In his new book, Digging through History, historian and field archaeologist Richard A. Freund journeys through some of the most fascinating archaeological sites of human history. Drawing on his excavation experiences, Freund, who is director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, shows readers what can be learned about past religious life and faith through artifacts discovered at each site, as well as the other elements that have given each site such strong ‘staying power’ over time.
After an introduction to the key concepts found in Digging through History, the book opens with a chapter devoted to the lost city of Atlantis. Freund outlines the mystery of the city and why it has fascinated us for so many years, then lays out a provocative case for having finally located the lost city, expanding upon the story chronicled in his National Geographic documentary, “Finding Atlantis.”
From Atlantis, the narrative moves on to explore questions surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls and archaeology in medieval Spain. The book concludes with a haunting exploration of the long-buried Holocaust camp Sobibor, using archaeology and geophysics to both document the atrocities that occurred there and show the enduring faith of those imprisoned at the camp and those who continue beyond.
Digging through History not only illustrates the dynamic relationship between material culture and recorded history in shaping what we believe but also illuminates some of the less tangible factors that have kept us fascinated by sites like Atlantis as the years pass.
Freund will discuss his new book, as well as cutting-edge biblical archaeology at “The Superbowl of Archaeology,” to be held on Sunday, Feb. 3 at the University of Hartford.