Tag Archives: archaeology

Ten books of summer: update book 3

Yeah, summer’s long gone but I haven’t finished my reviews yet! More coming, I guess, as I did manage to read a few more!

Some books start off as one thing and then become something else and it’s ok — as I wrote about in my previous update, that happened in Dan Holloway’s Our Dreams Make Different Shapes, which morphed from coaching you in memory techniques to boost creativity into a manifesto for diversity in society and the workplace, but it all made sense.

For other books, that transformation from one thing to another doesn’t quite work. Justin Jacobs’ Indiana Jones in History should really just have dropped that last section about the space race. That’s pretty much my only quibble with the book, and once you know that’s coming, you can maybe decide to skip that section and move ahead to the final chapter which is just👌🏻

I taught a course on material culture of China, and we touched on the ethics of archaeology. I tried to ensure that one thing students would get comfortable with by the end of the course was to ask the question “How did this thing end up in this museum?” It's common sense enough and yet few people seem to ask! This book and the excellent accompanying little YouTube videos go a long way to answering those questions. Fair warning: you may want to watch the Spielberg Indie movies before diving into all of this, because the adventurer's story won’t be the same again.

Jacobs' writing is geared towards the curious non-specialist, and not weighted down with notes but still based on thorough research, I can confirm for the China chapters. Definitely worth reading!

screenshot of a Classical Studies Memes for Hellenistic Teens post on Twitter. 
lmaonade: My favorite video game quest trope is [all caps text] "help us, they are stealing our ancient artifact, thank you for helping us, as a reward you may have our ancient artifact"
Reply by 6qubed: "The ancient artifact was less important than having agency in its distribution"
Reply by Suinicide: "Nothing is more important than keeping it out of the hands of the British museum"
British Museum, Brutish Museums… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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