Wednesday, October 27, 2004


One good thing about writing alternate and Biblical history: it allows me to feed my passion for books about history and archaeology. But there are some good mags out there, too, and these are a bit cheaper if you're looking for specific info.

Example -- my favorite mag Archaeology Nov/Dec 04 print issue has some killer articles about Alexander in Asia, alchemists' labs and contemporary chef Julie Powell's efforts to recreate such yummy ancient recipes as Mesopotamian turnips stewed in blood and Mongolian lamb liquor. The latter really helped me get a handle on ancient cooking methods, but Jul, don't invite me to dinner, 'kay?

Biblical Archaeology Review has some very cool articles in their Sep/Oct 04 issue about Herod and Caesarea Maritima. I wish they'd do more of these, and dump the articles debating over Oded Golan's allegedly forged James ossuary.* I have to agree with editor Hershel Shanks's "trial by leak" commentary -- Golan has rights, and being tried in the academic media is no way to pursue this case. The Israel Antiquities Authority should charge the guy or drop it, and let BAR get back to covering Biblical archaeology.

As for books, I'm just diving into William Harlan Hale's Ancient Greece ISBN 0-7434-3469-2, but the book has some interesting architectural reconstruction pics including the Delphinion of Miletus, Kition's inner harbor sheds and the Zeus temple of Olympia.

*For those of you who aren't obsessed with archaeology, the James ossuary is a bone box dating back to the first century C.E. which is inscribed with the words James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.

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