Elegantly written and a fascinating account of how the archaeologist Richard Freund encounters the evidence placed before him. This account is directed to the layman; there is no fussy academic speak; it is clear and to the point.
Richard Freund is one of our most sought after lecturers. Any student of history whois able to attend his lecturesis in for an exhilarating experience.
This is the kind of book that only a few people could write. Freund’s wealth of global experiences, his multidisciplinary approach and use of the latest technologies open afascinating window to the distant past.
T. J. Wray
Richard Freund takes readers on fascinating trek through a vast archaeological landscape that spans three continents and details over two decades of his own research and active participation in excavations.From the lost cites of Atlantis and Tarshish to the dusty caves of Qumran to the horrors of the Sobibor death camp, Freund connects history, material remains, and texts as he expertly unravels some of the most vexing questions associated with these and other sites. Engaging, informative, and written in a style that will appeal to both lay readers and scholars alike, Digging through History is a rare gem.
Digging Through History: Archaeology and Religion from Atlantis to the Holocaust is a fascinating glimpse into how archaeologists collect datanot only from a variety of sites, but across an expansive temporal range.Richard Freund imaginatively and intelligently explores how data transform to story, and the crucial roles that archaeology and the scientific method play in that process.
For scholars and the general public alike, a great deal of what is knownor what we think we knowconcerning persons and events from antiquity to the mid-twentieth century derives from a complex intermingling of material culture and history. Digging through History offers an extraordinarily illuminating series of studies on the relationship between archaeology and history from ancient times to the present day. Freund's approach, which is both deeply personal and scholarly, makes it one of the most accessible books, ever, bridging disparate academic disciplines and a vast chronological sweep. While respectful of religious beliefs and traditions, it rigorously challenges a number of seminal myths concerning monumental historical remains and watershed events. Given the breathtaking range of Freund's investigations on the historical mediation of archaeologyfrom to ocean floor, to arid caves holding the Dead Sea scrolls, to Nazi killing grounds in Polandreaders will be tremendously enriched through the fascinating insights of Digging through History.
Modern archaeological fieldwork is conducted by teams of specialists from disciplines such as history, linguistics, art, and geophysics. Here Freund (Digging Through the Bible) discusses the various far-flung projects he’s been involved in over the past few decades that exemplify this multidisciplinary approach. He first explores the role of archaeology in telling the history of civilizations; next he focuses on a site off the Iberian Peninsula that is now thought to be Atlantis. The third chapter concerns the Dead Sea Scrolls and their power to influence modern religious theology; the fourth chapter deals with recently examined synagogues in Spain that indicate that Jewish people played a vital role in medieval Spanish society; and the final chapter examines Sobibor extermination camp in Poland. While Freund does take us on a fascinating journey, his higher goal is to look for the “unseen hands” that have woven each thread into the human tapestry. Freund reasons that, if understood, these patterns uncovered by archaeology can impel us to make better decisions and avoid the mistakes of the past. Especially cogent are the maps of Atlantis and of Sobibor, two decidedly different sites separated by an ocean of time, but their cartographic similarity is striking.
Verdict Freund’s work is recommended to any reader interested in how archaeology is carried out and the way that patterns are discernible in human history.—Brian Renvall, Mesalands Community Coll., Tucumcari, NM
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