PART II Body, Memory, and History
Pages 12

The last person to go looking for lost civilizations in the southern Amazon was Colonel Percy Fawcett, an English explorer who looked in vain for the lost cities of legend, the lost civilization of Mu or El Dorado. He mounted four expeditions in the Bolivian lowlands (1906-1913), exploring as far east as the Mamoré River in the central Llanos de Mojos, and later in northern Mato Grosso, Brazil (1920 and 1925). Fawcett was inspired by the spectacular nineteenth-century archaeological discoveries in tropical America, such as those in Mesoamerica and, particularly, Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911. Only five years before, in 1906,

Fawcett himself had scoured the countryside in the Andean foothills and lowland forests in search of the elusive Amazonian cities of “Indian stories.”