Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon (Hardback)Eric H. Cline (author)
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A vivid portrait of the early years of biblical archaeology from the acclaimed author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed
In 1925, James Henry Breasted, famed Egyptologist and director of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, sent a team of archaeologists to the Holy Land to excavate the ancient site of Megiddo-Armageddon in the New Testament-which the Bible says was fortified by King Solomon. Their excavations made headlines around the world and shed light on one of the most legendary cities of biblical times, yet little has been written about what happened behind the scenes. Digging Up Armageddon brings to life one of the most important archaeological expeditions ever undertaken, describing the site and what was found there, including discoveries of gold and ivory, and providing an up-close look at the internal workings of a dig in the early years of biblical archaeology.
The Chicago team left behind a trove of writings and correspondence spanning more than three decades, from letters and cablegrams to cards, notes, and diaries. Eric Cline draws on these materials to paint a compelling portrait of a bygone age of archaeology. He masterfully sets the expedition against the backdrop of the Great Depression in America and the growing troubles and tensions in British Mandate Palestine. He gives readers an insider's perspective on the debates over what was uncovered at Megiddo, the infighting that roiled the expedition, and the stunning discoveries that transformed our understanding of the ancient world.
Digging Up Armageddon is the enthralling story of an archaeological site in the interwar years and its remarkable place at the crossroads of history.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Number of pages: 424
Dimensions: 235 x 155 mm
"If it is thrills, spills and devious political machinations of past excavations that take your fancy, why not check out Eric Cline's new book. . . . This is the story about Megiddo that they didn't want you to know." * Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society *
"At the time this massive dig was undertaken, it was criticised for high costs and never-ending delays. Cline celebrates the high points, but he also exposes the mission's failures."---Sam Waters, Current World Archaeology
"I highly recommend that anyone with an interest in early twentieth century Levantine archaeology, Megiddo as a site, or the Oriental Institute read this book. . . . [A] diligent, clear, and engaging guide through the individuals, relationships, and (more or less) serendipitous events that shaped one of the most influential excavations. . . . Part biography and part history, Cline's Digging Up Armageddon is an exemplary work of scholarship and story-telling that will entertain and inform scholars and interested nonexperts alike."---C. A. Strine, Palestine Exploration Quarterly
"Cline writes with wry insight into human nature and a saving sense of humour."---Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal
"An original and lively study that skilfully mixes archaeology with personalities, and politics with culture, science and technology."---Andrew Robinson, Nature
"[Cline] has placed the project in the context of its times."---Neil Faulkner, Minerva
"It's really quite amazing how he pulls it off-[Eric] Cline has written a book deeply-imbued with scholarship, an in-depth look at the history and archaeology not just of the expedition at Megiddo, but of the whole Near Eastern region and ancient Israel, of which Megiddo is such a crucial part. . . . So vivid is Cline's telling of the story that readers might be forgiven for finding the personal dimension just as interesting as the archaeology. Anyone who thought that archaeologists were just boring people digging up ancient relics which were of no interest to anyone outside their own field, will be quickly disabused of such a notion."---John Butler, Asian Review of Books
"A fascinating read. . . . So detailed is [Cline's] account of those involved that the book reads better than many a modern novel."---Peter Costello, Irish Catholic
"Like the best tales from the golden age of archaeology, Digging Up Armageddon combines the grandeur of ancient history, the currency of modern fame and the cast of a malarial soap opera. . . . As a study in archaeological ambition and the limits of interpretation, Digging Up Armageddon is . . . a 'landmark publication in all senses of the word'."---Dominic Green, The Spectator
"While [the drama amongst the excavation participants] makes for enjoyable reading, the story of the excavations themselves is also riveting."---Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel
"[In] Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Soloman, [Eric] Cline offers the detailed, nuanced story of . . . Armageddon. . . . [he] writes with the deft surety of someone familiar with both the site and its archive. . . what makes [it] such a smart historical treatment of Megiddo is Cline's nuanced examination of how labor, privilege, politics, and capitalism underscored much of the archaeology done in the United States and Europe in the early to mid-20th century."---Lydia Pyne, Los Angeles Review of Books
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