Weekly Roundup of Archaeology, History and Historical Fiction May 13-19

Posts I enjoyed this week:

House of Names bookcover imageIf you love Greek mythology and like to see novelists take a swing at it, here’s a review by the great and wonderful Mary Beard of two new novels, one the Iphigenia myth, the other Medea. She clearly loves one of the books and less so the other. I’m intrigued by both, but expect to be annoyed by the same things that she was with the one. But I love that contemporary writers are taking on the myths and being taken seriously in the process. Click here for the New York Times Book Review “A Pair of Updated Greek Tragedies Startle Us Anew” 

Build a metro and find layers of civilization in Thessaloniki, Greece from the period of Alexander the Great through Roman. There’s a subterranean shrine carved from bedrock to Athena Ergane, industrious Athena. I wonder what this side of Athena thinks about metros? I bet she’s intrigued. Maybe they should hang tapestries in the new station in honor of Athena’s skill as a weaver. Click here for Archaeology News Network “More on New finds at Thessaloniki metro station”

This is an extraordinary piece of journalism, perhaps I should call it memoir, by Alex Tizon, a Pulitzer Prize winner. His family came from the Phillipines. His title and logline give you a good hint at the content, “My Family’s Slave” “She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.” Click here for The Atlantic “My Family’s Slave”

30th Dynasty sculpture relief, photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto on Wikimedia

30th Dynasty sculpture relief, photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto on Wikimedia

In a world where courtesy seems to be disappearing, here’s an article about politeness among the Egyptians. Dig in for the long view Click here for ASOR blog “Were the Ancient Egyptians polite?” 

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