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Machu Picchu Revealed Hardcover – October 15, 2008
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Review by Greg and Bobbie Hobbs
of Ruth M. Wright's Machu Picchu Revealed
(Johnson Books 2008)
December 10, 2008
What a beautiful little photo-story book Ruth Wright presents to the high marks of Machu Picchu. On two different journeys, we've had the opportunity to use Ruth's much more detailed Machu Picchu Guidebook, co-authored with Alfredo Valencia, for exploring the vistas and hidden niches of this incomparable place.
Now with condor eyes and a poet's voice, Ruth reveals the spirit within these storied stones: "Here all the elements of Inca cosmology came together in one place--the mountains, the holy Urubamba River, melted snows from Mt. Salcantay, the heavens and the Pleiades."
Through years of field work since 1994, Ruth has mastered the archeology of Machu Picchu with the help of Peruvian archeologist Valencia. During that time, she and her water engineer husband, Ken, have helped restore ancient fountains and trails lost for five-hundred years.
This just isn't a pretty picture book, it's a showcase of understanding--spectacularly photographed--from the Gate of the Sun to the summit of Huayna Picchu.
Many of the best shots look you through rock windows Inca artisans designed lovingly for viewing "apus, the mountain gods of the high Andes, with their snow-covered peaks and glaciers."
Illustrating the utilitarian purpose of water, a sacred resource, Ruth shows how the Quechua people "captured the water and brought it to the center in a creatively designed canal, on its own terrace and at just the right grade.Read more ›
The National Geographic-quality photos literally take your breath away as you turn each page. The book is arranged in a comprehendible fashion, with just enough text to give context and flavor. It would make a great memento for people who have been to Machu Picchu or a perfect gift for the traveler who hopes to visit soon.
The book is presented as a guided tour of Machu Picchu as if the reader approached along the Inca Trail and first saw the place through the famous Gate of the Sun. The pictures and brief commentary lead the reader past the Guard House and through the Main Gate all the while highlighting the spectacular face of sacred Huayna Picchu Mountain. Subsequent sections present the Sacred Plaza, the Intiwatana Pyramid, Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Condor, Temple of the Moon, and several other components of this astonishing place.
Despite its brevity, Machu Picchu Revealed is much more than a tourist enticement. The book reveals the artistic, architectural and engineering achievements of the Incas. Although I spent two full days in Machu Picchu accompanied by a Peruvian guide, I learned important new things from this short photographic essay. Ruth Wright and her husband Ken are perhaps the world's foremost scholars of the architectural and engineering design of Machu Picchu. Among other things they are largely responsible for the discovery of a lost trail on the east flank of Machu Picchu that is graced with fountains equal in beauty and efficiency to those in the central sectors. I found Ruth Wright's photographs of and discussion about the Inca water system particularly enlightening.Read more ›
and her husband Ken. Therefore it makes sense to me that any book either of them might
write about Machu Picchu would be incredible both in photos and in knowledge of the history and description of the ruins. Having visited Machu Picchu a half dozen times, when I saw Ruth Wright's Machu Picchu Revealed book my first thought was that it was about time. There has not ever been a thorough English guide book to Peru's fabulous ruin.....Machu Picchu, until now. If you are planning to visit for the first time this book will tell you everything you want or need to know about what you are seeing. Take for instance the many small streams of water that are now running through the ruinS. On my first visit there was no water. It was Ruth and her husband Ken who discovered where the occupants of this immense ruin got their water. And it was the Wrights who got it to run again. (See the section on Water). The chapter on the Temple of the Condor describes in detail the rock carving and shows you where to find "the wings" of the condor. The photography is especially detailed showing how the mammoth stones were put together without using mortar. You will see the Temple of the Sun, but not from the vantage point of Ruth's pictures from above. If you have already been to Machu Picchu or know someone who has, but without this book, here is your opportunity to buy one for yourself and another for a friend. You will find out what you were looking at and feel like you were there again. J.Johnson
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very disappointed with the pictures in Machu Picchu Revealed. The were blurred and discolored. I would suggest you change the description of this book. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by M
Prior to going to Machu Picchu, I bought the book and admired the wonderful photographs. When I got there I sought out all the spectacular views that I had seen in the book and it... Read morePublished on September 12, 2013 by Walter Figel
Book is to small and the author does have all the facts correct...It was BUILT FIRST not by local people using hand tools...but by the ancient aliens....jamesPublished on February 1, 2013 by james
This was a good book with interesting pictures but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I thought it was a more comprehensive guide to the ruins, but it dealt with the water system.Published on December 21, 2012 by yyzbgi
I visited Machu Picchu in May, 2011 and was interested in this book as a post-travel reference so added it to my Amazon wishlist. Read morePublished on July 30, 2011 by Britbear
I was there one year and a half ago, the pictures on the book looks like a little old, because the views changed, the people is old fashion in the pictures. Read morePublished on February 25, 2011 by G. Cezaroti