One would think that comparing civilizations as far removed in time and space as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China might not reveal much. Yet Professor Tony Barbieri’s Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture (University of Wash
The story of Alexander the Great has inspired conquerors and would-be conquerors throughout history. Alexander’s sweep through the Middle East and Central Asia left behind evidence of his mark on history--namely, in the several cities that he f
Olga Tufnell (1905–85) was a British archaeologist working in Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s, a period often described as a golden age of archaeological discovery. Tufnell achieved extraordinary success for an “amateur” arc
On this episode of New Books in History, Jamie Kreiner, Associate Professor of History at the University of Georgia, talks about her new book, Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West, out in 2020 with Yale University Press.
In the early medi
Marianne Hem Eriksen (Associate Professor, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester) speaks with Michèle Hayeur Smith (Research Associate, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University) about Smith’s recent boo
Since the beginnings of organized archaeology in the Middle East in the 19th century, western archaeologists have typically employed large “gangs” or “teams” of locals to perform the manual labor of excavating a site. Frequently considered “uns
Dan Hicks, Curator and Professor of Contemporary Archaeology, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University has written a terrific book. The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (Pluto Books, 2020) is a call to
When asked what he saw after reverently peering into the freshly opened tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, Egyptologist Howard Carter could only find the words the say “Wonderful Things.” These words have become legend in Egyptology; whether they wer
Today we are joined by Fiona Greenland, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, to talk about her new book, Ruling Culture: Art Police, Tomb Raiders, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy (University of Chicago Press,
The arrival in 1532 of a small group of Spanish conquistadores at the Andean town of Cajamarca launched one of the most dramatic – and often misunderstood – events in world history. In Inca Apocalypse: The Spanish Conquest and the Transformatio
Studying the New Testament Through Inscriptions (Hendrickson Publishers, 2020)through Inscriptions is an intuitive introduction to inscriptions from the Greco-Roman world. Inscriptions can help contextualize certain events associated with the N
In Ireland in the Virginian Sea: Colonialism in the British Atlantic (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), Audrey Horning revisits the fraught connections between Ireland and colonial Virginia. Both modern scholars and early modern coloni
Deep in the jungles of Myanmar lie the remains of an ancient kingdom, the 15th-century royal city of Mrauk-U. Located in the Bay of Bengal and separated from the rest of the country by the Arakan mountain range, Mrauk-U Township boasts a stunni
What are the African Middle Ages? A place, certainly, and a time period, evidently. But also a “documentary regime,” argues François-Xavier Fauvelle. How do we reconstruct these centuries of the African past in the face of a daunting lack of so
Mexico of five centuries ago was witness to one of the most momentous encounters between human societies, when a group of Spaniards led by Hernando Cortés joined forces with tens of thousands of Mesoamerican allies to topple the mighty Aztec Em
In Collecting Food, Collecting People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa (Yale University Press, 2016), Kathryn M. De Luna documents the evolving meanings borne in the collection of wild foods for an agricultural people in south central
We are schooled to believe that states formed more or less synchronously with settlement and agriculture. In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale University Press, 2017), James C. Scott asks us to question this belief.
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Fe
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, w
The “historical sciences”—geology, paleontology, and archaeology—have made extraordinary progress in advancing our understanding of the deep past. How has this been possible, given that the evidence they have to work with offers mere traces of
The Crusader World (Routledge, 2015), edited by Adrian J. Boas, is a multidisciplinary survey of the current state of research in the field of crusader studies, an area of study which has become increasingly popular in recent years. In this vol
How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociologica
If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member who
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science
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