The Evil That Men Do

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Archaeologist Dr. Vern Allen has put together a team of talented students for a summer dig in central Turkey. Their quest: to discover the fate of the Hittites, one of the two Middle Eastern superpowers at the time of Ramses the Great. By digging at their ancient capital, Hattusa, Allen and his team hope to uncover the mystery of why this advanced civilization violently and suddenly vanished. As the dig continues the expedition uncovers more than they anticipated. A series of pristine clay jars, buried after the fall of the city, are discovered filled with clay tablets in the ancient Hittite language. Their author is "Hanik, scribe to the last of the Great Kings of the Hatti, Hattusilis." Hanik tells of trouble in the capital, trade routes cut, treachery, and a new religion led by charismatic leader with a powerful talisman. Strange things are happening at the dig as well: an important colleague dies suddenly trying to contact Allen, a student disappears, and Allen himself starts behaving oddly under the stress. Mystery and adventure, history and lust, scheming treachery and devoted loyalty, what this story really digs up is humans' tortuous relationship with evil.