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Posted July 29, 2013
Pottery shards are not sexy. Unless you're into that kind of thing.
But add the name of Cleopatra, and everybody's ears perk up.
This is a companion book to the traveling National Geographic exhibition, and as such, a great keepsake and explores in more detail items that a physical exhibition can only touch on.
By emphasizing the tie of these land and sea explorations to Cleopatra, it almost feels like they have done a bait-and-switch. They haven't, of course; when exploring an archaeological site where people lived for centuries, before and after the life/reign of ANYONE, it is impossible to ONLY look at artifacts from that life/reign. Still it felt like sometimes there was a big stretch to make a Cleopatra connection: "here's an amphora that was common during that time period," "here's a statue from a temple where Cleopatra might have brought offerings," "here's an earring similar to ones Cleopatra would have worn."
It is all interesting material, the photographs are impressive, and some items, like a huge stone head that is almost certainly modeled after Cleopatra's son, Caesarion, can be tied to her without too much effort. Underwater (and traditional) archaeology in itself is fascinating, as are the stories of the site explored here: Alexandria, Canopus, Haracleion, and more.
But if you pick this up thinking you are going to learn all about Cleopatra's life and the location of her tomb, you will be disappointed.
Posted October 29, 2011
No text was provided for this review.