70 episodes

Interviews with Archaeologists about their New Books
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New Books in Archaeology New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 7 Ratings

Interviews with Archaeologists about their New Books
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    Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, “Herculaneum Uncovered” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, “Herculaneum Uncovered” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Herculaneum Uncovered is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director of Research and Honorary Professor of Roman Studies in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge. This wide-ranging conversation covers his fascinating archeological work done in Herculaneum and Pompeii, the politics of excavation, and life in the ancient Roman world.
    Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com.
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    • 1 hr 34 min
    Carolyn L. White, "The Archaeology of Burning Man: The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City" (U New Mexico Press, 2020)

    Carolyn L. White, "The Archaeology of Burning Man: The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City" (U New Mexico Press, 2020)

    How do you do archaeological research on a place that exists for only one week per year, in the middle of the Nevada desert, and is based on the ethos of "leave no trace?" In The Archaeology of Burning Man: The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City (U New Mexico Press, 2020), Dr. Carolyn White, a professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, sets out to tackle just this question. Using the methods of contemporary archaeology, White spent a decade attending the annual Burning Man event in the desert of northwestern Nevada, chronicling the construction, the day to day life, and the dismantling of Black Rock City, which is among the largest cities in the state for the short time exists every August and September. White examines the various ways that people live in Black Rock, the semi-invisible infrastructure and bureaucracy which keep it running and keep its 75,000 residents safe, and the day to day life in the city itself. White shows a side of Burning Man not often seen by outsiders, and one that runs counter to the chaotic, Instagram-ified, narrative often presented in mainstream media.
    Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, "Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, "Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    One would think that comparing civilizations as far removed in time and space as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China might not reveal much. Yet Professor Tony Barbieri’s Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture (University of Washington Press: 2021) gleans much from a deeply-researched comparison of political structures, diplomatic relations, legal systems, ideas of the afterlife, and other aspects.
    In other words, despite being separated by thousands of years and thousands of kilometers, the proto-empires of Egypt and China have a surprising amount of things in common.
    A lecture detailing Professor Barbieri’s book can be found on YouTube here.
    In this interview, Professor Barbieri and I talk about the various similarities and differences between these two ancient civilizations, and what we can learn from engaging in such a comparative study.
    Anthony J. Barbieri-Low is professor of history at the University of California Santa Barbara. His book Artisans in Early Imperial China won top prizes from the Association for Asian Studies, American Historical Association, College Art Association, and International Convention of Asia Scholars. He can be followed on Twitter at @ABarbieriLow
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Ancient Egypt and Early China. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 38 min
    Edmund Richardson, "Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City Beneath the Mountains" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Edmund Richardson, "Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City Beneath the Mountains" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    The story of Alexander the Great has inspired conquerors and would-be conquerors throughout history. Alexander’s sweep through the Middle East and Central Asia left behind evidence of his mark on history--namely, in the several cities that he founded, and that sprung up to govern the kingdoms he left behind.
    One man looking for evidence of Alexander was Charles Masson: a deserter from the East India Company who reinvented himself as an archaeologist and scholar in Afghanistan. Academic, traveller, writer and unwilling spy, Masson’s story is told in Professor Edmund Richardson’s book Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City (Bloomsbury, 2021)
    We’re joined in this interview by David Chaffetz, who’s a regular contributor to the Asian Review of Books, and the author of Three Asian Divas: Women, Art and Culture In Shiraz, Delhi and Yangzhou.
    In this interview, the three of us talk about Charles Masson and his experiences in Afghanistan. We talk about what drove this man to embark on his archaeological calling, and how his story meshes with the story of the East India Company and Afghanistan. And we end on what Massey’s story and observations teach us about how to understand Afghanistan today.
    Edmund Richardson is Professor of Classics at Durham University. He has published Classical Victorians: Scholars, Scoundrels and Generals in Pursuit of Antiquity, and was named one of the BBC’s New Generation Thinkers in 2016.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Alexandria: The Quest For the Lost City. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 36 min
    Jack Green and Ros Henry, "Olga Tufnell’s 'Perfect Journey': Letters and Photographs of an Archaeologist in the Levant and Mediterranean" (UCL Press, 2021)

    Jack Green and Ros Henry, "Olga Tufnell’s 'Perfect Journey': Letters and Photographs of an Archaeologist in the Levant and Mediterranean" (UCL Press, 2021)

    Olga Tufnell (1905–85) was a British archaeologist working in Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s, a period often described as a golden age of archaeological discovery. Tufnell achieved extraordinary success for an “amateur” archaeologist and as a woman during a time when the field of professional archaeology was heavily dominated by men, typically with university training.
    Olga Tufnell’s 'Perfect Journey': Letters and Photographs of an Archaeologist in the Levant and Mediterranean (UCL Press, 2021), edited by Jack Green and Ros Henry, presents, for the first time, letters and photographs by Tufnell primarily during her pioneering work in the 1920s and 1930s. From the Palestine Exploration Fund archive, these records not only shed light on the discoveries made by Tufnell and her colleagues, but are also a window into the past, often narrating contemporary events, and revealing a great deal about the way in which Olga Tufnell viewed the rapidly changing, often contentious world around her.
    With expert commentary and annotation by the editors that situate these records in their historical and archaeological contexts, this book is a crucial addition to the growing bibliography on the history of archaeology around the world, and the Levant specifically. This text can be read well as an archaeological account, a historical primary source reader, or a travelogue from a past age.
    Samuel Pfister is the collections manager at the Badè Museum in California's East Bay.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Jamie Kreiner, "Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West" (Yale UP, 2020)

    Jamie Kreiner, "Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West" (Yale UP, 2020)

    On this episode of New Books in History, Jamie Kreiner, Associate Professor of History at the University of Georgia, talks about her new book, Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West, out in 2020 with Yale University Press.
    In the early medieval West, from North Africa to the British Isles, pigs were a crucial part of agriculture and culture. In this fascinating book, Jamie Kreiner examines how this ubiquitous species was integrated into early medieval ecologies and transformed the way that people thought about the world around them. In this world, even the smallest things could have far-reaching consequences.
    Kreiner tracks the interlocking relationships between pigs and humans by drawing on textual and visual evidence, bioarchaeology and settlement archaeology, and mammal biology. She shows how early medieval communities bent their own lives in order to accommodate these tricky animals—and how in the process they reconfigured their agrarian regimes, their fiscal policies, and their very identities. In the end, even the pig’s own identity was transformed: at the close of the early Middle Ages, it had become a riveting metaphor for Christianity itself.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 56 min

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