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For five millennia, the peoples and cultures of East and West have met and mingled in Central Asia. For explorers and travellers it is a promised land, a region of white spaces on the map, forgotten cities and archaeological treasures. Christoph Baumer has spent a lifetime travelling through the countries of Central Asia, making extraordinary discoveries along the way. "Traces in the Desert" follows in his intrepid footsteps as he finds evidence of Indo-Europeans in the steppes of Western Mongolia, discovers lost oasis cities in the Taklamakan and unearths art treasures in Tibet. He embarks on a quest to find Genghis Khan's long-lost tomb and has numerous, occasionally hair-raising, encounters with shamans, Iranian politicians and armed Tibetan bandits. Enlightening and full of adventure, "Traces in the Desert" uniquely illuminates the hidden parts of Central Asia that have not just disappeared beneath the shifting sands, but also from the horizon of our memory.
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About the Author

Dr Christoph Baumer is a leading explorer of Central Asia and Tibet. His many expeditions in these regions have yielded important discoveries in archaeology and art history. As the leader of four international expeditions into the Taklamakan desert he rediscovered the lost city of Dandan Oilik and found unknown Buddhist murals revealing ancient inscriptions. Not since Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin has a foreigner explored this region as extensively. A Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Explorer's Club, Baumer is internationally recognised through his books, articles and appearances in documentary films and on radio. He is the author of many books, including 'Southern Silk Road', 'Eastern Tibet' and 'Church of the East' - a runner up BRISMES winner (also I.B.Tauris).

Reviews

'This book is a revelation. Christoph Baumer unravels complex mysteries and shares with the reader his deep knowledge and understanding of living and lost cultures. It is also a tale of high adventure. Neither the seeker of true knowledge nor the merely inquisitive will experience disappointment. Their only regret will be when the last step is taken on Baumer's quest and the final page is turned.' - John Hare 'Should anyone finish reading the memoirs of Sir Aurel Stein, Paul Pelliot or Albert von le Coq and still feel in need of further adventures on the Silk Road, I would not hesitate to direct them towards the writings of Christoph Baumer. [He] manages to strike a perfect balance between clearly-written history, explanations of archaeological finds... and the everyday difficulties of travel in one of the least hospitable environments on earth. Baumer's work makes for engaging reading, brilliantly combining a lightness of touch with a profound erudition and is an excellent introduction both to the history of the region, as well as the history of travel in the region.' - Bijan Omrani, Journal of Asian Affairs

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