Friday, January 28, 2011

The Past from Above

My favorite Christmas present has turned out to be a book called The Past from Above. This is a collection of aerial photographs by Georg Gerster, edited by Charlotte Trumpler. The sites span the world, from Peru to Siberia. Not only is the book beautiful and fun to look through, I feel like I have learned a lot just by seeing all these sites from a new perspective.

There is a paragraph of text about each site, bringing you up to speed on the less familiar ones.

I can only agree with the Guardian reviewer, quoted on the back, who said, "If Kublai Khan had a library in Xanadu, he would have this book on permanent display."

Top, the Pictish broch of Gurness, Scotland; center, the neolithic Maltese temple of Hagar Qim; bottom, a stone labyrinth on a Swedish island. The date of the labyrinth is not known, because it has been regularly maintained by the locals for at least the past 150 years. Some think the labyrinth is about that old, but others think it goes back to the Iron Age.

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