Sunday, 5 January 2014

A life in archaeology

I read in the Times (for Saturday January 4th) that the Russian archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi, made famous for the discovery of a series of tombs, some containing a significant quantity of gold, in Afghanistan during the late 1970s, passed away in December 2013.   

I only met him once, in the mid 1980s (when my Russian was, as it is now, non-existent) so I can't speak with any authority as concerns his life or work (but can confirm that he was indeed quite a character). Reading his obituary, however, I was struck by the comment that his "was an uncomfortable lifestyle which, when not excavating, was spent principally trying to stay alive and establish a supply of vodka" something which, I think you'll agree, rather succinctly (and effectively) sums up the profession of archaeology as a whole.

Rest in peace Viktor

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