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4.2 261
by James Rollins

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“A real page-turner….Rollins keeps the story in overdrive, with plenty of twists and turns before the final shocker.”
—Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence


A classic adventure from James Rollins, the author of The Doomsday Key, The Last Oracle, The Judas Strain, Black Order,


“A real page-turner….Rollins keeps the story in overdrive, with plenty of twists and turns before the final shocker.”
—Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence


A classic adventure from James Rollins, the author of The Doomsday Key, The Last Oracle, The Judas Strain, Black Order, and other pulse-pounding, New York Times bestselling thrillers, Excavation carries readers deep into the jungles of South America, and into the terrifying heart of dark mysteries that should never be unearthed.

Editorial Reviews

Douglas Preston
From the opening scene high in the Andes to the stunning finish, Excavation is a real page turner. Archaeology, lost Inca cities, graves, gold, and death — what else could you want in a book? Rollins keeps the story in overdrive, with plenty of twists and turns before the final shocker. A compulsive read.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Monday, August 20, 11:52 A.M.
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

Professor Henry Conklin's fingers trembled slightly as he unwrapped the final layer of blankets from around his frozen treasure. He held his breath. How had the fared after the three-thousand-mile trip from the Andes? Back in Peru, he had been so careful to pack and crate the frozen remains in dry ice for the trip to Baltimore, but during such a long journey anything could have gone wrong.

Henry ran a hand through his dark hair, now dusted with a generous amount of grey since passing his sixtieth birthday last year. He prayed his past three decades of research and fieldwork would pay off. He would not have a second chance. Transporting the mummy from South America had almost drained the last of his grant money. And nowadays any new fellowships or grants were awarded to researchers younger than he. He was becoming a dinosaur at Texas A&M. Though still fevered, he was now more coddled than taken seriously.

Still, his most recent discovery of the ruins of a small Incan village high in the Andes could change all that -- especially if it proved his own controversial theory.

He cautiously tugged free the final linen wrap. Fog from the thawing dry ice momentarily obscured his sight. He waved the mist away as the contorted figure appeared, knees bent to chest, arms wrapped around legs, almost in a fetal position, just as he had discovered the mummy in a small cave near the frozen summit of Mount Arapa.

Henry stared at his discovery. Ancient eye sockets, open and hollow, gazed back at him from under strands of lanky black hair still on its skull. Its lips, dried and shrunkenback, revealed yellowed teeth. Frayed remnants of a burial shawl still clung to its leathered skin. It was so well preserved that even the black dyes of the tattered robe shone brightly under the surgical lights of the research lab.

"Oh God!" a voice exclaimed at his shoulder. "This is perfect!"

Henry jumped slightly, so engrossed in his own thoughts he had momentarily forgotten the others in the room. He turned and was blinded by the flash of a camera's strobe. The reporter from the Baltimore Herald moved from behind his shoulder to reposition for another shot, never moving the Nikon from her face. Her blond hair was pulled over her ears in a severe and efficient ponytail. She snapped additional photos as she spoke. "What would you estimate its age to be, Professor?"

Blinking away the glare, Henry backed a step away so the others could view the remains. A pair of scientists moved closer, instruments in hand.

"I ... I'd estimate the mummification dates back to the sixteenth century-some four to five hundred years ago."

The reporter lowered her camera but did not move her eyes from the figure cradled on the CT scanning table. A small trace of disgust pleated her upper lip. "No, I meant how old do you think the mummy was when he died?"

"Oh...' He pushed his wire-rimmed glasses higher on his nose. "Around twenty ... It's hard to be accurate on just gross examination."

One of the two doctors, a petite woman in her late fiftieswith dark hair that fell in silky strands to the small of herback, glanced back at them. She had been examining themummy's head, a tongue depressor in hand. "He was thirty-two when he died," she stated matter-of-factly. The speaker,Dr. Joan Engel, was head of forensic pathology at JohnsHopkins University and an old friend of Henry's. Her position there was one of the reasons he had hauled his mummyto Johns Hopkins. She elaborated on her statement, "Histhird molars are partially impacted, but from the degree ofwear on the second molars and the lack of wear on the third,my estimation should be precise to within three years, plusor minus. But the CT scan results should pinpoint the ageeven more accurately."

Belying her calm demeanor, the doctor's jade eyes shone brightly as she spoke, crinkling slightly at the comers. There was no disgust on her face when she viewed the mummy, even when she handled the desiccated remains with her gloved fingers. Henry sensed her excitement, mirroring his own. It was good to know Joan's enthusiasm for scientific mysteries had not waned from the time he had known her back in her undergraduate years. She returned to the study of the mummy, but not before giving Henry a look of apology for contradicting his previous statement and estimation of age.

Henry's cheeks grew heated, more from embarrassment than irritation. She was as keen and sharp as ever.

Swallowing hard, he tried to redeem himself. He turned tothe reporter. "I hope to prove these remains found at thisIncan site are not actually Incan, but another tribe of Peruvian Indians. "

"What do you mean?"

"It has been long known that the Incas were a warrior tribe that often took over neighboring tribes and literally consumed them. They built their own cities atop these others, swallowing them up. From my study of Machu Picchu and other ruins in the remote highlands of the Andes, I've theorized that the lowland tribes of the Incas did not build these cloud cities but took them over from a tribe that already existed before them robbing these ancestors of their rightful place in history as the skilled architects of the mountaintop cities." Henry nodded toward the mummy. "I hope this fellow will be able to correct this error in history.,,

The reporter took another picture, but was then forced back by the pair of doctors who were moving their examination farther down the mummy. "Why do you think this mummy can prove this theory?" she asked.

"The tomb where we discovered it predates the Incan ruins by at least a century, suggesting that here might be one of the true builders of these mountain citadels. Also this mummy stands a good head taller than the average Inca of the region ... even its facial features are different. I brought the mummy here to prove this is not an Incan tribesman but one of the true architects of these exceptional cities. With genetic mapping available here, I can substantiate any --"

Excavation. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.


Meet the Author

James Rollins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each acclaimed novel, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

Brief Biography

Sacramento, California
Date of Birth:
August 20, 1961
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois

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Excavation 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 260 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The novel is excellent, as is expected from James Rollins. I could hardly stand to put down my Nook, at least until I got to the last 50 pages or so where I discovered that the file is damaged. I missed about 30 pages and then was able to read the last 20 or so. Aggravating to say the least, and as of yet B&N has not resolved the issue. If you love edge-of-your-seat thrills and adventure, this book is definately for you! I've read many of Rollins's books, and the same holds true for them all. You will not be bored when you have a James Rollins novel in your hand..just be sure you have enough time to finish it when you pick it up, because you won't want to put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1. Completely turn off your device. 2. Power back on. 3. Try to open the book and browse the pages, if still doesnt change, 4. Archive the book 5. Turn off device, after 15 minutes, 6. Power back on. 7. Unarchive the book and re-download it. If still doesnt work, try to remove the local copy form your device. 1. Plug in your device to your computer 2. Open your nook drive 3. Open the folder where the book is located. 4. Delete the local copy of the book (it will not be permanently deleted) 5. Unplug your device. (Safely remove it) 6. Turn off and turn back on your device 7. Sync your library. (Tap Sync button for nook color, or "Check for new B&N Content for Nook 3G and Wifi) - The book should show up and try to download the book again. If that wont work, call 1-800-THE-BOOK for further assistance.
Bronson More than 1 year ago
James Rollins really made this book hard to put down once you started reading it. From the beginning all the way to the end, there is action and adventure filled scenes with a lot of suspense. It kept me wondering what would happen next. Also, there's many interesting history facts and mysteries throughout the text.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a book that I just picked up off the shelf that sounded good, I could NOT put this one down. Right from the beginning, the story grabs you and doesn't let go. I expected the usual slowdown that is typical in a lot of books, but this story both lacked the slowness and was relentless in it's pace. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys this genre, even those that don't! I'm going back to read his first one right now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Sigma Force series and they are all fast paced and can't put down books. Once you start to read you just can't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just had a great time reading this book. Did not want to put it down. Fun reading about places I've visited in the past and can see myself at some spots in Cuzco. If you like James Rollins "sigma series" this is different, but it is very good. I really enjoyed the archeology and history put in this book. Like a trip in time (past). A good book to read-
IceManCC More than 1 year ago
Your hooked within the first few pages. The characters are easy to get attached to and the amazing things these people encounter are so well described they are easy to visualize. I hated seeing this book end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story that makes you want to believe there are protected wonders that hold powers beyond belief. Not a sci-fi story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel I have read by James Rollins and I have to say I am impressed. The speed of the story rivals such greats as Dean Koontz and Steve Berry. I'm hooked now! I look forward to reading the rest of his collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the start James Rollins has you swept into a world hidden from mankind,one few will ever know. Each turn of the page is like each turn in the underbelly of the earth.Heart races as you wonder what is around the next corner or the next page. My favorite of all of his books thus far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book got me hooked from the start, and I had a hard time putting it down. Finished it within a matter of days. Characters were well developed and the story line consistantly kept you wanting to find out what was going to happen next. A good adventure read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an interesting read, but not as good as I was expecting judging by the other reviews. Rollins has a very creative imagination and the story line flowed, but I was a little disappointed overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this book was nowhere near the standard set by Rollins' current work' it was interesting to see where this author got his start. The story will seem familiar to most as it is just a rehash of a plot used in many other books by other authors. It is action-paked but entirely predictable. Still, a good first effort by a storyteller who will eventually become a master. Stephanie Clanahan
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jbmom2dachs More than 1 year ago
I am really enjoying Mr. Rollins' several series. I think of these as adventures like James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Robert Langdon-types. So many of the things brought out in the stories are historically and/or scientifically based.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WellingtonJr More than 1 year ago
Here is a "page turner" in every sense of the word. Characters (and monsters) jump out at you. The action is nonstop and believable. Historical references are accurate and interesting. An intriguing reference is made to Prometheous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good start and middle.....lost interest, so sad cause I like his books
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vickimae More than 1 year ago
This book is like an Indiana Jones movie! Lots of action with twists that you don't expect!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago