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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Level-Headed Examination of Ancient Questions
When I stumbled upon this book in the bookstore, I had no idea which slant it took in approaching these mysteries: was the author positing that Atlantis survivors and/or extraterrestrials had something to do with them, or was he objectively reviewing the archaeological/historical evidence in order to shed light on possible answers? I took a chance and bought it and...
Published on May 1, 2010 by G. Poirier

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Around the world in 263 pages
Presented here is an overview of some of the "mysteries" of the world from the past. The author covers a wide variety of these sites, peoples, and events. In my local bookstore it is found in the New Age section but I'm not sure it should be there as Brian Haughton distinctly distances himself from "alternate historians" in regards to some off-kilter theories. Haughton...
Published on May 12, 2011 by R. Howell


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Level-Headed Examination of Ancient Questions, May 1, 2010
By 
G. Poirier (Orleans, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
When I stumbled upon this book in the bookstore, I had no idea which slant it took in approaching these mysteries: was the author positing that Atlantis survivors and/or extraterrestrials had something to do with them, or was he objectively reviewing the archaeological/historical evidence in order to shed light on possible answers? I took a chance and bought it and devoured it. I was not disappointed: the author made excellent use of the second approach. In 35 fascinating chapters, the author discusses as many mysteries (often simply historical questions) that span tens of thousands of years. In each case, the author gives a brief history of the subject, defines the enigma/questions and discusses the various schools of thought and debates on the matter by respected professionals in their respective fields. The writing style is clear, friendly, authoritative, broadly accessible and quite engaging. The only less-than-positive comment that a reader can make is that the editing could have been better; there are misprints, misspellings and word repetitions that should have been easily caught. But this is a very minor issue that does not impede the reader's momentum, nor does it significantly detract from enjoying the book. It can be enjoyed by anyone interested in archaeology and ancient history, especially if a touch of the mysterious is also considered a plus.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginners guide, December 23, 2010
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This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
This book is a good beginners guide to the subject of history's mysteries. Many of the topics discussed have been discussed in greater detail in other books and many have been discussed extensively in other individual volumes (The Oak Island Mystery, The Taj Mahal, The Olmec, etc) . If you are looking for any specific topic it will be a good idea to click on the link above and look at the table of contents. I am familiar with many of the topics discussed and have read more detailed examinations of many of the topics discussed, but it's nice to have them all in one volume. The author seems to examine each topic with no bias or agenda. I bought the book in part because I have been unable to find many books which examine the complex unearthed at Gobekli Tepe. I was pleased with the authors comments on this site. This book is what it is - interesting information about many of history's mysteries, but not an in depth examination of any of them. I still find it to be a valuable addition to my library. If you are looking for an detailed examination of any particular mystery - look elsewhere. If you are looking for an interesting book about some of history's most perplexing mysteries - you might find this book of interest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Around the world in 263 pages, May 12, 2011
This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
Presented here is an overview of some of the "mysteries" of the world from the past. The author covers a wide variety of these sites, peoples, and events. In my local bookstore it is found in the New Age section but I'm not sure it should be there as Brian Haughton distinctly distances himself from "alternate historians" in regards to some off-kilter theories. Haughton presents no theories but gives forth some bare essentials regarding most of the entries. Even then, he really does nothing to 'resolve' the mysteries or give truly pertinent information. Also, I found many of the entries to just be uninteresting and beheld little mystery. Some of these are well known and others you have never heard of nor care about. It's worth reading and even getting for your personal history-library shelf but there were some bigger 'mysteries' he might have opted to tackle without going into the fringe element or give his own thoughts on what may have happened.

Included in these 'mysteries' are: Lyonesse, Royston Cave, Rennes-le-Chateau, Cape Sounion, Akrotiri & Thera, Solomon's Temple, Gobelki Tepe, Tower of Babel, Taj Mahal, Nabta Playa, Saqqara's step pyramid, Great Zimbabwe, Newport's mystery tower, Mesa Verde, and Tenochtitlan. In the artifacts category are: the Stone of Destiny, Ogham Stones, Coligney calender, Glozel stones, the five golden hats, paleolithic Venus figurines, Uluburun shipwreck, Iron Pillar of Delhi, the Dendera lamps, and the Oak Island treasure. Rounding it out in the people entries are: Merlin, Boudica, Nero & Rome burning, the Ida fossil, Hypatia, Cleopatra, the Phoenicians, the Mound Builders, the Olmec, and the fate of the Neanderthals.

An interesting read but not mind-gripping and just seemed to lack something. Still, I would recommend it for armchair historians and mystery buffs.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The mysteries stay mysterious, as they should, September 19, 2011
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This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
Like its predecessor, this book is fun and informative. Having previously reviewed Haughton's excellent Hidden History (which came out in 2007), I had certain expectations of this book and was not disappointed.

His previous book explored 49 historical mysteries (and thumbnails and additional 40). This one explores 35.

As with his previous book, this one avoids "death by detail," giving you enough information to understand the basic questions surrounding a particular mystery and some clues to help you form some basis for further exploration if one particularly strikes your fancy.

As with his previous book, Haughton holds to high standards of editorial integrity. However, with this book the standards of proofreading have slipped a bit. I noticed a fair number of copyediting errors.

Even with the copyediting errors, this is another highly readable and informative book that addresses the major mysteries of history. It deserves to be on the bookshelf next to the other book.

It's common in history-related works for authors to present fiction as fact, even if unintentionally. A great example of this problem is the large number of books about America's non-existent "Civil War." The war they are referring to was a war of secession (leaving the established government), not a civil war (fighting to take it over). There are political reasons for this distortion, and unfortunately many authors pass this along.

When you move to the kinds of topics Haughton covers, the risk of this problem is even greater. That's why, for example, you can find starkly opposed viewpoints on the same historical or archeological topic. As Haughton reveals in his book, he encountered such works while doing his research.

In between reading Haughton's two books, I read or skimmed related books and watched related documentary videos. As my previous comments indicate, these various works aren't 100% harmonious. One reason for that is different authors give different weight to different sources and theories. And authors do that because they have an agenda to meet or an opinion to support so they filter all their findings through a particular lens.

Haughton isn't proposing to explain anything, as in "this is what actually happened." As the title says, these are mysteries. Haughton doesn't call them mysteries and then presume to solve them as if they aren't mysteries. As I noted earlier, he holds to high standards of editorial integrity.

In the writing, it's obvious Haughton did some serious research. His bibliography is just over 11 pages long, plus he has just over two pages (more) of photo credits listed. I did take a little time to examine the quality of the sources he used and was suitably impressed.

This book consists of three Parts spread across 263 pages (several of which are blank pages between parts or chapter ends, and the actual text starts on page 11):

Part I: Mysterious Places
Part II: Unexplained Artifacts
Part III: Enigmatic People

It also has an Introduction, Bibliography, Index, and About the Author.

If you want something other than sports and the weather to talk about (knowing that politics and religion are off limits), Haughton's books can help fill that void. You might consider just dropping the question, "What's your opinion of the golden hats of Central Europe?" into a conversation. But it might be more productive to share a copy of the book with your favorite chapter or two clearly identified for later discussion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beginner's study of some unique Age old Mysteries, October 26, 2010
By 
Robert C. Olson (Vacaville, California USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
Brian Haughton's History's Mysteries is a good beginners compendium of people, places and oddities that have interested mankind for the ages. Each of the thumbnail sketches gives the very basics of a history mystery to fire up the reader's mind for further research and reading. This is a good beginning and not an in-depth examination of the mysteries written about.
Brian Haughton's writes in an easy going style giving the basics of each mystery he covers. There is NO footnoting and the individual chapter bibliographies are very elementary and basic. But at least Mr. Haughton includes some additional reading recommendations which will help the reader on his quest to examine a history mystery.
This is a good fundamental beginning book but again it is NOT an in-depth analysis of the mysteries presented. It is book to whet one's appetite for more research. Recommended as a cursory examination of some interesting age old mysteries.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lotus Guide Magazine Review, August 5, 2010
This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
History's Mysteries: People, Places, and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time
By Brian Haughton
ISBN-13: 978-1-60163-107-7 (New Page Books, 2010)

Will Durant, one of our greatest historians, once wrote that at best, history is nothing more than guesswork and bias. This is why it's so important to take advantage of recent archaeological finds and technology to clear up some of the mystery. For this reason Brian Haughton set aside any preconceived notions of history and sought out recent information that traditional archaeologists seem to ignore. For far too long our rigid and deeply entrenched organizations have held the reins that have kept us in the dark. This book sheds new light on humanity's oldest questions.

Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide magazine
To Believe Or Not To Believe: The Social and Neurological Consequences of Belief Systems
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like a Wikipedia Page, October 16, 2012
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This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
This booked looked interesting, especially based on the other reviews. However, it didn't take long before I discovered that this book must be meant for a 5th grade reading level. It provides a very brief overview of a some places that are odd. It is literally no better than reading a Wikipedia page on the sites. Very disappointed.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, nothing mysterious, July 26, 2012
By 
William Gill (Grass Valley, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time (Paperback)
Typical archaeology 101. Nothing new and nothing mysterious. I was expecting a book that would the include the many unsolved archaeological mysteries that are out there but this book includes none. All PC, no mystery.
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History's Mysteries: People, Places and Oddities Lost in the Sands of Time
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