Marilyn Johnson | Harper Perennial, 2015 | Book
Marilyn Johnson is a delightful writer. She follows the story of archaeologists working in different parts of the world, and asks: Why do people do this? What guides people to travel to godforsaken places all over the world and spend all this time preparing to go into the field when the risk is so great and the payoff is often so low? The answer: all of us are driven by our passion. She does a beautiful job of explaining why we do the hard work of archaeology.
Mary Beard | Liveright, 2015 | Book
This lively book tells the story of what made the Roman Empire tick, using stories of everyday life. Mary Beard shares stories of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Hannibal and other boldfaced names, but also writes about those usually forgotten in the narrative of Rome — the slaves, the women, all the people who were conquered along the way. Beard writes with humor and wit. Be careful. You'll be pulled in, and may wake up wearing a toga.
Eric H. Cline | Princeton University Press, 2015 | Book
In 1177 B.C., many different ancient cultures thrived in the cradle of civilization. It was the Bronze Age, and all was well — art and architecture were at a peak, knowledge was highly valued, and economies boomed. But then, a group called the 'Sea Peoples' invaded Egypt, and everything turned around. The Egyptians fought them off, but their society was deeply weakened. With that vacuum of power and a major earthquake, civilizations started to fall — and quickly. Cline weaves a masterful tale of a time period of major climate change and collapse that has many lessons for us today.
Barry Kemp | Plume, 2005 | Book
Written by the greatest living Egyptologist, this wonderful, short book will take you inside the heads of the ancient Egyptians and show you how they thought. You’ll see the hieroglyphs for concepts like 'sun,' 'to love' and 'body,' and you'll learn the history and evolution of their meanings plus their pronunciations, in case you’d like to pepper them into conversations.
Zahi Hawass and Sahar Saleem | The American University in Cairo Press, 2015 | Book
Mummies. Kings. Technology. What's not to love? Written by one of the most flamboyant characters in modern Egyptology, you will be taken inside the bodies of ancient kings and queens from the eighteenth to twentieth Dynasties, which are now housed at the Cairo Museum. The best part? The detailed projections of the mummy's facial features.