Feb 07, 2020dixithanoop rated this title 2.5 out of 5 stars
I picked up this book because I realized I had never read any specifically archaeology related book, let alone scholarly articles on it, and thought this might be an interesting read. And it all made too much sense when an author named Hunt is talking about archaeology!
The content of the book is meaty, and to the most part the narration and dramatic story-telling is very gripping too. But because the subject matter is the one that demands way more intrinsic interest from its readers than most other topics, the book reads slow and pale after the first few pages of every chapter. It would become evident early that the author has made every effort to voluntarily answer all the questions that would arise in a reader's mind - 'Why is this included in the list?', 'How come this is not in chronological order?', 'Well, what's the source?', etc. I genuinely liked the sections of chapters where the author has made special effort to answer why that discovery merits a place in the top ten.
As to the content itself, it's loaded with details. The book is basically about ten of the history's greatest archaeological discoveries, and includes some of the well known ones like King Tut's tomb's discovery, Rosetta Stone, Pompei, and Machu Pichhu, and also a few of the not so obvious ones like Thera. The first section of each chapter (each discovery, essentially) describes the journey of the explorer(s) and the set of discovery, which are the most exhilarating parts of the book. The jaw-drop of the explorers upon each discovery is a treat to imagine.
The general theme of all of stories is, as expected, the one that is of persistence. In most cases, these revolutionary discoveries of the lost worlds have taken years for their explorers, and often more than a few attempts. But the theme is also about how every discoverer struggled with some usual issues after discovering them - managing the treasure, telling the world about the discovery in order to get the deserved credit, decoding the treasures etc.
Overall, the book is a decent read if you like treasure hunt related themes - explorations, archaeology etc.