Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Book: Belzoni: The Giant Archaeologists Love to Hate

Charlotte Observer (Alan Rauch)

Resting in apparent tranquility at uptown's Discovery Place are more than 40 mummies from around the world. Charlotte is one of only a few American destinations for this major exhibit, and the opportunity to see so diverse an array of mummies - human and animal, Egyptian and South American - is remarkable.

The fascination that we feel for mummies, relics of the past that seem eerily in the moment, is not hard to understand, and it's certainly not a new phenomenon. Now a timely coincidence brings a new book tracing our compulsion for Egyptian relics. Ivor Noël Hume's "Belzoni: The Giant Archaeologists Love to Hate" examines the emergence of the Egyptian craze in the early 19th century by looking at one of the main figures in that movement.

Hume, an archeologist himself, introduces us to Giovanni Belzoni, an Italian-born English citizen whose name became synonymous with Egyptian treasures.

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