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Title: The Talpiot Find
Author: John Evan Garvey
ISBN: 978-1475218664
Publication date: 02/08/2012
Formats: ebook, paperback
Review copy: Available on request

Book summary: An anonymous group of investors fund an archaeological dig in the Talpiot district of Jerusalem. The story is told from the viewpoint of a grad student from L.A. on the dig team. While excavating the Talpiot site, the team begins uncovering ancient clay tablets written in ancient Hebrew Canaanite, an important find but not especially newsworthy.
    When an obnoxious grad student from N.Y. on the dig team becomes the target of an extremely offensive prank, he retaliates by posting a video online suggesting that the archaeologists have made a major discovery but are keeping it from the public. People naturally think they’ve found the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, and not long after the video is posted, a crowd of people swarm over the dig site wanting to see a famous holy relic, corrupting the site and ruining it for any further excavation.
    After informing the public at a press conference that clay tablet were found and not the Ark or the Grail, the archaeologists learn that other anonymous groups want to keep any further information about the tablets from reaching the public.

Book cover: The text in the background of the cover photo is an example of Paleo-Hebrew, or Hebrew Canaanite, the language inscribed onto the clay tablets in the novel. Both oil lamp and mobile phone figure prominently in the story, and a skeleton is found implicatively close to the tablets.

Author bio: John Evan Garvey studied literary writing primarily by examining the novels, short stories and essays of literary lion John Updike. He also taught himself music composition in high school and portraiture with pencil and charcoal during and after his college years. Garvey grew up in a strictly evangelical home environment where life, centered around the church, consisted mostly of prohibitions of activities like dancing, movie-going, and dining in restaurants that served alcohol, in New Jersey about an hour’s drive southeast of Philadelphia. He attended a Christian high school and college, receiving a BS degree in Evangelical Cinema from infamously racist, sexist, homophobic, creationist, unaccredited Bob Jones University. Since Garvey’s midlife crisis in his early 30s, he has distanced himself from evangelical culture and beliefs, but his extensive knowledge of Scripture provides valuable perspective when considering contemporary issues from a secular standpoint. He learned 2D and 3D graphic software and Java and ActionScript3 coding on his own and works now as a graphic designer in Burbank, California.

View of Jerusalem
Read the first chapter (PDF)
Video thumbnail
Book cover
The novel’s premise is disturbingly plausible.
Available versions of The Talpiot Find by John Evan Garvey
Barnes & Noble
Rollover images at top of screen to see character bios

Occupation: Grad student in archaeology

Residence: Los Angeles, USA

Ethnicity: French-American

Religion: Agnostic Atheism (cultural Christian)

Interests: Cosmology, big dogs, Wikipedia, roller coasters, the beach
cell phone

Occupation: Co-director of the Talpiot dig, one of Marc’s archaeology professors

Residence: Los Angeles, USA

Ethnicity: Jewish-American

Religion: Secular Judaism

Interests: Scuba diving, backpacking, Gregorian chant, American politics
cell phone

Occupation: Co-director of the Talpiot dig, archaeology professor

Residence: London, England

Ethnicity: Jordanian-English

Religion: Islam (lapsed)

Interests: American movies, English politics, French cuisine, Jordanian pastry
cell phone

Occupation: Undergrad student in archaeology

Residence: Jerusalem, Israel

Ethnicity: Israeli

Religion: Traditional Judaism

Interests: American television, Israeli crime novels, conspiracy theories, online chess, texting
cell phone

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