Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is Virginia Archaeology Month

In Virginia, October is Archaeology Month to honor the work archaeologists do in our communities.

We're commemorating this month with an Archaeology Film Fest. Each Sunday, we'll show an archaeology-themed film at the Warrenton Library. Our line-up includes the National Treasure films and the 1932 and 1999 The Mummy films. For more information, visit the library news blog.

It's true that real-life archaeologists are more likely to sweat and stare at computer screens than find priceless treasure and battle the undead. Still, the work they do to uncover and explain the past can be just as engrossing as any adventure film.

If you're interested in archaeology, here are some books that you might enjoy.

http://innopac.fauquiercounty.gov/record=b1109804~S6Come, Tell Me How You Live - Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is famous as a mystery novelist, but less well-known is her work with her husband, the eminent archaeologist Max Mallowan.

This witty memoir recounts Christie and her husband's experiences working on archaeological digs in the Middle East. It's a wonderful portrait of the early days of 20th-century archaeology.

If you enjoy Christie's detective stories, Murder in Mesopotamia, an archaeology-themed mystery novel, is also not to be missed.

http://innopac.fauquiercounty.gov/record=b1243849~S6The Riddle of the Labyrinth - Margalit Fox

Once archaeologists find artifacts, learning to read them can be just as challenging. Riddle of the Labyrinth is about Linear B, an ancient writing system found on the Greek island of Crete that took several decades to decode.

Fox tells the story of the scholars who worked to decode Linear B, including classical scholar Alice Kober, whose contributions to solving the Linear B mystery were long overlooked.

The Riddle of the Labyrinth will appeal to readers who enjoy historical mysteries.


When people think of archaeology, they often imagine pyramids or the ruins of ancient Greece or Rome—but archaeology is found everywhere, including the United States.

This book showcases over 300 historical Native American sites that are open to the public. It includes essays and insights from scholars as well as tribal historians and leaders, and is a fascinating read whether you're planning a trip or are an armchair traveler.


Forensic anthropologists are close cousins to archaeologists—in most schools, they study in the same academic department. Like archaeologists, forensic anthropologists use material evidence to reconstruct events, but instead of the past, they apply their skills to the identification of modern human remains.

Flesh and Bones is a portrait of a fascinating discipline that will appeal to readers who enjoy forensics or biology.


Hidden Lives describes the daily lives of slaves at Thomas Jefferson's second home from 1773–1812. Heath uses archaeological and documentary sources to discuss aspects of slaves' lives such as family, work, health, and community.

Hidden Lives is an excellent choice for general readers wishing to learn more about how archaeologists make discoveries about the past.


Becky @ Warrenton

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