All an archaeologist is, is a glorified and educated garbage picker whose career lies in ruins.

While this description may have been true of some 19th century practitioners of the art of grave robbing for the benefit of carnivals rather than the interests of science – up to and including Agatha Christie’s comment that, An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her – the early 20th century gave us a more scientific approach to the recovery of artifacts. Unfortunately the artifacts and their presentation has often been colored to support political points of view rather than simply describing the physical evidence of history and using that explanation to better understand the facts that have been presented about past events. Now we have a new school that attempts to shoehorn artifacts – real or constructed – to verify theories where neither artifacts nor recorded facts exist. As the novelist Jean M. Auel has written, Science Fiction is not just about the future of space ships travelling to other planets, it is fiction based on science and I am using science as my basis for my fiction, but it’s the science of prehistory – palaeontology and archaeology – rather than astronomy or physics. While this is a fine exercise of the imagination for the credulous when it receives the backing of the academic institutions as an intellectual explanation it reverts back to the carnival atmosphere of the early days of acquiring amuletic charms to amaze the poor with. This is a wonderful book whose history of the early diggers in the shifting sands give us a wry perspective on the current practitioners.

Giovanni Battista Belzoni

Egypt: how a lost civilization was rediscovered  Joyce Tyldesley Berkeley: University of California Press, c 2005 Egyptology History Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. 256 p.: ill. (some col.); 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in the late eighteenth century sparked a global fascination with ancient Egyptian culture that remains undiminished to this day. This book, written by author and archaeologist Joyce Tyldesley, tells the story of the discoveries of treasures that had lain hidden and for nearly two thousand years. Tyldesley follows in the footsteps of archaeologists in their quest for the splendid monuments, tombs, and artifacts that have shed some light on many of the secrets of this mesmerizing civilization. Crafting a chronicle of intrigue and intrepid personalities, the author relates the beginnings of Egyptology, leading the reader from the race to crack the code of ancient hieroglyphics to the moment when Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamen’s burial chamber.

Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards
Egypt introduces the collectors, explorers, and archaeologists who have come to dominate the story of the unearthing of ancient Egypt. Among these is Giovanni Belzoni, a circus strongman and diehard adventurer who uncovered many of the works of Rameses II. Tyldesley describes the personalities and finds of explorers such as Jean-François Champollion, Amelia Edwards, and Flinders Petrie. She delves into Howard Carter’s discovery of the golden treasures lying deep in the burial chamber of the boy king Tutankhamen. Illustrated with photographs, Egypt captures the excitement of these adventures while highlighting the magnificence of the artifacts that were their object.
Sir  Flinders Petrie


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