Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Lives in Ruins
Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble | Marilyn Johnson
9 posts | 11 read | 15 to read
The author of The Dead Beat and This Book is Overdue! turns her piercing eye and charming wit to the real-life avatars of Indiana Jonesthe archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps, ancient landfills, volcanic islands, and other dirty places to reclaim history for us all. Pompeii, Machu Picchu, the Valley of the Kings, the Parthenonthe 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 Johnsons 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.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
TracyReadsBooks
post image
Pickpick

If you want a book about archaeology—the history of the field, the methodologies & technologies employed—this is not the book for you. If, however, you want a book about why people become archaeologists, & where that takes them, then you will likely enjoy this book as I did. Through personal interviews, participation in excavations & attendance at conferences, Johnson provides readers an entertaining glimpse into the lives of archaeologists.

23 likes1 stack add
quote
TracyReadsBooks
post image

So true...and there is ALWAYS another question.

23 likes3 stack adds
quote
TracyReadsBooks
post image

😂

All the burning questions you want answered!

How much beer? A fair bit. Gin & Tonics too. But, the most important beverage on an excavation, especially when you wake up at 4:30am to head off to the field, is coffee. Lots and lots of coffee!

Crazeedi Oh to be in that environment , was always a secret desire of mine from my early years, ever since reading this book about the excavation of a tell in Israel 10mo
TracyReadsBooks @Crazeedi The Source was in my carry-on bag when I headed off to my first excavation (a site in Israel where I would continue excavating 20+ years) in the late 80s. And I was not the only one—many of the other students were also reading it. I‘d be willing to bet a significant number of archaeologists of my generation who work in the Middle East would admit, if polled, to reading it. It was definitely a thing! 10mo
Crazeedi @TracyReadsBooks I'm sure you are right, and you followed your dream! Most excellent! 10mo
26 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
TracyReadsBooks
post image

Back to fiction for remainder of the weekend but this will be my next nonfiction read. At the core of the book is a simple & intriguing question—why do archaeologists care “so passionately about what‘s dead & buried?” I expect this will be a fun read &, as an archaeologist who has worked in the Middle East for decades, I‘m interested to see what Johnson comes up with. I read & enjoyed her book ‘This Book is Overdue!‘ Hoping for another good book.

blurb
Joyfulmimi
post image

Yay! I already find this utterly fascinating! Awesome to read about a vocation that I find interesting but about which I know nothing. Its that “Love of Learning” in action again as usual.

30 likes1 stack add
blurb
DeeLew
post image

My last order from Christmas gift cards has arrived! Happy, happy, happy! 😃😃📚📚📚

LeahBergen I bought Lives in Ruins last month 👍🏼 3y
DeeLew @LeahBergen I'm so excited! I'm thinking about taking it to the gym with me but I probably would end up slowly pedaling on the elliptical instead of actually working. 😂 3y
BethM Lives in Ruins looks so good! 3y
61 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
Khyde
post image
Pickpick

Great read! So interesting. Each chapter is about a different dig or a different aspect of archeology. I heard the author give a talk about the work being done to study the Jamestown colony and she did such a good job I picked up her book. So glad I did!

annahenke This was so great! 3y
2 likes1 comment
blurb
quietjenn
post image

#biblioweekend halted yesterday, when I accidentally watched the entire first season of Orphan Black, but back to it today.

LeahBergen Oh! I've been wanting to get my hands on this book! How is it? 3y
quietjenn @LeahBergen well, I'm only on chapter two, so it's early days, but good so far. Have you read her other books? Her style is pretty consistent, so that could be a good gauge. 3y
LeahBergen No, I haven't. The subject matter of this one is right up my alley though. Thanks! 3y
annahenke @LeahBergen This book is great! Fascinating. 3y
11 likes3 stack adds4 comments
review
triskeleseeker
Mehso-so

This book was a gift from my in laws. If you are an archaeologist, like I am, you will find this book boring; otherwise, you'll probably find it fascinating.