Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Review: The Rape of the Nile

Review by K. Krist Hurst.
Brian Fagan. 2005. The Rape of the Nile: Tomb Robbers, Tourists and Archaeologists in Egypt. Westview Press.
"The roots of archaeology, like every other science, are firmly set in the Enlightenment of 18th and 19th century Europe. Like botanists (whose species collections often irreparably damaged fragile habitats) and doctors (who suppressed and jailed midwives), the practitioners of archaeology must regret as well as celebrate the mad creation of science. But for most of us, comfortably sober in the 21st century, the heady exhilaration that drove the scientific movement of the Enlightenment is remote, amusing, or unfathomable. Brian Fagan's The Rape of the Nile brings that heady dangerous destructive exhilaration to life. Begun in the 1960s as a commissioned biography of that quintessential showman, Giovanni Belzoni, The Rape of the Nile was first published in 1975. This new edition from Westview Press, has been extensively revised and updated. Far from a simple catalog of the sins of the tomb robbers, The Rape of the Nile communiciates that intellectual fever that created such havoc."
See the above page for the full review

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