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Editors' Picks Volume 57 Number 4, July/August 2004

The Naked Olympics Athens Ancient Greek Athletics

Brace yourself for a slew of new books inspired by the Olympics in Athens. Travel writer Tony Perrottet's enjoyable and vivid take on the ancient games, The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Olympic Games (New York: Random House, 2004; $12.95), re-creates the contests in all their original gritty glory. Robin Waterfield's Athens: From Ancient Ideal to Modern City (New York: Basic Books, 2004; $27.50) is a readable account of Athens' incredible history. Stephen Miller, excavator of Nemea, a site which also hosted the ancient sacred games, weighs in with Ancient Greek Athletics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004; $35), a well-illustrated volume on sports in the Greek world.
[More books on Greece...]


Return of the Buddha

The 1996 discovery of 35 sixth-century A.D. Buddhas in the small city of Qingzhou ranks as one of the greatest archaeological finds ever made in China. "Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries," now on display through August 8, 2004, at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., gives Americans their first glimpse of these graceful limestone sculptures. Remarkably, some of the statues still retain their gilding and vibrant red pigments.
[More exhibitions...]


American Flintknappers

The art of stone tool making is flourishing in modern America. Archaeologist John Whittaker's American Flintknappers: Stone Age Art in the Age of Computers (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004; $29.95) is an insider's look at the obscure subculture of flintknappers--otherwise normal people who spend inordinate amounts of time and money replicating ancient tools. In this lively first-person account, Whittaker relates how he spent years traveling the country and attending "knap-ins," where flintknappers gather to demonstrate their skills and trade tips on making the perfect Clovis spearpoint. Lavish illustrations leave no doubt that many of the flintknappers aren't just obsessive hobbyists--they have become true artists.
[More U.S. books...]

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© 2004 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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