Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie was the greatest exponent of the classical detective story. Her unique literary talents have crossed every boundary of age, race, class, geography and education. While she refined the template for a fictional form, the reading of her books became an international pastime. Of the characters in her books, Christie has often showcased the archaeologist and experts in Middle Eastern cultures and artifacts. Most notably are the characters of Dr. Eric Leidner in Murder in Mesopotamia, Signor Richetti in Death on the Nile, and many minor characters in They Came to Baghdad were archaeologists. More indirectly, Christie’s famous character of Hercule Poirot can be compared to an archaeologist in his detailed scrutiny of all facts both large and small. Cornelius Holtorf, an academic archaeologist, describes an archaeologist as a detective as one of the key themes of archaeology in popular culture. He describes an archaeologist as a professional detective of the past who has the ability to reveal secrets for the greater of society. Holtorf’s description of the archaeologist as a detective is very similar to Christie’s Poirot who is hugely observant and is very careful to look at the small details as they often impart the most information. Many of Christie’s detective characters show some archaeological traits through their careful attention to clues and artifacts alike. Miss Marple, another of Christie’s most-famous characters, shares these characteristics of careful deduction though the attention paid to the small clues.

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