Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raider's Map to the Chachapoyan Temple

This treasure map is seen only briefly at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is in several pieces, one held by Indy, the others by Satipo and Barranca. The original prop was actually just aged pieces of brown paper with no image on them.

The map was constructed based on Indy's movements on his way to the temple: he crosses a river after a cowardly porter finds a carved stele, and proceeds to another river with a waterfall. He then gets the other portion of the map to connect the pieces... assuming the trail on his half has ended. After a brief test of whip vs. revolver, Indy proceeds to the temple where he finds the idol, and quickly loses it to Rene Belloq. The entire trail is shown on the map... even the larger river where Jock is waiting to pick him up in his seaplane.

To add authenticity, the features shown in the film were combined with place names from the Chachapoya region where these events would have really taken place. According to this replica, the map was drawn by Adolph Bandelier, a real 19th century explorer of this area of Peru.. 

Indy's portion of the map show the route to the temple, while Barranca's piece shows Bandelier's study of the interior of the temple with a few vague notes about its perils. The entire map is aged by hand using several techniques to match the appearance of the heavily-worn original prop.

The Collection of Indy Magnoli

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