For five millennia, the peoples and cultures of East and West have met and mingled in Central Asia. Its history is epic and compelling, its future rests on a fault-line of change and upheaval. For explorers and travellers it is a promised land, a region of white spaces on the map, forgotten cities, archaeological treasures, hidden oases and harsh deserts. Christoph Baumer has spent a lifetime travelling through the countries of Central Asia, hunting for traces of its shrouded past and making extraordinary discoveries along the way. Traces in the Desert follows in Baumer's intrepid footsteps as he finds evidence of Indo-Europeans in the steppes of Western Mongolia, discovers lost oasis cities in the Taklamakan - 'the desert of no return' - and unearths art treasures in Tibet. He investigates the remains of the pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion of Bn and the remarkable heritage of the Christian Nestorian Church, which stretches from Eastern Turkey into Tibet and Mongolia. He embarks on a quest to find Genghis Khan's long-lost tomb and has numerous, occasionally hair-raising, encounters with shamans, corrupt policemen and 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.
Traces in the Desert
Journeys of Discovery Across Central Asia