Sunday, July 17, 2005

Following a String

Notice how one book leads to another and suddenly one book mushrooms into a pile of books. I started by picking up the first of Elizabeth Peter’s archeology mysteries starring Amelia Peabody and set in the Egypt of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s—a summer diversion. The Egyptian setting blended with our hot and humid weather. After the second book I realized that my knowledge of Egypt was spotty. Certainly I always questioned the vast Egyptian collections in the major museums. So I set off to find a book on the early archeological expeditions and subsequent removal of many Egyptian artifacts to prestigious museums and universities—as well as private collections. And one thing led to another and suddenly I found myself reading about Napoleon’s foray into Egypt. That road took me to the English.

Then my wandering circled back in time and I picked up Bruce Feiler’s book A Walk through the Bible. I arrived there because of the question “Who built the pyramids?” I may never get back to Amelia's next adventure.