Mysteries of Time


Missing in time...vanished peoples, hidden documents, secret graves, lost treasures. Read fascinating stories about people who unravelled mysteries of the past and discover how you, too, can become a detective of time.


Selected, Our Choice Canadian Children’s Book Centre, 1993



One day in 1954 two men climbed the high peak of El Plomo, a 5000 metre mountain near Santiago, Chile. El Plomo had been a sacred mountain of the Inca, a powerful nation of native people who once ruled much of South America. On the mountain the men hoped to find gold and silver relics, treasures of the Inca that would fetch a small fortune in the marketplace.

Near the mountain peak the searchers found three small rectangular buildings. They entered the largest one, but it seemed empty, deserted. Then as their eyes adjusted to the darkness they spotted a large flat stone on the dirt floor. Perhaps there was treasure underneath!

Grunting and wheezing, the men pried the heavy slab loose and slid it along the floor. Freezing air poured from a metre square cavity. In the blackness below they saw splatters of colour – red, yellow, white. They chattered excitedly, then suddenly grew quiet. At the bottom of the shallow pit they could see something else – the body of a small boy.

They youngster was about eight or nine years old. He sat huddled, his knees drawn up tightly to his chest. His arms were wrapped around his legs, his left hand clutching his right. His head leaned gently on his knees….

The boy looked peacefully asleep, his body perfectly preserved. But it was obvious from his clothing and the objects in the tomb that he had been frozen there for many years…


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