Weekend Reading: Too Much Indiana Jones?

I couldn’t help noticing that a lot of this week’s news stories have been referring to a ‘new Indiana Jones’. Strangely, though, they’re not all talking about the same person. This week we have a Scottish Indiana Jones, a Dutch Indiana Jones and an AI Indiana Jones, all in the space of a few days.

It’s odd. After all, we have to acknowledge that Dr Jones, despite his roguish smile, impressive whip skills and ability to bamboozle Nazis, was a rotten archaeologist. He stole stuff, he blew stuff up – and as The Big Bang Theory memorably argued, he could be removed from Raiders entirely without changing the outcome. Surely we don’t all still want to be the new Indiana Jones?




Well, yes. Actually we do.

Indiana Jones is like Superman for historians. Instead of stepping into a phonebox and changing from clumsy reporter to caped crusader, Indy transforms from a bespectacled, bow-tie-wearing prof to a scruffy machete-wielding maniac in a great hat.  He makes stunning academic miscalculations (A small bag of sand in place of a solid gold idol? Seriously?), and dodges the consequences by just running really fast. And then he gets to go back to his students and his blackboard. It’s the academic dream.

So this week, over the top of my huge pile of marking, I’ve been happily re-watching Indiana Jones – and wishing I had a great hat. Of course, being slightly less intrepid and definitely more girly than Indy, I’d probably be a bit closer to this version…



And when my marking’s all out of the way, I might find the time to go back to my other favourite fictional archaeologist, the indomitable Amelia Peabody (in the novels by Elizabeth Peters). No whips, but plenty of pistols, reinforced parasols, trapdoors, antiquities smuggling and dastardly Master Criminals!


This week’s links from around the Classical Interweb



Scotland’s Indiana Jones? – Daily Record 

Digital Indiana Jones? – The Times 

The Indiana Jones of art? – CTV News 

Gladiators in Bognor – The Chichester Observer 

Antinous at the Ashmolean – Apollo Magazine 

Procne and Philomela indie rock opera – The New York Times 

Who should play Cleopatra? – The Independent 

Restoring Tutankhamen – Hyperallergic 

Not an ancient stone circle – The Independent 

Egyptian schoolboy’s writing exercise – Smithsonian 

Solving the mystery of Alexander’s death? – Phys.org 




Comment and opinion

The Roman court poet – The History Girls 

Mythical beasts – Temple University 

On empathy in history – Aeon 

Pheidias the sculptor – Classical Wisdom Weekly 

The Pythia and the ancient knowledge economy – The Conversation 

Conferences and podcasting – The Partial Historians 

Jazz and the pyramids – The Classical Association in Northern Ireland 

Aristotle on business – JSTOR Daily

Wedgwood and neo-Etruscan jewellery – The History Girls 

The greatness of Xenophon – Aeon

Socrates and tidying – The New York Times 

Trump, piffle and muscular Classics – Sententiae Antiquae 

Brexit and Britain in 410 – LSE blog 

Tolkien and Classics – Classical Reception Studies Network 

Enemies of Rome – Five Books 

Taking action on racism – Classics and Social Justice 

Nikandre Kore – goddess or woman? – Topica 

Leda and four angry classicists – Eidolon 

Illustrating the ancient world – The Iris

Capua’s amphitheatre – Atlas Obscura

On Digital Humanities – New Approaches to Cicero 

Links to translation discussions – Emily Wilson 

Reading Hesiod for fun – Times Literary Supplement 

Can a translation be a masterpiece? – New York Review of Books 

Online emperors – A Don’s Life 

Ancient DNA: truth or a trap? – John Hawks Weblog 





Podcasts, videos and other media

The Celtic invasion of Greece – The Hellenistic Age Podcast 

Thea – Antiochus V – The Ancient World Podcast

Linear B – Conversing the Classics 

The Equites – Emperors of Rome 

Mary Beard on ‘What is Classics?’ – Society for Classical Studies 

The Roman triumph, Minecraft-style – Magister Craft 

Interview with Rebecca Futo Kennedy – Classics Confidential 

Classics and the cinema – That’s Ancient History 

The Linear B-listers – Ancient History Hound 


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