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 (My wife informs me the previous sentence may be regarded as “outdated” by some readers.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.