Agatha Christie is one of the world's most famous mystery writers, but few people know of her life as an archaeologist. The novelist was married to successful archaeologist Max Mallowan, and spent two decades accompanying him to great digs around the world—settings that would often turn up in her novels. CNN reports on this lesser known aspect of her life as 3,000-year-old ivory artifacts unearthed by Mallowan some 60 years ago—and likely cleaned by Christie—go on display at the British Museum in London.
Christie used to participate on many digs, helping to clean the finds using her Innoxa face cream, and she often financed her husband's expeditions. "Agatha, who was very conscious of being 15 years older than her husband, traveled everywhere with her moisturizer and it was just the right consistency for cleaning artifacts," explains a biographer. "Everyone thinks Agatha Christie was a bit like the character Miss Marple, that she lived in England and was into knitting and looking after the garden," said an archaeologist who has written on Christie. "But she had such a fascinating life apart from being an author."