Agatha Christie – the Famous Archaeologist?

Who knew? Not me.

She is one of the best-known crime writers of all time but few know the extent of Agatha Christie’s archaeological pedigree.

Married in 1930 to eminent archaeologist Max Mallowan, Christie spent two decades living on excavation sites in the Middle East, writing her crime novels and helping out with her husband’s work.

She was personally involved in the preservation of numerous carved ivories discovered in ancient Assyria (northern Iraq). They had been made in Phoenicia and Syria but then looted and taken to the ancient city of Nimrud. These ivories are now an important collection in the British Museum.

Interesting how some her famous works (“Murder on the Orient Express”, et al.) were inspired by her archaeological time in the Middle East.

By the way, she cleaned the ivories with her own face cream. I’m afraid there would be none handy were I to unearth similar ivories. Fortunately, around half of our excavation team is female so perhaps we’d be ready. (My wife informs me the previous sentence may be regarded as “outdated” by some readers. We may need a backup plan.)

The short article includes several photos. Check it out here.

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
This entry was posted in General Archaeology, Iraq and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Agatha Christie – the Famous Archaeologist?

  1. susannac says:

    I read a biography on Agatha Christie that discussed the archaelogical work she did; it was quite interesting! They lived in tents and everything. It wasn’t fancy hotels. She was a smart and talented woman. I think she also did some funding of the work, so that was another contribution – her fiction based on her time in the Middle East in turn financed more time there.

  2. afrankangle says:

    Hey Luke. It’s always interesting to discover the “other” interests in one’s life. For instance a pro athlete work in the committee or their talents in one of the arts … or pastors doing archeology, or teachers doing something more than grading papers.

    Hope all is well.

    • lukechandler says:

      Diverse interests make for a balanced, rich life, as you no doubt know. Been thinking about you recently and hope things are stable and well with you. Thanks for posting, Frank.

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