Hollywood goes on a dig

Scene from "The Egyptian" (1954): Is this what Egypt really looked like?
Digging up the past is a real adventure, all right. But is it the kind of adventure Indiana Jones had?

Jon Solomon, professor of classical studies at the University of Arizona, has long been fascinated by how Hollywood portrays archaeology and the ancient worlds archaeologists uncover. And as an Oscar Night warm-up, he will present an illustrated lecture, “The Scales of Ramses: When Film Focuses on Ancient Objects,” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum March 26.

Solomon’s talk puts Hollywood classics such as “Cleopatra,” “Ben Hur,” “The Ten Commandments,” “Intolerance” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in their historical perspective in a lecture liberally sprinkled with clips from these and other films featuring ancient worlds.


“THE SCALES OF RAMSES”: Sunday, March 26, at 3:30 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, 33rd and Spruce streets. Admission free. Reservations recommended: Museum Special Events Office, 215-898-4890.


Originally published on March 23, 2000