Archaeology as a discipline has a history as colorful as the subject it studies--the artifacts of the human past. Who hasn't heard of businessman-turned-flamboyant excavator Heinrich Schliemann, who unearthed (and looted) Troy's gold? Author Bahn leads a team of a dozen scholars down that parallel track of eccentric personalities and the things they dug up, resulting in a compact volume with a worldwide embrace, evenly balanced between sites famous and obscure. For its Eurocentric focus, however, Bahn makes no apology, arguing that the "archaeology of archaeology" essentially developed in Europe, at first, while the Renaissance gathered steam, in curiosity about Roman ruins and megalithic monuments like Stonehenge. Simple antiquarian collecting gradually gave way to more scientific systems of analysis, and the chapters, organized chronologically, recount the field's increasing sophistication in, for example, dating methods such as the carbon 14 technique. Two hundred illustrations abound, arresting the attention of any passing browser. An asset in any library. Gilbert Taylor
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'... a truly international history of archaeology ... The Illustrated History is refreshing in that it presents an international view of archaeological discovery and sometimes of changing ideas about the past.' Brian Fagan, American Antiquity
'... a global approach ...' Estelle Lazer, The Weekend Review