Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Editors' Picks Volume 56 Number 4, July/August 2003

Conversations With the High Priest of Coosa

Noted anthropologist Charles Hudson goes out on a limb with Conversations With the High Priest of Coosa (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2003; $34.95). This "fictionalized ethnography" recounts imaginary meetings between an elder from one of the biggest North American chiefdoms and a sixteenth-century Spanish priest. Hudson makes the most of the opportunity to weave an engaging tale filled with accounts of the ancient legends and ritual of the Southeastern United States.
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He's got a jackal head, so he's Anubis, god of embalming, right? Nope! Could be you're looking at Wepwawet. And the god with the falcon head...Horus? Khonsu? Montu? Re? Or even Sokar, aka "lord of the mysterious region"? No one could be faulted for accusing the ancient Egyptians of having too many deities, so it helps to have a well-illustrated reference like Richard H. Wilkinson's The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003; $39.95).
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Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

The New World's Old World

The power of photography to ignite the spirit of adventure is central to "The New World's Old World: Photographic Views of Ancient America," an exhibition at New York's AXA Gallery running until July 19 and its catalog of the same name (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003; $47.50), edited by curator May Castleberry. Vintage images include 1860s daguerreotypes showing the slow destruction of Big Mound in St. Louis and Teobert Maler's haunting turn-of-the-century images of ruins in Guatemala. With modern takes, like a 1972 photo by Edward Ranney of a pyramid at the Maya site of Coba, this collection documents changes wrought by excavation, tourism, and development over the years.
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© 2003 by the Archaeological Institute of America