Dust jacket notes: "The author of the best-selling adventure Kon-Tiki travels to a relatively unknown part of the world in this archaeological detective story. When the government of the Maldive Islands - those 'dots on the map in the Indian Ocean' - wanted to investigate recent archaeological finds dating from thousands of years ago, it turned to one of the world's foremost explorers, Thor Heyerdahl. Although Heyerdahl knew little about the islands, he understood that the invitation implied a drastic change toward the Maldive past: until now, all study of Maldive history prior to A.D. 1153 (the year the islanders embraced the Islamic faith) had been repressed, and all pre-Moslem artifacts discarded or destroyed. What unfolded for Heyerdahl was an exciting search through Maldive history. On the island of Fua Mulaku he found the remains of walls made from beautifully cut and fitted stones, reminiscent of the 'fingerprint' masonry he had previously seen only in the prehistoric structures of the Middle East. And on Nilandu, he visited the excavation of the 'Phallus Temple,' which led him to ponder the puzzling fact that in this Moslem land, the mosques do not face toward Mecca. The quest for the origins of Maldive history led Heyerdahl to Sri Lanka, to India, and to the carvings and buildings left by the vanished civilizaitons of Sumer, Mesopotamia, Bahrain, and the Indus Valley. Heyerdahl eventually found that the Maldive Islands, far from being remote and insignificant, formed a crucial crossroad for pre-European civilizations."