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Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology
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Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  1,262 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
C.W. Ceram visualized archeology as a wonderful combination of high adventure, romance, history and scholarship, and this book, a chronicle of man's search for his past, reads like a dramatic narrative. We travel with Heinrich Schliemann as, defying the ridicule of the learned world, he actually unearths the remains of the ancient city of Troy. We share the excitement of ...more
Paperback, 536 pages
Published July 12th 1986 by Vintage (first published 1949)
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Мартин Касабов
Рядко срещани са основополагащите книги, написани на разбираем за непросветения, език. Точно те ни избавят от мистерията на незнанието и ни помагат да виждаме и разбираме едни чудни светове. Книга, която ще препрочитам отново и отново.
Lyn Elliott
Feb 22, 2015 Lyn Elliott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: archaeology
One of the most influential books I have ever read. I began to browse it when I was about 9 (my parents encouraged us to read whatever was on the bookshelves) and kept on dipping then properly reading for years. I have had a copy of my own for about twenty years now and dip back every now and then.
This is where my fascination with ancient worlds began, and flowed into reading first of all 'The Trojan War'and 'Tales of Ulysses', Greek myths and legends in multiple versions capped by Robert Graves
Lots of great anecdotes (especially anything about Petrie and Schliemann). My favorite adage, and one that comforted me during the worst thunderstorm I've ever flown through coming into Missoula one summer, is "An easy death in early youth is the sweetest boon available to mankind." Quite.
Alexis Neal
An excellent and informative book. Ceram's unquenchable passion and unflagging enthusiasm for his field are quite contagious. Presumably all archaeologists chose their field because they care deeply about it; however, this excitement does not always translate in their dry and often lifeless writing.

Furthermore, Ceram is no snobby academic--he is most delighted by significant contributions from non-traditional and amateur archaeologists. Not that these amateurs are poorly educated--he reiterates
Margaret Sharp
Apr 23, 2013 Margaret Sharp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, classic
For those interested in Archaeology, this volume is a treasure.
It abounds in truly fascinating and factual accounts of discoveries and expeditions, spanning the centuries. We meet remarkable characters, and share their sense of purpose and excitement of discovery.
It's a lengthy volume, but highly readable from cover to cover. Its contents have made a lasting impression on me.
Highly recommended.
Nov 14, 2007 Coyle rated it really liked it
An absolutely fantastic book! This book would get people as excited about archaeology as the Indiana Jones movies! Too bad "real" (i.e. modern) archaeology is more like sifting through a sandbox with a toothbrush than like Ceram's excited amateurs discovering lost empires and fantastic Lovecraftian worlds...
Jaana Alliku
Dec 16, 2012 Jaana Alliku rated it it was amazing
Interesting, fascinating and surprisingly easy read about great scholars and important discoveries & excavations. This book is a mind blowing journey back in time.
Oct 18, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing
This book is pretty much a whole college course on the history of Archaeology. Greatly informative, filled with action and adventure, and all true!
Ahmad Ardy
Mar 13, 2015 Ahmad Ardy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
best gila.
Sep 25, 2012 Larry rated it really liked it
A terrific introductory look at archeology for those wanting to explore other epochs and achievements in various societies that once existed pre-dating even Greece and Egypt’s storied antiquity. The accounts of laymen, adventurers, scholars and sometimes a combination of some or or all of these men's qualities mentioned is intriguing. The fact that Central and South America , with its variety of very advanced cultures, was left to fallow undiscovered, in the wake of the Egyptian and latter ...more
May 27, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: class assignment in HS
Different cover, same terrific book! I just loved this fascinating history of archaeology from Schliemen's finds in Egypt to those of others in Mexico, Peru and more. I was always awed and dumbfounded by the Aztec practice of throwing virgins into the watery depths and cutting out hearts and such other ghastly stuff!! Really cool and horrible and neat all in one!! Great book!! I read it several times just BECAUSE!

what a fabulous fabulous book!! I read this for my archeology class at Northfield M
Jan 14, 2009 Rosemary rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I ws 10 - 12 yo. I loved it and still love it for the inspiration to explore the world it gave me. I lived in a tiny town of 1200 or so that did not even have a library. I borrowed books from my parents's friends, with the result that I read a lot of Gene Stratton Porter and other authors popular with my mother's generation. It makes the romance of archaeology seem possible for anyone. It brings the past to life in glowing color.
My favorite thing in this book has always been the account of Edward Herbert Thompson's discovery of Chichen-Itza. It's worth reading just for the atmosphere! Thompson dredged the sacred well and, in a diving suit, went down into the dark waters. C. W. Ceram is a pen name for Kurt Marek. The actual title correctly has a comma before and.
Aug 12, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I used to want to be an Egyptologist when I was younger, until I hit my teens and was all about poetry and Jane Austen. This book was great; he took just enough time to explain the human interest stories behind the discoveries so that you got all the facts without the book being dry and monotonous.
Jul 19, 2014 GONZA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I personaggi principali dell'arecheologia e le loro scoperte raccontate come un romanzo che comincia dalla scoperta delle vecchie mura di Troia da parte di Schliemann, passa per la tomba di Tutankamon di Carter e finisce(?) in Guatemala. Appassionante e scorrevole, uno di quei libri che ricordavo di aver letto alle medie e mi ha lasciato la stessa bella sensazione di allora.
Feb 17, 2013 Adrienne rated it liked it
Shelves: art
In Berlin this winter, I visited the Pergamon Museum.

That's what inspired reading this book.I Really enjoyed it. Archeology, all the beauty, mystery, politics,and strum and drang you could ever want.

The museum gets 5 stars. we went back the next day.
Dean Mermell
Nov 22, 2012 Dean Mermell rated it really liked it
From the pharoes to the Mayans, from the Rosetta stone to the Hittites, this book is probably the best introduction to "modern" archeology there is. Written in 1954, there are probably a lot of inaccuracies in it, but the passion for uncovering the past and making connections that reflect on who we are today comes through loud and clear.
Aug 24, 2007 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: longlongago
I have the hardback copy published in 1968. It was the book that caused me to think that I wanted to be an archeologist. However, chemistry in college was my demise. I just couldn't memorize that table of elements. However the book is still facinating.
Mar 13, 2013 Aaron rated it liked it
This book details some of the more interesting stories of archeology (usually involving a single explorer). The edition I read was pretty dated (1952) and it would be more interesting with more maps and more current information.
Tom Schulte
Feb 20, 2013 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it
Ceram does a wonder ful job bringing to life the early adventurers (not scientists) that kicked off archaeology as a science in the Old and New Worlds, and bringing to life the ancient societies of meso-america.
Erik Graff
Nov 27, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beginners in archaeology/cultural anthropology
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
I read this and his Hittite book ignorant of Ceram's Nazi past, ignorant even of his actual name (Kurt Wilhelm Marek), thoroughly enjoying both. This particular work was an accessible overview of the history of the archaeological "discoveries" of a number of ancient societies.
Scott Fuchs
Apr 27, 2011 Scott Fuchs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Scott by: My Mom
Shelves: favorites
This is the book that started me on the road to a lifelong interest in archeology & Egyptology. One of the most prized books in my library.
[I read the Knopf [Hardcover] - 15th printing edition [1954]
Amara Thornton
Aug 18, 2007 Amara Thornton is currently reading it
very interesting descriptions and thoughts on the importance of the story of archaeology. includes mini biographies of some famous archaeologists involved in thrilling adventures of derring-do in the field...and the library.
Jan 26, 2016 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: textbook
utilized this edition for a class i took at asu. absolutely loved it. it helps though that i am interested in egyptian art and history, but it was a delightfully light read. i would recommend it to anyone that wanted to learn about egyptians history and art and not fall asleep in the process.
Theo Karner
Nov 15, 2012 Theo Karner rated it it was amazing
Exceptional story that was both entertaining and insightful. Put history, and archaeology, into a context I had never appreciated before. One of the few non-fiction books I am going to read again.
Feb 04, 2014 May rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Inspired me to want to be an archaeologist. Too bad my career in the field was short-lived after taking my first year archaeology course. Oh well, at least I have fond memories of the book.
Jul 19, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
A magnificent introduction to archaeology and worlds of the past: Egypt, Samaria, Greece, and Yucatan. This opened my mind to the excitement of archaeolgy, a subject I still enjoy reading about.
Dec 21, 2010 James rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Students of history young and old.
Introduces the reader to the exciting science of archaeology and to the study of ancient civilizations through archaeological artifacts.
Oct 25, 2014 ulli_z rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The great stories of archaeology - this made me an archaeology enthusiast when I was a teen.
Jan 05, 2016 Lise rated it it was amazing
Just started reading it but where I am at the beginning of the book I learned fascinating facts about Herculaneum and Pompeii, about how those 2 cities got to be destroyed both by Vesuvius but in different manners. People in Herculaneum basically drowned while those from Pompeii were choked to death by the heath.

What is fascinating is the the people who discovered the first tombs, instead of going on digging at the same spot, closed them and went to dig elsewhere.

When I closed the book today (M
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C.W. Ceram was the pseudonym of German journalist and author Kurt Wilhelm Marek, known for his popular works about archaeology. He chose to write under a pseudonym to distance himself from his earlier work as a propagandist for the Third Reich.

Ceram was born in Berlin. During World War II, he was a member of the Propagandatruppe. His works from that period include Wir hielten Narvik, 1941, and Rot
More about C.W. Ceram...

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“Archaeology, I found, comprehended all manner of excitement and achievement. Adventure is coupled with bookish toil. Romantic excursions go hand in hand with scholarly self-discipline and moderation. Explorations among the ruins of the remote past have carried curious men all over the face of the earth… Yet in truth, no science is more adventurous than archaeology, if adventure is thought of as a mixture of spirit and deed.” 8 likes
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