- Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.
Archaeologya romantic subject, redolent of lost civilizations and grinning skeletons dripping with gold, the realm of pith-helmeted men and women who are adventurers and scholars at the same time, of movies like The Mummy Returns. But is this reality? Most archaeologists have never worn a pith helmet, have never discovered gold, and will never unearth a long-forgotten civilization. Nor do most archaeological sites yield rich treasure or even human remains. The romance is not always there, but the world of modern archaeology is deeply fascinating all the same. This book is a journey through that world in all its intriguing diversity. It is designed to give you some idea of how archaeologists go about studying human behavior in the past.
Archaeology: A Brief Introduction, Eighth Edition, is a brief introduction to the fundamental principles of method and theory in archaeology, beginning with the goals of archaeology, going on to consider the basic concepts of culture, time, and space, and discussing the finding and excavation of archaeological sites. The last four chapters summarize some of the ways in which archaeologists order and study their finds. Throughout the book, I emphasize the ethics behind archaeology, ending with a discussion of careers in archaeology and how we should act as stewards of the finite records of the human past. This is a book with an ardently international perspective, for archaeology is the most global of all sciences, encompassing all humanity, not just, say, North America or Europe.
Most readers will encounter this book as a supplement to an introductory anthropology course, or as part of a broader archaeology offering. It is designed for complete beginners, so every attempt has been made to keep technical jargon to a minimum. Inevitably, a book of this length and scope glosses over many complex problems or smoldering controversies. I have proceeded on the assumption that at this stage, a positive overstatement is better than a complex piece of inconclusive reasoning. Errors of overstatement can always be corrected in class or at a more advanced stage.
If there is a theme to this volume, it is that the patterning of archaeological artifacts we find in the ground can provide valuable insights into human behavior in the past. In pursuing this theme, I have attempted to focus on the basic concepts of archaeology and leave the instructor to impose his or,her own theoretical viewpoints on the various chapters that follow. In the intetrests of simplicity, too, I have drawn again and again on a few relatively well-known sites from New World and Old World archaeology, such as Olduvai Gorge and Teotihuacan, rather than distracting readers with a multitude of site names. I have added brief descriptions of these major sites in a special "Sites and Cultures" information section at the back of the book, where a glossary of technical terms will also be found.
This is an exciting time to be writing about archaeology because major scientific advances in many fields are transforming our ability to reconstruct the remote past. Increasingly, archaeology is becoming a multidisciplinary field, and the eighth edition of this book reflects this fact. In general, however, the book remains much the same, because the basic principles of archaeology remain unchanged through the years, whatever new theoretical approaches or high-tech scientific methods are brought to bear on the past. These basic principles provide the foundation for all the many research projects that archaeologists carry out, whether close to home or far afield, whether academic research or cultural resource management.
The eighth edition's art program has been expanded, with new photographs and fresh or revised line art. The new illustrations provide additional background on recent discoveries, amplify the narrative, or replace older art with new pictures. Some expanded captions serve to integrate the illustrations more closely into the text.
The eighth edition has benefited from the expertise of many colleagues, too numerous to list here. I am deeply grateful for their encouragement and assistance. I would like to thank the following reviewers for their help in revising the eighth edition. I appreciate their frank comments: Judith A. Habicht-Mauche, University of California-Santa Cruz; Randall McGuire, State University of New York-Binghamton; Alan H. Simmons, University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Tamra L. Walter, Texas Tech University; Michael R. Waters, Texas A&M University.
Lastly, my thanks to my editor, Nancy Roberts, and her assistant, Lee Peterson, for much encouragement and many kindnesses, also to the production staff at Prentice Hall. They have turned a complex manuscript into an attractive book and done all they could to minimize unexpected difficulties.
As always, I would be most grateful for criticisms, comments, or details of new work, sent to me c/o Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93108 (E-Mail: email@example.com).
Brian M. Fagan--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It is well written, and even though there are latter editions, I use this one as it easier to afford for me.
I highly recommend this book to the armchair archaeologists that want to know more about the craft and science.
Overall, Mr. Fagan has done an admirable job, and peppers the book with illustrative examples form prehistory.
This Book fits the Course that I teach At the Easter Shore community college. It is well written, and even though there are latter editions, I use this one as it easier to afford... Read morePublished 13 months ago by archy instructor
Got this book used for an exceptional price. It is quite an interesting read. I haven't chosen my major yet but Archeology would be pretty nice. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Heizenbrg