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Cochineal Red: Travels Through Ancient Peru

Hugh Thomson

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Prose: non-fiction, Classic travel writing

Imagine that all the great discoveries of Ancient Egypt had happened in the last few years...and you will have some conception of the great excitement over recent finds in Peru

Peru wears its ancient cultures wrapped around in layers, like one of the mummified bodies so well preserved by the nitrates of its deserts. After his acclaimed book on the Incas, THE WHITE ROCK, Hugh Thomson unwraps those layers to show how civilisation emerged so early and so spectacularly in this toughest and most arid of terrains. Many of the extraordinary cultures of Ancient Peru, from the lines of Nasca to the temple-cult of Chavin, buried in the mountains and the great pyramids of the coast, have only started to give up their secrets and antiquity in just the last few years.

Hugh Thomson has been at the forefront of some of these discoveries, having made headlines with his work near Machu Picchu. Now he takes the reader on a journey back from the world of the Incas to the first dawn of Andean civilisation, to give an immensely personal and accessible guide to the wonders that have been revealed.

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Hugh Thomson

Hugh Thomson's previous books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalayas. He has led many research expeditions to Peru. He is also a film-maker and has won many awards for his documentaries, which include Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple, and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History. He lives in Oxfordshire.

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