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Read Lives in Ruins ç PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ 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 Jones—the archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps ancient landfills volcanic islands and other dirty places to reclaim histThe author of The Dead Beat and This Book is Overdue turns her piercing eye and charming wit to the real life avatars of Indiana Jones the archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps ancient landfills volcanic islands and other dirty places to reclaim history for us allPompeii Machu Picchu the Valley of the Kings the Parthenon the names of these legendary archaeological sites conjure up romance and mystery The news is full of archaeology treasures found British king under parking. Between the ages of about eight and 15 I was adamant that I wanted to be either an archaeologist or a paleontologist when I grew up I can date the latter ambition to the first Jurassic Park movie which I saw in the theater when I was in third grade; the former is a bit challenging to trace but may have something to do with the hours my first best friend and I spent “excavating” behind the shed in her backyard With our hand trowels we unearthed ceramic fragments and seemingly endless oyster shells I doubt any of it was worth anything or proof of any kind of interesting history on this plot of land It was most likely just a 1950s suburban trash dump Still I felt like Indiana Jones discovering buried treasureWhen I was 15 I finally had the chance to do some real archaeology through a University of Maryland summer field school Five of us eager high school students won places through an essay contest to participate in the college kids’ dig behind a Colonial era home in Annapolis A classmate and I carpooled every day for those two weeks our moms taking turns driving us in to the historic town center where we split our time between field work and lab workI wish I could say the field school was inspiring but if anything it convinced me that I wasn’t cut out for archaeology It was a dripping hot Maryland August and our work was painstaking and filthy Outsiders probably don’t realize that you work literally centimeter by centimeter and spend proportionally time taking notes and making sketches than you do digging Finds are few and far between and usually not very exciting; the highlights of the whole time were an animal tooth and a few shards of blue pottery It was hard to gauge our contribution to the overall goal of finding traces of the home’s formal garden I finished the two weeks feeling glad of the experience but disillusioned with my erstwhile life goalAll the same I’ve never uite shaken off my interest in archaeology — despite an introductory college course that bored me to tears and lowered my grade point average It turns out I wasn’t actually that compelled by soil layers and evidence of early farming and animal domestication I couldn’t see the rare delight of discovery past all the mundane laborious realities of an archaeologist’s day job; I studied English and Religion instead and became a freelance writer and book reviewer via multiple bookstore and library jobsApproaching journalist Marilyn Johnson’s third book then I hoped for an off beat journey through the world of contemporary archaeology a nostalgic but not overly rosy view of a difficult profession I certainly was not disappointed Johnson captures perfectly both the cinematic allure and the everyday drudgery of archaeologists’ work “From a distance this kind of work might seem to fit the Indiana Jones fantasy full of treasure and danger Up close the glamour can be hard to detect Archaeologists are explorers and adventurers — Hollywood got that part right — but not exactly in the way you’d think”From a position of almost total ignorance Johnson went about educating herself through a whirlwind tour of as many different aspects of archaeology as possible She attended two field schools one on the Caribbean island of St Eustatius where she looked for remnants of Dutch plantations and one at Yeronisos off Cyprus where Joan Connelly runs an ongoing dig searching for proof of a Greek priestess cult The variety just in these two field experiences points to the difficulty of making generalizations about the career as a wholeArchaeology itself is not easy to navigate; it is a broad and complicated profession and the archaeologists of the Old World who study Ira and the ancient civilizations of the East and Middle East including classical Rome and Greece tend to go to different conferences and read different journals than the archaeologists who work in the New World of the AmericasYet Johnson was determined to get the whole picture She learned about bog bodies Native American methods of harvesting bone grease forensic archaeology and jade “pig dragon” sculptures from the Goddess Temple in northeastern China At conferences she chatted with experts on ancient alcoholic beverages Uncorking the Past by Patrick E McGovern debated the historical authenticity of Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear and toured Machu Picchu with UNESCO delegates in Peru A female archaeologist also gave her a sneak peek into the Explorers Club in Manhattan — where women were only admitted in 1981Underwater archaeology is where it’s at nowadays apparently and in one of the key chapters of the book Kathy Abbass introduces Johnson to marine archaeology taking place in Newport Rhode Island a hotspot for Revolutionary War shipwrecks Fishkill New York also proved to be a surprisingly good Revolutionary era site with a soldiers’ graveyard that has than once been under threat from developersThe book is not all about centuries old history though It’s just as much about what we value today and what we will commit to saving One of the most intriguing sections of the book is about modern war zones A group of archaeologists had the brilliant idea of issuing American soldiers with playing cards featuring Irai and Afghan archaeological treasures By collecting them all and putting them together to form a bigger photo they might absorb the message that they are in a land of ancient traditions with riches worth preserving “These sites have survived thousands of years; will they survive you” went the provocative slogan“Good archaeology fills in the blanks of history It tells the losers’ story It teases out the history that falls between cracks” Connelly told Johnson Sometimes sadly it seems archaeologists are the losers at risk of falling between the cracks This year Forbes magazine named archaeology the #1 worst college major “based on high initial unemployment rates and low initial earnings” The husband and wife team with whom Johnson worked in the Caribbean struggled to find jobs when they moved to England It took two years for Grant Gil to get a six month contract and two and a half years in total for him to get his dream job — a dispiriting 300 job applications later Johnson sums it up with this sobering sentence “Jo and Grant were in thrall to a profession that couldn’t sustain them” Indeed none of the archaeology graduates I know personally are working in their fieldBut if Johnson paints an overall somewhat depressing picture of archaeology today — it’s a difficult field to break into or make a living from and governments and ordinary people are not always supportive of digs that stand in the way of development — she makes a case for how relevant and essential the work still is As she asked herself of one enthusiastic archaeologist she met while exploring Deadwood South DakotaWhat was archaeology to him It was the opposite of killing things It was trying to will life back into stuff that had been forgotten and buried for thousands or millions of years It was not about shards and pieces of bone or treasure; it was about kneeling down in the elements paying very close attention and trying to locate a spark of the human life that had once touched that spot thereNow that’s a noble aimI highly recommend this book for armchair travelers and professionals alikeThis review originally appeared at Bookkaholic

review ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ø Marilyn Johnson

Gists 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 mummiesWhat 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 lo. This was really interesting Johnson was occasionally repetitive I get that archaeologists aren't paid much you can stop saying that but overall I thought this was an insightful look into a fascinating profession The book does a good job of covering many different kinds of archaeology though it was fairly US centered At first I didn't like the audiobook reader's voice but it grew on me As a plus I now know the correct pronunciation of neanderthal

Marilyn Johnson Ø 5 Read

Lives in RuinsLot 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 matterMarilyn Johnson’s 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 archaeolo. This work of nonfiction is terrific for someone like I am someone who thinks archaeology sounds interesting from afar wants to play in the dirt but doesn't want the actual hard work and the detailed tedium that are involved Better to just sit back and read this book than do any real workThe author interviews works with and writes about several different archaeologists and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty This book could have been incredibly boring but it was not She kept it lively throughout and with a certain amount of humor The book starts with“No dinosaurs appear in these pages If you are looking for scientists who study dinosaurs you want to pick up a book about paleontologists”It's obvious from that tongue in cheek beginning that this book is written for the curious the layperson But don't be fooled Unless you are already schooled in archaeology there is much to be learned hereIt covers scientists who specialize in all different periods of history and prehistory their personalities their uirks And especially the difficulty of making a living as an archaeologist the battles to protect sites from development the red tape and the passionate dedication of the people who overcome the negatives All written uite engagingly“And this is what happens when you strike up a conversation with an archaeologist Soon you are talking about bone greaseor pointy headed babiesor pig dragons”How can you not want to read about thatI was given an uncorrected proof of this book for review