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Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble

by Marilyn Johnson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3092165,178 (3.86)27
Examines "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.com.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
nonfiction (what it is like to be an archaeologist). intriguing glimpses into the (not-like-Indiana-Jones-at-all) struggles of poor-and-underemployed-if-not-starving archaeologists. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
There is on my shelf in my study an earthenware bowl given to me by a archeologist friend. The bowl looks primitive and is possibly from a site in New Mexico. It didn’t think much about it until I read Marilyn Johnson’s excellent narrative on archaeologists and the lure of rubble. She has really gone all out to live the “digging” experience, the forensic sorting and above all shining a light on the colorful men and women who are in this profession. I would highly recommend this book to the young adults who are looking for an exciting profession. Marilyn writes well and with humor. ( )
  mcdenis | Nov 12, 2017 |
OK. Kinda uneven.
  revliz | Jan 7, 2017 |
Joy's review: Johnson is out to profile the individuals that dedicate their lives to uncovering the past. She goes on digs and interviews all types of archaeologists. This is NOT a survey of important archaeology; it IS a very fun and entertaining read about the dedication, hard work, and persistence of the men and women who proudly pursue this profession. I enjoyed it a lot. ( )
  konastories | Nov 19, 2016 |
Serious subject infused with sense of humor by author. Great armchair primer of the world of archaeologists and archaeology. The book ends with 2 busloads of archaeologists traveling to Machu Picchu. I spent 2 incredible days at MP 30 years ago and thought it was the most magical place on earth. That these seasoned professionals felt the same way was heartwarming. And they saw it in 2013, when Cuzco and its surroundings were commercialized (I mean really, a KFC in Cuzco?!)-- not as "natural" as when I was there But I'm glad to hear it is still worth visiting. ( )
  bogopea | Jan 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Examines "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.com.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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