Ok the Oxford Classical Dictionary isn’t strictly an archaeology book but my initial brush with archaeology came when I was doing a Classical Studies major as an undergrad.
Why Classical Studies? Well initially it was because of the literature- have you actually read any Greek Tragedy? Aeschylus’ Agamemnon is amazing!!!
Then I started taking Art and History of Ancient Greece and Rome, realized that there was a lot of overlap between the two and that overlap was where Archaeology lived. Pretty soon I was away on a dig and hooked on Archaeology.
So my first Archaeology book is only Archaeology semi-adjacent. Still the Oxford Classical Dictionary is a font of information and still represents the best place to start any sort of research on anything or any place Ancient Greece or Roman society, empire, cultures might have had some contact with.
As I used to tell my students “The Oxford Classical Dictionary is online and subscribed to by our University, on Google Books, it’s in our Reference Library and available through our library as an E-Book. With all these ways to access the OCD (yep), there’s no excuse for using Wikipedia instead!” I imagine myself saying this while wagging my finger…so that’s probably what happened.
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Oxford Classical Dictionary is a font of information. What term is greater than font? Uber-font?
The Oxford Classical Dictionary seemed to hold some sort of mystical power and when I was starting research papers in undergrad I would approach the OCD like I would the chance to visit the Great Library of Alexandria– all the ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE!
Of course I wanted all that knowledge for my very own precious! The OCD was a much happily received Christmas gift of 2000. I still love jumping from reference to reference and getting lost down the rabbit hole of knowledge.
So Archeology Book or not the Oxford Classical Dictionary is still MY favourite Archaeology Book.
What’s your favourite Archaeology Book?