Travels with an Archaeologist: Finding a Sense of Place
Travel broadens the horizon, as the anonymous “they” tell us. But they omit to point out how digging deep beneath the earth’s surface can broaden even more. British archaeologist Richard Hodges brings together his international field experiences at exotic sites, several in southeastern Europe, especially Albania, a country now recovering from Hoxha’s rule. As he describes those areas that are reminders of political and natural tragedies and calamities of the past, today’s turbulence may be seen as part of a continuum and not uniquely a feature of the present day.
In Travels with an Archaeologist, a series of sophisticated, endearing, and sometimes provocative essays, Hodges pays tribute to professors and mentors, leading specialists of their generation, who introduced him to and then guided him throughout his career.
A misplaced assumption suggesting that an archaeological dig is isolating or dull is turned over from the first pages. Hodges delights in the colleagues, students, and local on-site workers who are caught up in the excitement and joy of those treasures, at least in the eye of the beholders, revealed by their hard work and enthusiasm.
The addition of a couple of regional maps identifying unfamiliar locations would have been most welcome.