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How to Fit All of Ancient Greece in an Elevator

By Theodore Papakostas

An enormous bestseller in Greece, this is a bold, witty and iconoclastic take on the story of Ancient Greece by a rising star in archaeology

Two strangers meet in a trapped elevator. One is an archaeologist, the other isn’t. A simple question, ‘What do you do?’, becomes the springboard for a dialogue that weaves a fascinating tale…

In How to Fit All of Ancient Greece in an Elevator, acclaimed archaeologist Theodore Papakostas takes the reader on a spectacularly iconoclastic and hugely engrossing journey through Ancient Greece, from its beginnings in prehistory to its end. Marvelling at the exalted moments in Ancient Greek history as well as the more mundane, Papakostas introduces the reader to countless fascinating stories about the cradle of western civilization – many of which upend received wisdom about the empire as well as about archaeology itself. Along the way, he settles questions such as: What did a Minoan princess pack for a trip to Egypt? How did a Mycenaean public servant kill time when he was bored? How did a raunchy dance lead to the birth of Democracy? Why did Heraclitus suggest that Homer should be slapped? Why are the Cyclades called the Cyclades?

A whistle-stop tour through three hundred years of Greek history, How to Fit All of Ancient Greece in an Elevator is an unforgettable love letter to the treasures we’ve inherited from the ancient world, as well as to those who have helped us unearth them.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 01 Aug 2024
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-00-859606-4
Price: £16.99 (Export Price) , £16.99, €None
Dr Theodore Papakostas is an archaeologist. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from the University of Reading and his MA in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of Nottingham. He has participated in excavations in Greece and the UK and has worked at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Archaeological Service of Kilkis. He completed his PhD in Classical Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2017.

”'This book is an essential read - it’s much more than a book about ancient Greece! It’s about civilisation, where we came from, and who we are. It’s so lightly and humorously written and yet packed with wisdom and learning. I can’t recommend it highly enough!” - Victoria Hislop, bestselling author of The Figurine, The Island and The Return

”'Archaeostoryteller Theodore Papakostas, ably assisted by illustrator Thanos Tsitsis, both captures and captivates the imagination in this brilliantly conceived revisit of the old 'what have the ancient Greeks done for us?” - trope. The chronologically ordered text is regularly punctuated by amusing (FA)Q&A interludes - ludic as well as educative. Was there a dark side to the ancient Greeks’ achievements? Was there, Hades! Read, laugh out loud, learn - and be elevated’ Paul Cartledge, bestselling author of The Spartans: An Epic History and Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past

”'Theodoros Papakostas uses social and traditional media to make history and archaeology irresistibly fascinating to all, even to those who were unbearably bored with the subjects at school” - Marie Claire Greece

”'Archaeologist Dr Theodoros Papakostas 'breaks the rules' and brings archaeology to the general public with humour and light heartedness” - HuffPost Greece

”'Archaeology has become popular once again in Greece, thanks partly to … Archaeostoryteller!” - Balkan Insight

”'A wonderful narrator who loves history, has a deep knowledge of the subject and the great gift…of making (Archaeology) accessible” - ImpactTalk

”'If you want to know everything about Ancient Greece, read this book. Theodore Papakostas gives us a full overview of antiquity with humour, facts and interesting gossip to boot!” - Yiannis Sarakatsanis, unBooking Project