The Atlantic:  In Paul Murray’s novel Skippy Dies, there’s a point where the main character, Howard, has an existential crisis.“‘It’s just not how I expected my life would be,’” he says. “‘What did you expect?’” a friend responds. “Howard ponders this. ‘I suppose—this sounds stupid, but I suppose I thought More

The Atlantic: When an English archaeologist named George Smith was 31 years old, he became enchanted with an ancient tablet in the British Museum. Years earlier, in 1845, when Smith was only a five-year-old boy, Austen Henry Layard, Henry Rawlinson, and Hormuzd Rassam began excavations across what is now Syria More