Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble
Author: Marilyn Johnson
Expected publication: November 11, 2014; Harper
Genre: research, nonfiction
DOWN AND DIRTY
Studying the people who study people
No dinosaurs appear in these pages. If you are looking for scientists who study dinosaurs, you want to pick up a book about paleontologists. This is about archaeologists - people who study people and the things they leave behind - their bones, their trash, and their ruins.These brief excerpts from the book are from an uncorrected proof. The final copy may differ.
In Auel's hands (author of Clan of the Cave Bear), Ayla becomes a kind of ambassador between the slow, tough, paternalistic Neandertals and the flexible, innovative, woman-centered Homo sapiens.
The author of The Dead Beat and This Book is Overdue! turns to the archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps, ancient landfills, volcanic islands, and other dirty places to reclaim history for us all.
Where are the archaeologists behind these stories? What kind of work do they actually do, and why does it matter?
Marilyn Johnson’s book looks 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.I am eager to get into this book. History and archaeology has always been an interest of mine!
Thanks to the publisher for an uncorrected proof of this book.