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Great Moments in Greek Archaeology

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Great Moments in Greek Archaeology
By Vasileios Petrakos, et al. Academic Coordinator: Panos Valavanis. Translated into English by Dr. David Hardy. Foreword by Angelos Delivorrias. The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2007. Pg. 390. 658 Color illustrations.) ISBN 13: 978-0-89236-910-2.

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - November 16, 2007

The major archaeological discoveries of ancient Greece are detailed in Great Moments in Greek Archaeology. This groundbreaking book is lavishly illustrated with 658 Color illustrations, and includes 25 essays that provide a detailed overview of the discovery and excavations of some of the greatest monuments, shipwrecks, and sculptures from Ancient Greece.

The essays in this collection were written by some of the most outstanding scholars and archaeologist in their respective fields at the time that the essays were written. The authors who contributed to this volume include such notables as: Vasileios Petrakos, Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, Dominque Mulliez, George Ch. Chourmouziadis, Panos Valavanis, Harry E. Tzalas, George F. Bass, Fani Mallouchou-Tufano, Jutta Stroszeck, Helmut Kyrieleis, Spyros Iakovidis, Colin F. Macdonald, Alberto G. Benvenuti, Vassos Karageorghis, Christos Doumas, Stella Drougou, Marina Sophronidou, Susan Womer Katzev, Aliki Samara-Kauffmann, Georgios Steinhauer and Evangelos Ch. Kakavoyiannis.

The essays in this coffee-table sized book are a combination of both new essays, as well as historical essays. The oldest essay in this collection was published in 1822, and the newest in 2002. The essays are organized into four thematic categories:
  1. The Stages of Greek Archaeology:
    This section includes one essay that provides an overview of the history and scope of Greek Archaeology, and which provides a solid foundation that puts the remaining essays in this collection into an historic perspective.

  2. Great Moments in Greek Archaeology:
    This section details famous archaeological sites in Greece such as those at Delos, Delphi, Knossos, Sesklo, Salamis (Cyprus), as well as such iconic sites as the Athenian Acropolis and the Athenian Agora.

  3. Great Moments in Marine Archaeology
    This section details several excavations of shipwrecks.

  4. Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture See the Light of Day
    This final section details the discovery of a variety of ancient Greek sculptures, including the Aphrodite of Melos, the Piraeus Bronze Statues, and the Large Kouros of Samos
Great Moments in Greek Archaeology is a fascinating book to look through, and an even more edifying book to read! This text will ably serve both academicians and general readers alike. In short, this is a must read for anyone interested in Ancient Greek history, art, or archaeology.

Related Reviews:

Games and Sanctuaries in Ancient Greece: Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, Nemea, Athens, by Panos Valavanis.
A lavishly illustrated coffee-table book that chronicles the history and archaeology surrounding the Ancient Greek Games and the Sanctuaries at which they were held.

The Past From Above, Photographs by Georg Gerster.
525+ 'Aerial Photographs of Archaeological Sites' with descriptive commentary.

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