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- Mar 17, 2020
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In 1925, James Henry Breasted, famed Egyptologist and director of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, sent a team of archaeologists to the Holy Land to excavate the ancient site of Megiddo—Armageddon in the New Testament—which the Bible says was fortified by King Solomon. Their excavations made headlines around the world and shed light on one of the most legendary cities of biblical times, yet little has been written about what happened behind the scenes. Digging Up Armageddon brings to life one of the most important archaeological expeditions ever undertaken, describing the site and what was found there, including discoveries of gold and ivory, and providing an up-close look at the internal workings of a dig in the early years of biblical archaeology.
The Chicago team left behind a trove of writings and correspondence spanning more than three decades, from letters and cablegrams to cards, notes, and diaries. Eric Cline draws on these materials to paint a compelling portrait of a bygone age of archaeology. He masterfully sets the expedition against the backdrop of the Great Depression in America and the growing troubles and tensions in British Mandate Palestine. He gives readers an insider’s perspective on the debates over what was uncovered at Megiddo, the infighting that roiled the expedition, and the stunning discoveries that transformed our understanding of the ancient world.
Digging Up Armageddon is the enthralling story of an archaeological site in the interwar years and its remarkable place at the crossroads of history.