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Archaeology in Fiction, Stories, and Novels

Another way archaeology is inflicted upon the general public's consciousness is through short stories and novels. Many authors have used archaeologists as heroes, as villains, and as gormless fools who clutter up the landscape. Here's a selection of my favorites.
  1. Elizabeth Peters (15)
  2. Kate Wilhelm (3)
  3. Kathleen and Michael Gear (4)
  4. Octavia Butler (6)
  5. Suzette Haden Elgin (3)
  6. Ursula LeGuin (9)

Travels in Elysium
Philosophy professor Sharon Kaye reviews Travels in Elysium a 2013 novel by William Azuski from Iridescent Publishing, which at its heart offers a new interpretation of what Plato had in mind when he invented the Atlantis myth.

Outies, written by archaeologist Jennifer Pournelle, is a sequel to A Mote in God's Eye, cast in a social science fiction genre.

A book review of Global Dawn, a fictional telling of the beginnings of the Digital Earth Project.

Social Science Fiction
Social science fiction is the name Ursula leGuin gave to the kind of science fiction that absorbs and discusses anthropology and the study of human kind. Needless to say, this is one of my favorite kinds of scifi.

The Sea Kings: The Prophecy
This first book in Les Cole's Sea King Trilogy is an exciting, detailed romance of the high seas of the Mediterranean Sea during the Bronze Age. The hero, Tanuati, a selfish Cretan lout, wanders around the sea picking up knowledge and girls at about the same rate. An entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

The term fiction, in archaeology and elsewhere, refers to a piece of literature or other creative work that's wholly invented by the author.

The Egyptologist - A Book Review
Arthur Phillips' The Egyptologist is blackly funny, evocative of both the roaring twenties of Boston and the working conditions of the Valley of the Kings under the British, and I highly recommend it to anybody looking for a good, absorbing, funny adult novel.

The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg
A new book by mystery writer Jane Langton crosses into the Civil War to track down an ancient case of identity theft.

People of the Raven
On its website, Archaeology magazine has posted a piece of the new Michael and Kathleen Gear novel, "People of the Raven". This writing pair has done a great deal to bring ancient peoples to life, and it's always nice to get a sneak preview.

Anita Cohen-Williams: Archaeology in Fiction
An archaeologist/librarian, Anita Cohen-Williams has collected hundreds of bibliographic references to novels about archaeology or archaeologists, and placed this amazing list on the web.

Timeline (Michael Crichton)
The Medieval site of Castelgard is being excavated, when the director is called back to the states to have a chat with his financier. After he is gone, the students discover incontrovertible evidence that the poor old archaeologist has actually traveled through time to the 14th century and now needs rescuing.

Summertime Reading - Archaeology
When it's summer, it's hot, at least on the north half of the planet. If you can't be out digging holes, perhaps you can curl up with an archaeologically-correct novel and a huge pitcher of iced tea. The following are some of my favorite novels about archaeology and archaeologists.

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