What was the Minotaur? Did a Welsh prince discover America? Did Robin Hood really exist? How does the Star of Bethlehem fit into the science of astronomy? Is the Vinland Map a fake? Can archaeologists use spirit messages to guide their work?For centuries, philosophers, scientists, and charlatans have attempted to decipher the baffling mysteries of our past, from the Stonehenge to the lost continent of Atlantis. Today, however, DNA testing, radiocarbon dating, and other cutting-edge investigative tools, together with a healthy dose of common sense, are guiding us closer to the truth. Peter James and Nick Thorpe, the professional historian and archaeologist team who created the acclaimed Ancient Inventions, now tackle these age-old conundrums, presenting the latest information from the scientific community--and the most startling challenges to traditional explanations ofmysteries such as:- The rise and fall of the Maya- A lost cache of Dead Sea Scrolls- The curse of Tutankhamun- The devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah- The Nazca LinesThese true mystery stories twist and turn like a good whodunit, as James and Thorpe present the evidence for and against the expert theories, shedding new light on humankind's age-old struggle to make sense of the past. The authors also make dramatic contributions of their own to the fray, demonstrating persuasively that cataustrophic events--including the collisions of comets with the Earth long ago--could explain puzzles that have baffled experts for centuries. Ancient Mysteries will entertain and enlighten, delight the curious and inform the serious.From the Hardcover edition.