By Marilyn Johnson
“When the Apocalypse comes, you want to know an archaeologist, because we know how to make fire, catch food, and create hill forts”I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was in high school. I'm actually pretty sure that's what I told the year book people when they asked what career I planned to go into. HA! I wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes as an actual archaeologist. I don't like getting dirty, bugs, or the outdoors.
― Marilyn Johnson, Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble
I do like history, and discovering new things, and the idea of lost stories being discovered and told again -- hence my fascination with this field. I'm glad I became a librarian; I can be surrounded by these stories once they're brought into the open and help other people discover them. Without all the dirt and scorpions (though lets not talk about what is occasionally "discovered" in the book drop or children's play area).
Lives in Ruins was a fascinating look into a profession that people think is super cool (thanks Indiana Jones!), but doesn't get the support it needs to keep our pasts from being destroyed. Did you know that most archaeologists have a lot of trouble making ends meet - at work and at home? Archaeology, like Library Science, is not where the money is.
Marilyn Johnson is a very brave woman and a very great writer; she makes you feel like you're bumping along on the road to a pyramid in Peru, digging in the Grecian sunshine at a forgotten temple in the Mediterranean, or walking above a secret military graveyard in the middle of a field in New England. If you're fascinated with Archaeology or history or just enjoy a great non-fiction book, I'd highly recommend Lives in Ruins. Now I can't wait to read Johnson's book about my own profession!