The Dorak Affair by Kenneth Pearson and Patricia Connor
New York : Atheneum, 1968. First American Edition. Hardcover. 191 pages ; illustrated ; 22 cm. $4.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm.
THE DORAK AFFAIR
KENNETH PEARSON & PATRICIA CONNOR
James Mellaart is a British archaeologist whose finds have been compared in importance with those of Schliemann, excavator of ancient Troy. Mellaart's first major discovery in Anatolia was a Neolithic village beneath the fields of Hacilar. By 1958 he had located the site of (Jatal Hiiyiik, whose date of 7000 B.C. makes it the oldest city to be unearthed and whose remarkable wall paintings are the earliest to come to light. Mellaart's reputation soared. Yet suddenly he was banned from the site by Turkish officials. Why?
The mystery began when Mellaart excitedly published news of another discovery: the royal treasure of Dorak. He had stumbled upon it through his chance meeting on a Turkish train with a Greek girl whose ancient bracelet caught his eye. It was she, the attractive Anna Papastrati, who led him to a secret cache of jewelry, figurines and other dazzling items of Yortan culture, old as Troy itself. But once the word got out, both girl and treasure vanished. Had the antiquarian stolen these priceless objects, and was Anna his intimate accomplice? Was the whole story a hoax to heighten his prestige in a field where the latest tends to eclipse all that came before? Or was the girl a sinister plant, designed to discredit him? Thief or dupe, Mellaart and his peculiar tale became a cause celebre.
Kenneth Pearson and Patricia Connor traveled many miles in their relentless search for the answer. From a motley assortment of scholars, officials, diplomats, smugglers, and dealers they assembled a host of contradictory clues. What unfolded was an incredible detective story. In the words of the distinguished Sir Mortimer Wheeler, "Archaeology is not a science, it's a vendetta."
KENNETH PEARSON was born in London in 1920. At the age of fifteen, he left school for a job as a junior clerk in an insurance office. With the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the Fleet Air Arm, trained at Detroit, Pensacola, and Miami, and graduated as a fighter pilot. From the aircraft carrier Victorious he took part in the invasion of North Africa. He was shot down off Scandinavia in 1944 and spent a year in Germany as a prisoner of war. After the war, he read for the B.Sc. (Economics) Honors at University College, London. On graduation, he spent two and a half years writing for Newcastle newspapers and then moved to London to become a feature writer and columnist for the Daily Dispatch. He joined the (London) Sunday Times thirteen years ago as an assistant to the editor, later worked on its color magazine section, and now co-edits a new feature, "Spectrum."
PATRICIA CONNOR was born in London in 1943, but with more Australian than English blood. She was educated in London and at Bristol University, where she won a B.A. Honors degree in Geography in 1962. This stimulated an interest in archaeology which led to her taking a postgraduate certificate in Prehistoric Archaeology at Cambridge University in 1965-6. She now writes on archaeology for the (London) Sunday Times and works for the British Broadcasting Corporation's historical and archaeological television unit, for which she has just completed a program on the statue-menhirs of Corsica—one of the first color TV films on archaeology. Despite an exam-filled career, she has managed to travel widely in Europe, America, the West Indies, and Australia. She is especially interested in the theater when not sitting at the bottom of a trench.
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