Book Review by Aarene Storms: Digging for Troy

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Digging for Troy : from Homer to Hisarlik by Jill Burbalcaba and Eric H. Cline

The epic stories told in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey have long inspired scholars and scientists: are the tales of gods and heros based on actual events...or are they just really great stories? In Digging for Troy, the authors explore the history of archaeologic investigations of the site known as Hisarlik, interspersing the narrative of scientists like Heinrich Schliemann and Carl Blegen with the tale of wily Odysseus, the hero Achilles, the prophetic Cassandra, and the star-crossed lovers Paris and Helen.

Although uneven in places, the narrative is compelling enough to draw the reader in; red-on-black illustrations mimic Greek styles and are well-presented. Drawings and photos from the archaeologic sites are also included. A timeline at the end of the book clarifies the significance of "layers" discovered by scientists excavating the site of Hisarlik.

Recommended for report-writers and readers who are interested in the topic, ages 10 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern 
Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach Library, KCLS


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