You might think I have gone off on some weird tangent about ruins with this and my last post title, but no. Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble is the title of a book by Marilyn Johnson, in which she delves into the lives of archaeologists. I saw the book as I browsed the book stalls at the AIA meeting in NOLA, took down the title and borrowed it from the public library when I got home.
The book is fun, witty and well written. I have been giggling or laughing out loud since I picked up the volume and started reading it yesterday. I can totally related to the archaeologists she met and worked with for her book. I just finished reading the chapter entitled Extreme Beverages, which I knew had to be about Patrick McGovern, the beer archaeologist. Indeed, it was about Dr. Pat and the keynote lecture he gave at the AIA annual meeting held in Philadelphia (I believe that was in 2012).
Strangely enough, that was my first AIA conference and I attended that very lecture (it’s kind of weird to have attended an event mentioned in a book… the lecture was great fun). At the reception, I tried of one of his reversed-engineered extreme beverages created by studying residue in vessels found at archaeological digs around the world. I sampled the Honduran alcoholic cocoa drink Theobroma… although, as an Egyptologist, I should have tried the Egyptian beer, Ta Henket–even if I don’t like beer. (Don’t tell Dr. Pat!) Ever since that lecture, I have in mind to bring the beer archaeologist to Raleigh… he’s at the top of my list of must-have speakers! If he’s giving a talk in your neighbourhood, go! You’ll have a blast. Oh! And Johnson’s book is a fun and easy read.