Is history destined to repeat itself?Will biblical prophecies come true, and if so, when?
It has been more than three decades since Zecharia Sitchin's trailblazing book The 12th Planet brought to life the Sumerian civilization and its record of the Anunnaki—the extraterrestrials who fashioned man and gave mankind civilization and religion. In this new volume, Sitchin shows that the End is anchored in the events of the Beginning, and once you learn of this Beginning, it is possible to foretell the Future.
In The End of Days, a masterwork that required thirty years of additional research, Sitchin presents compelling new evidence that the Past is the Future—that mankind and its planet Earth are subject to a predetermined cyclical Celestial Time.
In an age when religious fanaticism and a clash of civilizations raise the specter of a nuclear Armageddon, Zecharia Sitchin shatters perceptions and uses history to reveal what is to come at The End of Days.
As well as superb translations of all non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, there are also a number of previously unpublished texts, and a new preface.
Since its first publication in 1962, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English has established itself as the standard English translation of the non-Biblical Qumran Scrolls and as giving an astonishing insight to the organization, customs, history and beliefs of the community responsible for them. This seventh edition will contain new material, together with extensive new introductory material and notes.
The mummy’s “afterlife” is a modern story, not an ancient one. Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the mummy’s story from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today’s high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy’s secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped-up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can’t tell us about King Tutankhamun.
Displaying the unparalleled descriptive power, unerring eye for fascinating detail, keen insight, and trenchant wit that have made the novels she writes (as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) perennial New York Times bestsellers, internationally renowned Egyptologist Barbara Mertz brings a long-buried civilization to vivid life. In Red Land, Black Land, she transports us back thousands of years and immerses us in the sights, aromas, and sounds of day-to-day living in the legendary desert realm that was ancient Egypt.
Who were these people whose civilization has inspired myriad films, books, artwork, myths, and dreams, and who built astonishing monuments that still stagger the imagination five thousand years later? What did average Egyptians eat, drink, wear, gossip about, and aspire to? What were their amusements, their beliefs, their attitudes concerning religion, childrearing, nudity, premarital sex? Mertz ushers us into their homes, workplaces, temples, and palaces to give us an intimate view of the everyday worlds of the royal and commoner alike. We observe priests and painters, scribes and pyramid builders, slaves, housewives, and queens—and receive fascinating tips on how to perform tasks essential to ancient Egyptian living, from mummification to making papyrus.
An eye-opening and endlessly entertaining companion volume to Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs, Mertz's extraordinary history of ancient Egypt, Red Land, Black Land offers readers a brilliant display of rich description and fascinating edification. It brings us closer than ever before to the people of a great lost culture that was so different from—yet so surprisingly similar to—our own.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.
Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons—Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.
Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.
Learn about the Egyptian gods, mummification and how the Egyptians built the only wonder of the ancient world still standing – the Pyramids of Giza.
Exploring the historic rise of Egyptian civilization
and its continued influence on the world today, Ancient Egypt in an Hour is an excellent companion to a mysterious and enthralling period of history.
Know your stuff: discover ancient Egypt in just one hour.
Illustrated with drawings, maps, and photographs
Ancient Egypt, with its legacy of pyramids, pharaohs and sphinxes, is a land of power and mystery to the modern world. In The Civilization of Ancient Egypt Paul Johnson explores the growth and decline of a culture that survived for 3,000 years and maintained a purity of style that rivals all others. Johnson's study looks in detail at the state, religion, culture and geographical setting and how they combined in this unusually enduring civilization. From the beginning of Egyptian culture to the rediscovery of the pharaohs, the book covers the totalitarian theocracy, the empire of the Nile, the structure of dynastic Egypt, the dynastic way of death, hieroglyphs, the anatomy of perspective art and, finally, the decline and fall of the pharaohs, Johnson seeks, through an exciting combination of images and analysis, to discover the causes behind the collapse of this, great civilization while celebrating the extra-ordinary legacy it has left behind.Paul Johnson on Ancient Egypt and the Egyptians
"Egypt was not only the first state, it was the first country.... The durability of the state which thus evolved was ensured by the overwhelming simplicity and power of its central institution, the theocratic monarchy."
"The Egyptians did not share the Babylonian passion for astrology, but they used the stars as one of many guides to behavior. No Egyptian believed in a free exercise of will in important decisions: he always looked for an omen or a prophecy or an oracle."
"The development of hieroglyphics mirrors and epitomizes the history of Egyptian civilization. . . . No one outside Egypt understood it and even within Egypt it was the exclusive working tool of the ruling and priestly classes. The great mass of Egyptians were condemned to illiteracy by the complexities (and also the beauties) of the Egyptian written language."
"The affection the Egyptians were not. ashamed to display towards their children was related to the high status women enjoyed in Egyptian society."
"If we can understand Egyptian art we can go a long way towards grasping the very spirit and outlook on life, of this gifted people, so remote in time. The dynamic of their civilization seems to have been a passionate love of order (maat to them), by which they sought to give to human activities and creations the same regularity as their landscape, their great river, their sun-cycle and their immutable seasons."
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Diodorus' life and works
* Features the complete extant works of Diodorus, in both English translation and the original Latin
* Includes translations previously appearing in Loeb Classical Library editions of Diodorus’ works
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* Easily locate the books or works you want to read with individual contents tables
* Includes Diodorus' rare fragments, first time in digital print
* Provides a special dual English and Greek text of the first five complete books, allowing readers to compare the sections paragraph by paragraph – ideal for students
* Features a bonus biography – discover Diodorus' ancient world
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
Please note: some Kindle software programs cannot display Greek characters correctly; however the characters do display correctly on Kindle devices.
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THE LIBRARY OF HISTORY
The Greek Text
CONTENTS OF THE GREEK TEXT
The Dual Text
DUAL GREEK AND ENGLISH TEXT
INTRODUCTION TO DIODORUS SICULUS by C. H. Oldfather
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an idea about it from what you’ve seen in movies. What sorts of things
do you think of when Egypt comes to mind? Mummies, kings and queens,
desert land, pyramids and funny pictures are probably some of the many
features that make you think of Egypt. Over the years, a lot of people
have studied Egypt and have done a lot of archaeological digs to find
out more about what life was like for ancient Egyptians. Ancient
Egyptian civilization began around 3500 B.C. and lasted for more than
3,000 years! If you are ready for an adventure through time, where you
can explore ancient Egypt like never before, read on for A Kid’s Guide
to Ancient Egypt.
Adults! Turn away! This book is not for you!
eKids Books is proud to present a new series of books for all the
readers who matter the most: Kids, of course!
Join Howard Carter in his fascinating odyssey toward the most dramatic archeological find of the century--the tomb of Tutankhamen. Written by Carter in 1923, only a year after the discovery, this book captures the overwhelming exhilaration of the find, the painstaking, step-by-step process of excavation, and the wonder of opening a treasure-filled inner chamber whose regal inhabitant had been dead for 3,000 years.
104 on-the-spot photographs chronicle the phases of the discovery and the scrupulous cataloging of the treasures. The opening chapters discuss the life of Tutankhamen and earlier archeological work in the Valley of the Kings. An appendix contains fully captioned photographs of the objects obtained from the tomb. A new preface by Jon Manchip White adds information on Carter's career, recent opinions on Tutankhamen's reign, and the importance of Carter's discovery to Egyptologists.
Millions have seen the stunning artifacts which came from the tomb—they are among the glories of the Cairo Museum, and have made triumphal tours to museums the world over. They are a testament to the enigmatic young king, and to the unwavering tenacity of the man who brought them to light as described in this remarkable narrative.
Subtle changes in building long before the Revolutionary War hinted at the growing independence of the American colonies and their desire to be less like the British.
Records of estate auctions show that many households in Colonial America contained only one chair--underscoring the patriarchal nature of the early American family. All other members of the household sat on stools or the floor.
The excavation of a tiny community of freed slaves in Massachusetts reveals evidence of the transplantation of African culture to North America.
Simultaneously a study of American life and an explanation of how American life is studied, In Small Things Forgotten, through the everyday details of ordinary living, colorfully depicts a world hundreds of years in the past.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Akhenaten Heresy and Its Impact on Religion and Mystical Thought
Creation Mythology of the Four Centres
The Soul and Its Journey in Egyptian Metaphysical Thought
Secrets of the Book of the Dead
The Nature of the Human Being
Ra's Journey through the Underworld and Its Initiatory Significance
Egyptian Mysteries as the Prototype of Ancient Mystery Schools
Shamans, Hierophants, and the Initiatory Process
Wisdom of the Egyptian Sages, from Ancient Egypt to the Hermetic Mystics of Alexandria
The Heart as the Spiritual Self and Monitor of Morality in Human Behaviour
A collection of insights into the esoteric meanings of ancient Egyptian religious and spiritual practices.
This extraordinary book, the product of extensive research by author and Rosicrucian lecturer de Motte (The Grail Quest, 2003), is ideal for readers who want to go beyond ancient Egypt's pyramids, artifacts and mummies. Here, in highly readable form, the author presents the broad outlines of the ancient Egyptian spiritual belief system-from the founding cosmology of a watery, amorphous pre-creation mass to the rise of Ra, Osiris, Isis, Horus and Seth, and on to the highly developed use of symbols as keys to mystic truths, comprehended only by a chosen few. Why do ancient Egyptian renderings of human figures have bird heads? The book gives the answer: They depict, among other things, the soul in flight, freed from an earthly cage and able to access other realms of reality. The book also explains how the scarab, an insect that stores balls of dung to feed its offspring, is intimately linked to the mighty sun god Ra, who must successfully pass through the underworld each night. One of the book's main themes is the notion that, in every age, there's a body of secret knowledge about life, death and the afterlife known only to initiates and never preached or recorded. That knowledge is passed on exclusively by word of mouth over the millennia, lest it fall into the hands of those who would abuse it. In the Egyptian model, the priestly class served this function in so-called "mystery schools" with elaborate pageantry. Although de Motte's prose is highly readable, some readers may find this a difficult book to absorb. The author presents a very large amount of information here, and readers not well-acquainted with his topic may find it necessary to re-read it to keep from getting lost. Only bona fide Egyptologists can render scholarly judgment on de Motte's dazzling pages, but neophytes will appreciate the author's liberal citation of experts, even when he doesn't agree with them.
An impressive work that brings light to a mysterious ancient culture.
Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut's reign was fiercely debated from the outset. Behind the palace's veil of prosperity, bitter rivalries and jealousy flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisors, and after only nine years, King Tut suddenly perished, his name purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.
The keys to an unsolved mystery
Enchanted by the ruler's tragic story and hoping to unlock the answers to the 3,000 year-old mystery, Howard Carter made it his life's mission to uncover the pharaoh's hidden tomb. He began his search in 1907, but encountered countless setbacks and dead-ends before he finally, uncovered the long-lost crypt.
The clues point to murder
Now, in The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson and Martin Dugard dig through stacks of evidence--X-rays, Carter's files, forensic clues, and stories told through the ages--to arrive at their own account of King Tut's life and death. The result is an exhilarating true crime tale of intrigue, passion, and betrayal that casts fresh light on the oldest mystery of all.
Until the publication of this masterly study, Egyptian religion was thought by most scholars to be a nearly impenetrable jungle of weird myths, doctrines, and practices, the product of numerous unrelated local cults existing side by side. Misconceptions were exacerbated by the monotheistic bias of Western thought. Henri Frankfort, former Research Professor of Oriental Archaeology at the University of Chicago and former Director of Excavations for the Egypt Exploration Society of London, presents formidable evidence to the contrary, by disregarding local differences in cults and dogmas and focusing instead on the trends and qualities that regularly recur in five important aspects of Egyptian life. Using this method, Dr. Frankfort concludes that there is one conviction underlying all Egyptian belief, i.e., that the universe is static and that only the changeless is ultimately significant.
Delving into Egyptian theology, the author shows how that view informed not only religious beliefs, but also Egyptian moral and political philosophy, government and society, and literature and art. Enhanced with 32 illustrations, this book is "one of the finest elucidations of these materials that we have anywhere" (AmericanHistorical Review). Chronological Table. Index. Preface. 32 halftones.
Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding.
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.
While Graham Hancock is no stranger to stirring up heated controversy among scientific experts, his books and television documentaries have intrigued millions of people around the world and influenced many to rethink their views about the origins of human civilization. Now he returns with an explosive new work of archaeological detection. In Underworld, Hancock continues his remarkable quest underwater, where, according to almost a thousand ancient myths from every part of the globe, the ruins of a lost civilization, obliterated in a universal flood, are to be found.
Guided by cutting-edge science and the latest archaeological scholarship, Hancock begins his mission to discover the truth about these myths and examines the mystery at the end of the last Ice Age. As the glaciers melted between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago, sea levels rose and more than 15 million square miles of habitable land were submerged underwater, resulting in a radical change to the Earth’s shape and the conditions in which people could live. Using the latest computer techniques to map the world’s changing coastlines, Hancock finds astonishing correspondences with the ancient flood myths.
Filled with thrilling accounts of his own participation in dives off the coast of Japan, as well as in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea, we watch as Hancock discovers underwater ruins exactly where the myths say they should be—sunken kingdoms that archaeologists never thought existed. Fans of Hancock’s previous adventures will find themselves immersed in Underworld, a provocative book that provides both compelling hard evidence for a fascinating, forgotten episode in human history and a completely new explanation for the origins of civilization as we know it.
From the Hardcover edition.
Hatshepsut—the daughter of a general who usurped Egypt's throne—was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir, however, paved the way for her improbable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just over twenty, Hatshepsut out-maneuvered the mother of Thutmose III, the infant king, for a seat on the throne, and ascended to the rank of pharaoh.
Shrewdly operating the levers of power to emerge as Egypt's second female pharaoh, Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays in the veil of piety and sexual reinvention. She successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods.
Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.
In this classic study, a noted mythologist made perhaps the first serious attempt to review the religious history of ancient Egypt in the light of the science of modern mythology. Instead of regarding Egyptian mythology and legend as unique, "classic" and inviolate, as did many Egyptologists, Spence saw Egyptian religious thought as part of world mythology, rooted in primitive conceptions common to mankind as a whole and related to those of many other cultures. In supporting this thesis, Spence offers an immensely erudite in-depth survey of the broad spectrum of Egyptian gods and goddesses, cults, and beliefs, as well as a concise review of Egyptian history, manners, customs, and archaeology.
Animism, totemism, fetishism, creation myths, and other aspects of early religious beliefs are explored in an introductory chapter. The author then goes on to discuss the Egyptian priesthood, mysteries and temples, the cult of Osiris; Ra the Sun-God, Anubis, Horus, Thoth, and numerous other deities; the Book of the Dead, the birth of Hatshepsut, sacred trees, alchemy, the festival of Bast, Egyptian art, magic, and amulets, legends; and a host of other topics.
Enhanced with over 50 photographs and illustrations, this book belongs in the library of any student of ancient Egypt or of early man's attempts, through mythology and legend, to give order, meaning, and purpose to his world.
After years of intense research, Dr. Joann Fletcher has answered the questions countless researchers before her could not. While studying Egyptian royal wigs, she read a brief mention of an unidentified and mummified body, discovered long ago and believed to belong to an Egyptian of little importance. This body happened to have a wig, which Dr. Fletcher knew was a clear sign of power. After examining the hairpiece and the woman to which it belonged, to the astonishment of her colleagues she identified this body as the missing remains of Queen Nefertiti.
The search for Nefertiti had ended. She had been found. But the questions were just beginning.
Nefertiti first rose to prominence in Egyptology in 1912, when a three-thousand-year-old bust of the queen was unearthed and quickly became a recognizable artifact around the world. But pieces of Nefertiti's life remained missing. The world had seen what she looked like, but few knew about her place in history.
Virtually nothing is recorded about Nefertiti's early years. What is known about her life starts with her rise to power, her breaking through the sex barrier to rule as a virtual co-Pharaoh alongside her husband, Akhenaten. Upon his death she took full control of his kingdom. The Egyptian people loved her and celebrated her beauty in art, but the priests did not feel the same way. They believed Nefertiti's power over her husband was so great that she would instill her monotheistic beliefs upon him, rendering their own power obsolete. Egyptologists concur that it was these priests who, upon Nefertiti's death, had her name erased from public record and any likeness of her defaced. This ultimately led to her being left out of history for three thousand years.
In The Search for Nefertiti Dr. Fletcher, an esteemed Egyptologist, traces not only her thirteen-year search for this woman, whose beauty was as great as her power, but also brings to the forefront the way Egypt's royal dead have been treated over time by people as varied as Agatha Christie and Adolf Hitler. She also explores how modern technology and forensics are quickly changing the field of archaeology and, in turn, what we know about history.
Eminent biblical scholars at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania have argued that Mount Sinai is not in the Sinai Peninsula at all, but rather in northwestern Saudi Arabia. However, they were never allowed into the kingdom to prove their argument. When Cornuke and Williams are also denied entry, they daringly sneak into Saudi Arabia. And what they discover at the mountain known as Jabal al Lawz will astonish the world—and inspire readers to rethink the role of the Bible in history. They find the remains of the stone altar at which the Golden Calf was worshiped, the twelve pillars that Moses ordered to be erected, the cave where Moses slept, and, most sensationally, the unnaturally scorched spot on the mountaintop where God gave Moses the two stone tablets. They also explain, in a fascinating account, the truth about the parting of the Red Sea waters. And not the least of their discoveries is the fact that one of the most sacred spots on earth is now a top secret Saudi military base. As these two adventurers follow in Moses' footsteps, they become pawns in a dangerous game of international power politics and intrigue, This action-packed tale—part high-tech treasure hunt, part modern-day spy thriller, and part biblical detective story—is riveting. And it is all true.
Explore the daily lives of ancient Egyptians in this exciting update of one of the most successful Daily Life titles. Through reconstructions based on the hieroglyphic inscriptions, paintings from tombs, and scenes from temple walls, readers can explore social and material existence in one of the world's oldest civilizations. Narrative chapters explore the preparation of food and drink, religious ceremonies and cosmology, work and play, the arts, military domination, and intellectual accomplishments.
With information garnered from recent excavations and research, including new content on construction, pyramid building, ship building, and metallurgy, this up-to-date volume caters to the ever-evolving needs of today's readers. A timeline, an extensive research center bibliography, and over 20 new photos make this a must-have reference source for modern students of ancient history.
Lavishly illustrated with colour pictures, maps and family trees, helpful glossaries explaining all the major gods and timelines of the Pharoahs and most importantly packed with unforgettable stories, this book offers the perfect introduction to Egyptian history and civilization.
Concise, authoritative, and easy to follow, this unique guide shows modern shipwrights how to build three ancient Egyptian boat models following the same expert techniques used by craftsmen thousands of years ago. A beginner's skill level is all that's needed to expertly construct the royal sailing ships of King Khufu (ruled ca. 2551–2528 B.C.), Queen Hatshepsut (ruled ca. 1479–1458 B.C.) and the great Ramses II (ruled ca. 1279–1213 B.C.). Learn how to select the proper wood and gather the appropriate tools and materials. Follow simple guidelines for every aspect of construction, from hull to sails to rowing oars—even building the display stand. Replicate the paints and colors used for the original Egyptian models. And discover ancient free-hand painting techniques, including how to create authentic hieroglyphic symbols to decorate your project. A profusion of detailed patterns and diagrams—plus photographs of each finished model—accompany the text, guiding crafters step-by-step to shipbuilding success.
Afascinating chronicle of an extraordinary people—from the first Stone Age settlements through the reign of Cleopatra and the Roman invasions—Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs brings ancient Egypt to life as never before. Lavishly illustrated with pictures, maps, and photographs, it offers tantalizing glimpses into Egyptian society; amazing stories of the pharaohs and the rise and fall of great dynasties; a sampling of culture, religion, and folklore; stories of explorers, scientists, and scoundrels who sought to unravel or exploit the ageless mysteries; and new insights into the architectural wonders that were raised along the banks of the Nile.
For centuries, philosophers, scientists, and charlatans have attempted to decipher the baffling mysteries of our past, from the Stonehenge to the lost continent of Atlantis. Today, however, DNA testing, radiocarbon dating, and other cutting-edge investigative tools, together with a healthy dose of common sense, are guiding us closer to the truth.
Peter James and Nick Thorpe, the professional historian and archaeologist team who created the acclaimed Ancient Inventions, now tackle these age-old conundrums, presenting the latest information from the scientific community--and the most startling challenges to traditional explanations of mysteries such as:
- The rise and fall of the Maya
- A lost cache of Dead Sea Scrolls
- The curse of Tutankhamun
- The devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah
- The Nazca Lines
These true mystery stories twist and turn like a good whodunit, as James and Thorpe present the evidence for and against the expert theories, shedding new light on humankind's age-old struggle to make sense of the past. The authors also make dramatic contributions of their own to the fray, demonstrating persuasively that cataustrophic events--including the collisions of comets with the Earth long ago--could explain puzzles that have baffled experts for centuries. Ancient Mysteries will entertain and enlighten, delight the curious and inform the serious.
From the Hardcover edition.
Pompeii, Machu Picchu, the Valley of the Kings, the Parthenon—the names of these legendary archaeological sites conjure up romance and mystery. The news is full of archaeology: treasures found (British king under parking lot) and treasures lost (looters, bulldozers, natural disaster, and war). Archaeological research tantalizes us with possibilities (are modern humans really part Neandertal?). Where are the archaeologists behind these stories? What kind of work do they actually do, and why does it matter?
Marilyn Johnson’s Lives in Ruins is an absorbing and entertaining look at the lives of contemporary archaeologists as they sweat under the sun for clues to the puzzle of our past. Johnson digs and drinks alongside archaeologists, chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Machu Picchu, and excavates their lives. Her subjects share stories we rarely read in history books, about slaves and Ice Age hunters, ordinary soldiers of the American Revolution, children of the first century, Chinese woman warriors, sunken fleets, mummies.
What drives these archaeologists is not the money (meager) or the jobs (scarce) or the working conditions (dangerous), but their passion for the stories that would otherwise be buried and lost.
At its heart, The First Americans is the story of the revolution in thinking that Adovasio and his fellow archaeologists have brought about, and the firestorm it has ignited. As he writes, “The work of lifetimes has been put at risk, reputations have been damaged, an astounding amount of silliness and even profound stupidity has been taken as serious thought, and always lurking in the background of all the argumentation and gnashing of tenets has been the question of whether the field of archaeology can ever be pursued as a science.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.