Review: Lost Worlds of South America, Edwin Barnhart

Rating: 2 out of 5

“While the accepted belief about this topic is this, I think that that is actually more correct.” In this series of lectures, Mr Barnhart absolutely blasted everyone else who has worked in South American archaeology while always suggesting that he really knows what is going on. To be fair, about two other archaeologists get a positive rating and one of them for the reason that the author couldn’t possibly be bothered to go into the Amazon as it doesn’t have cinemas.

Now, I have to say I found a lot of information in this series which I didn’t know before. This was an enlightening experience — especially for the cultures I had not heard about before. But, and this is a very important but, I don’t think Mr Barnhart was presenting a fair and unbiased view. He was advancing his own views and on every topic he covered, he thought he was more correct than everybody else in the archaeological community. Perhaps he is on one of these, perhaps he is on all of these — I can’t say because I really don’t know, but by mostly failing to provide the arguments of the people who think differently, the reader/peruser of this work is left wanting.

So, yes, I don’t mind strong and new theories. I just want these to be explained such that both sides of any argument could be considered. For some of the places that Mr Barnhart talked about, he didn’t even mention any alternative theories — Machu Picchu stands out most because I’ve heard so many of them — which only leads me to think of what else he left out.

This was definitely enlightening and I know more now than before — but I don’t think I would recommend this even so.

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