My reading is slow, so slow this spanking new 2018 so the new format I’m going to shoot for here is similar books talked about together in bunches of twos and threes. There will not be videos for the foreseeable future, but I have hopefully returned to this for the time being! Onward! Let’s look at Finders Keepers by Craig Childs and T.Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez.
Finders Keepers : A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession seems like me to be a book about the idea of taking things, specifically in the Archaeological sense. This is something that I had never given much thought to and I bet if you haven’t gone to school for the topic you haven’t either. He starts by stating his own view which boils down to ‘if it’s not in danger then leave it alone’ (i.e. see a pot in the desert? admire it but leave it buried in the sand). That… rubbed me the wrong way at first. I’m a firm believer in knowledge for everyone, open and free exchange of ideas and history. The more I read this though the more comfortable with the idea I became.
I definitely won’t say this convinced me but in a perfect world where those items wouldn’t just be picked up by Joe Blow Pot-Hunter and sold illegally this could work. Mr. Childs go on to talk about how and when it is acceptable, in his view, to take things and looks at the pros and cons of that. He does seem to try and do Archaeology a fair shake. He talks to people of both sides and views, curators on museums, illegal Pot-hunters, professional collectors, etc. He certainly made me think about the idea of leaving artifacts where they lay and learning to appreciate them. The images of the nearly destroyed homes and buildings ransacked by pot-hunters and archaeologists a like were haunting. I do wish we’d gotten more of a ‘how to fix this’ or some sort of ideas for answers but the book raised questions in my mind I hadn’t considered till then. An interesting read, and one that makes me want to pick up more on the topic.
Let’s go back EVEN FURTHER. T. Rex and the Crater of Doom is a look at the process of
discovering what went into the realization and discovery of the Chicxulub Crater. I’m going to be real honest here, I thought this was going to be a one off fiction read but it had been on so many ‘If you like Dinos read these!’ lists that I couldn’t not pick it up. It’s in truth a non-fiction book and I loved it.
It takes a look at the event from a mostly geological perspective (I think that’s the best way to put that). I hate to ruin any of this if you haven’t read it but it’s a great story about not only the discover of this crater but also how entire view of geological history can change. How a group of scientists, for the most part ALL of them in a specialization, believed everything to be gradual. From the wearing away of a mountain to the extinction of the dinosaurs and how that it’s blown into the water with this discovery.
The book is readable and I thought did a great job in conveying to the reader the size and scope of things. He does a great job putting things into a easy to grasp format and I gobbled this up. So good, a real treat for a dino or even a geology fan.