Archaeology: Drama for Diggers

Nothing about the exhibit seems to fit among the musty antiquities of Assyrian Hall in the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. Eye-popping red, blue and yellow paints are splashed inside the glass showcases; a lettered wheel whirls out breezy explanations in art nouveau type. Topping off the extravaganza is a large wall map, lit up by flickering red neon tubing. It is the kind of show that conservative diggers dismiss with a scornful epithet: "Pop Archaeology."

The description delights the man who directed the display. Robert J. Braidwood, 60, is an old...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!