Excavation

( 257 )

Overview

The South American Jungle Guards Many Secrets...
and a remarkable site nestled between two towering Andean peaks, hidden from human eyes for thousands years.

Dig Deeper...
through layers of rock and mystery, through centuries of dark, forgotten legends.

Into Ancient ...

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Excavation

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Overview

The South American Jungle Guards Many Secrets...
and a remarkable site nestled between two towering Andean peaks, hidden from human eyes for thousands years.

Dig Deeper...
through layers of rock and mystery, through centuries of dark, forgotten legends.

Into Ancient Catacombs...
where ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting; where earth-shattering discoveries—wealth beyond imagining—could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown.

Something is Waiting…
here where the perilous journey ends, in the cold, shrouded heart of a breathtaking necropolis; something created by Man, yet not humanly possible.

Something wondrous. Something terrifying.

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061916472
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 404
  • Sales rank: 423,785
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James Rollins

James Rollins is the 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 "hottest summer reads" (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

Biography

James Rollins is the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of Black Order, Map of Bones and other adventure thrillers. He was born in Chicago and grew up in Ontario, Canada, and St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated with honors from the University of Missouri with a degree in veterinary medicine. And like most veterinarians, he presently shares his home with a Golden Retriever, a Dachshund, and a sixty-five year old parrot named Igor. Rollins currently practices in Northern California, and when not writing or working in his veterinary practice, he can often be found underground or underwater as an amateur spelunker and scuba diver. These hobbies have helped in the creation of his earlier books Subterranean, Deep Fathom, Amazonia, and Sandstorm. His thriller, Black Order, skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists across the country, winning the author countless new fans, and was proclaimed by People magazine as one of last summer's "hottest reads." Map of Bones was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the most likely to win over Dan Brown's faithful audience, and the New York Times rated the book as one the summer's top crowd pleasers.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Rollins:

"I often get asked if I still practice veterinary medicine. While I don't practice full-time, I still do volunteer. I work with a group that traps stray cats, brings them to the shelter, where I spend a day spaying and neutering them. It's basically eight hours of removing genitalia. It's a hobby."

"I am a TV junkie. I have two Tivos and they are constantly full."

"My first job was to flip pizzas. I once got a pie spinning that was ten feet across. I had to spin it on my back to keep it going. Yet, I still love pizza."

"Two hobbies I love -- caving and scuba diving -- are also essential research for my novels. Case in point:

I've always been an avid cave explorer, from the vast systems in Missouri to the lava tubes of Hawaii to the tighter squeezes of the California foothills. But one of my most frightening episodes also allowed me to better describe claustrophobia in my novels. While climbing out of the fairly technical wild cavern, involving lots of rope work, I managed to jam myself midway up a narrow vertical chute. Hung up on my ascending gear midway up the chute, I found myself unable to move up or down. My chest was squeezed between two walls, my left knee turned the wrong way. I could not maneuver, and there was not enough room to get a rescue climber to me. I was trapped. I remember the team leader, leaning down from above, shining his helmet lamp at me. ‘You either find a way to un-jam yourself, or you stay there forever.'

So over the course of a long hour -- wriggling, sweating, cursing, and clawing -- I managed to creep a millimeter at a time out of the jam. After this event, I had a better understanding for panic and the determination born of pure desperation, essential ingredients for to writing thrilling fiction.

But spelunking through caves was not my only ‘research' lesson. Two decades ago, I also took up scuba diving and went on dive trips all around the world: Monterey Bay, Hawaii, South Pacific, Australia. I particularly remember one trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I was informed by the dive master to beware of the many hazards found in the region. ‘On land, Australia has seven of the ten deadliest snakes. The seas are worse. Box jellyfish can kill in minutes. Local sea snakes are some of the most toxic. But worst of all is the stone fish. It looks like a stone, but its spines are loaded with paralytic poison. So be careful what you touch.'

And down we all went, buddied up in pairs, enthusiastic and excited. I dropped toward the reef and adjust my buoyancy until I'm floating just above the reef. All around spread amazing sights: giant clams, a flurry of colored fish, an astounding variety of coral. But I miscalculated my buoyancy, my weight shifted, and I planted a hand into the sand to stabilize my tumble, careful of the razor-sharp coral. Inches from my thumb, a jagged rock suddenly sprouted fins and swam away. I met the gaze of my buddy diver. His wide eyes firmed up the identification. The deadly stone fish. And I had almost slapped my hand on its back. As the fish scurried away, I understood at that exact moment how little Nature cared about the life of a scuba-diving novelist. Down here, Nature ruled. We were only visitors.

This mix of respect and terror is brought to life in my latest novel, The Judas Strain."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Sacramento, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 20, 1961
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois

Read an Excerpt

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.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Excavation

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 shrunken back, 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.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 257 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(116)

4 Star

(88)

3 Star

(41)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 258 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Read this book; but not the eBook

    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!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    Things to do when you are having troubles with the book.

    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.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2008

    Interesting and Action-Packed

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2000

    Thought-provoking!!

    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!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Great book

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2006

    Interesting, but not great

    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.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Great Book!

    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-

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2011

    Absolutely -A Great Read

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    WOW!!!

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved

    I am as a rule not a huge adventure story fan. This one has definitely changed my mind. I really enjoyed the entire book. There was action. There was mystery. There was Aztec history. There was a conspiracy and religious zealots thrown in. I learned Im not just a mystery fan. I learned I like Mr. Rollins style and will read more of his work. Rip roaring ride! Read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2012

    Tired of the same old ending

    I have read six of Rollins books now. They are exciting up to the last chapter, but I am tired of teh history-changing find being destroyed every time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    An excellent read!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    Great read

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2014

    Action packed

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2014

    Thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile reading.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    OK read

    Good start and middle.....lost interest, so sad cause I like his books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Recommended

    This is a fairly well written fantasy about a treasure hunt in an Incan pyramid. The characters run into to some very strange and wondrous beings as they get closer to the truth of what they are really after. If you like fantasy and you like other books by James Rollins, you'll like this one too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2013

    terrific!

    This book is like an Indiana Jones movie! Lots of action with twists that you don't expect!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    I've finished reading the eBook version and it is all working we

    I've finished reading the eBook version and it is all working well. A very good book. I guess the problems talked about on March 11th, 2011 are fixed. Have fun you guys reading the book or the eBook.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2013

    Another Great Read!

    Loved the concept and the characters. Great storyline and lots of action.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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