatrick virtually in his own backyard. Unscrupulous antiquities dealers had smuggled the plundered treasures out of Peru and into Los Angeles and Santa Barbara museums and the collections of Kirkpatrick's Hollywood neighbors. Experts had long speculated about the existence of a Moche tomb and treasure hunters had spend centuries searching for it without success. But the initial find was only the first piece of the puzzle.Dr. Alva, working at the ransacked site at Sipan, was stunned to discover that the pyramid was not merely the burial place of a single monarch. Instead, the site was a New World version of Egypt's Valley of the Kings outside Thebes: a necropolis for many lords of the Moche kingdom. At least three tombs remained intact, and the discovery lured armed thieves once again.In the midst of escalating tension, Dr. Alva and his excavators put down their shovels and picked up their guns. Putting their lives on the line to protect the remaining treasures from armed thieves and assassins, they confronted the looters and won their support.Like Kirkpatrick's other critically acclaimed true-crime thrillers, A Cast of Killers, and Turning The Tide, Lords of Sipan is the painstakingly reconstructed account of a bizarre, true-to-life case. Framed by one of the most important archaeological excavations ever conducted, it is a riveting portrait of the international black market in art and high-stakes crime. "Gold earrings, gold necklaces, gold nose rings and gold breastplates," the New York Times has written of the book. "Sidney Kirkpatrick has hit a mothe. Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: This is the critically acclaimed "Raiders of the Lost Art" true story of the looting, recovery and excavation of priceless art and artifacts from the tombs of Sipan, on the north coast of Peru. Written by award-winning New York Times best-selling author Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Lords of Sipan has all the elements of great fiction: Priceless antiquities entombed in an ancient pyramid; sinister looters; slick black-market smugglers; and a brilliant and dedicated archaeologist who risks his life to restore the treasures to their native country. But for all its heroics and its compelling plot, the real dramatic twist is that this story is true. Not since Howard Carter excavated Tutankhamun's tomb has an archaeological narrative been so engaging and rich with suspense and intrigue. Tracking a crime trail across three continents, Kirkpatrick meticulously researched one man's struggle to excavate and protect the greatest archaeological discovery ever made in the Western Hemisphere. For more than a millennium, tons of rock and brick had preserved priceless treasure of an ancient Peruvian civilization known as the Moche. Deep in a pyramid at Sipan, hidden in a long-lost tomb of a pre-Incan Moche Lord, were golden masks, jeweled artifacts, and invaluable remnants of a mysterious, vanished civilization. Looters were picking up seemingly insignificant gold beads when the leader stumbled into a king's ransom of artifacts. Within hours, most of it was headed for the black market—and out of the country. Dr. Walter Alva, noted Peruvian archaeologist and museum curator, was soon racing against time to halt the exodus of the antiquities and to prevent further looting. Police and U.S. Customs agents, employing secret informants and antiquities experts, began an undercover investigation that sent shock waves through the international art world, culminating in: *the most comprehensive seizure of pre-Columbian antiquities in U.S. history, *the conviction of David Swetnam, the first man in the U.S. sent to prison for smuggling pre-Columbian art, *an important precedent regarding the private ownership of national treasures. In the kind of chase usually reserved for fictional crime thrillers, customs agents traced the artifacts to England and the U.S., and then reeled in the smugglers. Ironically, research for Lords of Sipan found Kirkpatrick virtually in his own backyard. Unscrupulous antiquities dealers had smuggled the plundered treasures out of Peru and into Los Angeles and Santa Barbara museums and the collections of Kirkpatrick's Hollywood neighbors. Experts had long speculated about the existence of a Moche tomb and treasure hunters had spend centuries searching for it without success. But the initial find was only the first piece of the puzzle. Dr. Alva, working at the ransacked site at Sipan, was stunned to discover that the pyramid was not merely the burial place of a single monarch. Instead, the site was a New World version of Egypt's Valley of the Kings outside Thebes: a necropolis for many lords of the Moche kingdom. At least three tombs remained intact, and the discovery lured armed thieves once again. In the midst of escalating tension, Dr. Alva and his excavators put down their shovels and picked up their guns. Putting their lives on the line to protect the remaining treasures from armed thieves and assassins, they confronted the looters and won their support. Like Kirkpatrick's other critically acclaimed true-crime thrillers, A Cast of Killers, and Turning The Tide, Lords of Sipan is the painstakingly reconstructed account of a bizarre, true-to-life case. Framed by one of the most important archaeological excavations ever conducted, it is a riveting portrait of the international black market in art and high-stakes crime. "Gold earrings, gold necklaces, gold nose rings and gold breastplates," the New York Times has written of the book. "Sidney Kirkpatrick has hit a mother lode!"

From the Inside Flap: In February 1987, archaeologist and museum curator Walter Alva was asked to examine a collection of strange artifacts found in the home of a poor grave robber on Peru's remote north coast. The subsequent police inquiry traced the cache to an ancient pyramid at Sipan, where looters had plundered a royal tomb of a little-known civilization called the Moche. This ransacking of the New World's richest archaeological discovery devastated Alva, who had been conducting a ten-year crusade to protect Peru's monuments of the past. What he did not know was that the looted artifacts had already been smuggled out of Peru and into England for re-transport to Los Angeles, where they would be sold to wealthy art collectors and dealers.
 
At Sipan itself, the police, fearing for his safety, were demanding that Alva abandon his search for objects the looters might have missed. His own colleagues were also urging him to leave, believing he was wasting precious resources on an excavation doomed to failure. In the midst of this crisis, Christopher Donnan, the world's most respected Moche scholar, arrived with much-needed cash, supplies, and encouragement, along with the news that precious artifacts were already in the hands of collectors and dealers. Donnan's information proved correct, for in the months to come, looted artifacts reached the hands of Los Angeles Museum of Art trustee Ben Johnson and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Man. In fact, many of the objects would soon go on display at the prestigious Santa Barbara Art Museum.
 
Meanwhile, U.S. Customs agents had begun an investigation into the smuggling operation, and in March 1988, their unprecedented seizure of pre-Columbian antiquities sent shock waves through the art world. When reports of the raid reached Peru, Alva was having a celebration of his own. The pyramid at Sipan was not the burial place of a single Moche lord but was, like the Valley of the Kings of ancient Egypt, a necropolis containing many lords. At least three tombs, richer in gold and silver than any other site excavated in the Americas, remained intact. To protect their discovery, Alva and his men put down their shovels and picked-up guns, confronting the looters and winning their support.

Police and Customs agents, however, were much less successful in their efforts to gain the return o the stolen artifacts. A controversial U.S. court decision resulted in the forfeiture to Peru of only 250 of the nearly 3,000 precious objects seized by the police. But an important precedent was set, serious questions were raised about private ownership of national treasures, and the first conviction in U.S. history for smuggling pre-Columbian art was obtained.

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