Currently Reading: Finders Keepers

by Natalie Heather

I bought this book around Christmastime last year. I only just got around to reading it, and I’m really enjoying it. The book is Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession by Craig Childs. I kind of expected it to be a somewhat boring tale about archaeology. Since I am really interested in archaeology though, I was still really interested. The book has humor, though, which is something I really like. I find it hard to put the book down! Here’s a brief outline of the book:

“Beyond what most people think about archaeology–with its cleanly numbered dates, and discoveries–lies a vibrant and controversial realm of scientists, thieves, and contested land claims.”

It really is far more interesting than I ever expected. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book so far:

“When one looks at pictures of petroglyphs, say in a book or on a computer, they simply become aware of them. But to stand in front of one, to see it up close and realize the amount of skill and effort and time it took to make it, that’s when one appreciates the petroglyph as opposed to simply being aware of it.”

“We have no single agreed-upon way of treating the past. Behavior varies from person to person. I recall a Polaroid of a pothunter holding up a freshly unearthed human skull and sticking his tongie into its mouth, an act of grotesqualy ultimate possession. […] Yet, what do you do with scrabbling curiosity and a sealed hatch on the floor? To open it would break centuries of cultural stasis, damaging a sensitive site. Leaving it close is like biting your tongue until it bleeds.”

“For her, archaeology includes what is happening now. It does not end when an object becomes buried in the ground.”

“Still, as a kid he pothunted a couple of graves and kept entire human skeletons in the pantry next to the canned peaches. (His mother, not surprisingly, found this vulgar.)”

Are you interested in archaeology? You should think about buying this book. It comes highly recommended!

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