Synopses & Reviews
In a captivating blend of extreme science and historical sleuthing, veteran journalist Tom Koppel tells the inside story of the quest to discover who first settled in the New World -- and how and when they did it.
For decades the issue seemed moot. The first settlers, we were told, were big-game hunters who arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age some 10,000 years ago, crossing a land bridge in the Bering Strait and migrating south through an ice-free passage between two great glaciers blanketing the continent. But after years of sifting through data from diverse and surprising sources, the maverick scientists whose stories Lost World follows have found evidence to overthrow the "big-game hunter" scenario and reach a startling and controversial conclusion: The first people to arrive in North America did not come overland; the came along the coast by water.
Now, for the first time, an award-winning journalist details these provocative discov-eries as he accompanies the archaeologists, geologists, biologists, and paleontologists on their intensive search. Writing with crisp and often suspenseful prose, author Tom Koppel takes readers along with the scientists under the sea, into caves, and out to the remote offshore islands of Alaska, British Columbia, and California. Presenting detailed and growing evidence for ancient coastal migration, he shows how new methods of dating, underwater imaging, and biochemical analysis support conclusions based on more traditional scientific inquiry.
Lost World is driven by an eloquent and powerful narrative that brings to life the rich existence of daring maritime pioneers, a sea-faring people who survived in food-laden refuges on the fringes of retreating coastal glaciers. By accompanying the key scientists on their intensive search and recounting with vivid immediacy the risks and failures along with the satisfactions and breakthroughs, Koppel brings to life the quest for that Holy Grail of New World prehistory, the first peopling of the Americas. A fascinating book full of larger-than-life personalities, timeless mysteries, and astonishing discoveries, Lost World is science writing at its best.
"since the collapse of the Bering Strait theory for the early peopling of North America, we've needed a clear, concise account of the most likely alternative. Lost World is just that. With much literary skill and scientific insight, Koppel makes the case for coastal migration, and I, for one, am thoroughly convinced." Wayne Grady, author of The Bone Museum
"Readers are well briefed to understand why archaeologists [have] raised their glasses to toast the changing of a scientific paradigm....A fascinating slice of prehistory." Kirkus Reviews
"In Lost World Koppel tells an exciting story of scientists sleuthing the past. The question of human orgins in the Americas is no trivial issue; the author skillfully balances detail and yarn-spinning. In the final analysis, the archeology of America is an adventure tale a detective story that rivals any fiction. Koppel has captured the magic of sleuths of the past pounding the turf, slogging through caves and swimming about in the sea looking for clues it's a great read for anyone interested in human antiquity." Daniel Lenihan, author of Submerged: Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team, chief underwater archeologist U.S. National Park Service (Ret.)
"Tom Koppel is a modern day explorer. In the tradition of Richard Haliburton and James Hilton, Koppel discovers and dramatizes the prehistory of our continent. Lost World is rich with surprising detail, enlightening information and evocative imagery." Lee Gutkind, founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, author of Many Sleepless Nights and Forever Fat: Essays by the Godfather
"A captivating look at prehistory....Highly readable." Amir Aczel, author of The Riddle of the Compass and Pedulum: Léon Foucault and the Triumph of Science
In a captivating blend of extreme science and historical sleuthing, an award-winning journalist tells the intriguing story of the quest to discover who first settled in the New World--and how and when they did it. 8-pages of photos.
About the Author
has been a journalist and author for over twenty years. He has followed and written about the search for early people on the Pacific coast for ten years, earning two awards from the Canadian Archeological Association. He lives with his wife in Saltspring Island, British Columbia.